Three decades ago, only the brightest minds of academia could pore over the dense pages of journals in the libraries of prestigious universities. Then, with the advent of the internet and databases like LexisNexis, any university or college could distribute the same information over a telephone line. Now anyone with a smartphone can instantly download studies with pages numbering into the thousands in a matter of seconds. When was the last time you downloaded a white paper on your iPad? Did you read it in its entirety? Our data-driven economy has created data-driven businesses, data-driven thinkers, and a data-driven society. Ironically, the same technology and medium which made so much information accessible has shrunk our attention span to the length of exactly 140 characters. Yet, in another ironic twist, the internet has become a place for two-way information that relies on a loosely knit assembly of content creators. Everyone is fighting for their voice, and fighting even harder for an audience. This makes it more difficult for academics, governments, businesses, non-profits, and others that often have to tell their story in numbers. Enter the infographic. When was the last time you read a tweet, clicked on a bitly URL, and loaded a one page graphic full of facts and statistics? Did you read it in its entirety? A better question is, was it meant to be read, skimmed, or simply viewed? No longer are we living in an age of poorly constructed pie charts and bar graphs, rather we find ourselves surfing through a gallery full of canvas worthy digital graphics. In a stroke of creative and quantitative genius, advertising agencies have mashed up the strengths of their analysts and designers to creatively tell the story of their clients' research and data. They've packaged it perfectly into a compact and concise attention-getting visual format. Data visualization has entered its renaissance era. If ever there was a Michelangelo, it would be Jesse Thomas of Jess3. Checkout some of his team's work on the Jess3 blog.
My wife and I are on the hunt for new art. We've got a shinny new home office that we hope to turn into a mini gallery. Until recently I had the belief that you don't just go out and buy art. Art finds you... and haunts you... until you finally can't resist anymore and you have to take it home. A good friend of mine once said "art has to have a personal story to it... the way it entered your life or your connection to the artist." That said, lately I've developed a bit of a complex about all of this. What if I just want a cool picture for my office? Do I have to wait around for something amazing to find me? Enter 20x200. This is a website created by Jen Bekman specifically designed to bring limited edition prints from (typically) little known artists to people who love art (and who may have limited budgets). It's awesome. The picture here is called Bird Power by Carrie Marill. The idea is that Bekman curates the site with a limited number of choices (adding two new pieces a week) and you can choose the print size that fits your wants and budget. All to say, maybe my "personal connection" to some of this work is that I personally found it on the web via a site that I personally think is super cool. Qualifies in my book!
The Dozen is an eclectic take on innovation, branding, media, strategy and research, brought to you by the creative minds at Egg Strategy.
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