Brand Toys

BrandToys.co.uk hails itself as ‘the  world’s first brand visualisation tool’.  The site creates characters, or ‘toys’, which represent the brand based on quantative data. Their diagram explains it like this:

You can view toys for specific brands, which come with a chart of their characteristics and qualities:

And you can selct multiple brands and compare them:

The thing I like about this project is that the characters are not thought up by someone who will (maybe even subconsciously) have preferences and prejudices towards certain brands, they are created using data, so they are accurate and comparable. It is a very interesting project and certainly is more lively than spreadsheets and sales records.

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The Real Underground Map

The Real Underground Map by Fourthway allows the user to see the underground map morph between the current one, Harry Beck’s original and the ‘real’ map which is geographically correct. It’s really interesting as it shows the true proximity of stations, which is something I find visitors to London don’t seem to realise. Many of the stations are ridiculously close to eachother (eg. Charing Cross > Embankment), especially in central London. Whilst this is fun to see, I still think the current map is far easier to understand as a navigation tool.

Gallery of Computation

Jared Tarbell is an American programmer who uses algorithms to make beautifully complex graphic images. He makes all his source codes available and modifiable. Have a look at his website and browse images and adapt his code to create your own if you are technologically inclined!

Orbitals variation B – ‘The Orbitals is a collection of particles operating on one simple rule: choose another particle in the system and orbit it with a fixed radius at a constant velocity. In this variation, a single root particle is instantiated in the center of the stage. All other particles introduced to the system fall into orbit at some level.’

Substrate – ‘Lines likes crystals grow on a computational substrate. A simple perpendicular growth rule creates intricate city-like structures.’

Bubble Chamber – ‘The Bubble Chamber is a generative painting system of imaginary colliding particles. A single super-massive collision produces a discrete universe of four particle types. Particles draw their positions over time as pixel exposures.’

 

Although I am not much of a programmer myself, I think algorithms are a great design and science tool. One huge benefit of programmes like this is that they are open-source and creators usually publish their codes so that others can learn and build on them, making the medium grow rapidly in complexity and understanding.

Designers for Japan

Designers for Japan is a collaboration of designers and imagemakers who have been making and selling posters to raise money for the aid effort in Japan. There has been some debate about the motives of this on design blogs recently, however I think that it is a great effort and it is great that people are using their skills and time to help.Visit their website and browse the shop here.

Wieden + Kennedy’s poster makes a simple change to the Red Cross’s logo with a play on the Japanese flag.

A cracked red circle on this poster by Signalnoise has a more earthy, emotive atmosphere.

This business week cover is very clever – the negative space of the cracked red circle forms an agonised profile. Heart-wrenching.

David McCandless’  contribution is a chart explaining radiation levels.

This poster says it all.

My thoughts are with Japan.

Guardian Data Blog

The Guardian newspaper (uk) have a ‘data blog’ on their webite. (Go to it here) As well as creating simple and readable visualisations, the blog makes all the raw data easily accessable, which makes it a fantastic resource. The visualisations are always easy to read and are straight to the point. The data ranges from public interest to politics to society to celebrity and often the figures are allowed to speak for themselves.

Here are some of the visualisations: