When envisaging a typical data visualiser at work, you’d probably conjure up images of a person slaving over rows of numbers and wrangling spreadsheets. But Denver-born and London-based data designer Stefanie Posavec is of a different breed. Rather than simply turning a set of numbers into an information graphic, she finds data in things we wouldn’t normally associate with this type of information.
She calls this ‘hidden data’, and it could be found in something as unexpected as a novel or a song lyric. Take her Literary Organism series she completed as part of her MA at Central Saint Martins. Armed with a set of highlighters and a ballpoint pen, she set about colour coding, reconstructing and presenting Kerouac’s seminal On the Road in an entirely new way. Each sentence and paragraph was highlighted a different colour based on subject and sentence length. With this information, like the anatomy of a flower, the book was transformed into a graphic design of beautiful and detailed florets. Part One is broken into chapters, chapters into paragraphs, paragraphs into sentences, and sentences divide into words.