My thesis questions the role of graphic design in humanizing data. I begin by explaining the concepts of data humanism and graphic design, focusing specifically on information design. I give a brief history of it and explain it’s relevance today.
While some believe design can only add aesthetic value to data, I argue that it can do much more. I analyze the practices of Giorgia Lupi, Hans Rosling, and Jer Thorp as they have been quite vocal about the merits of making data more human and have proven the same through their work. I mention some debates within the design community about the role of the designer in deciding the narrative, goal and aesthetic of any data visualization. I conclude by reiterating the importance of good design in effective data delivery and how the world may benefit from it.
In this age of data explosion, data humanization is a much-needed coping mechanism. I firmly believe that designers will glue the gap between data and the audiences it caters to. They will be indispensable in turning data into information, information into knowledge and knowledge into wisdom.
To evidence my claim of using data as a lens to understand human behaviour, I have quantified my whole thesis as a series of five data visualizations. Each visualization represents one chapter. It contains the number of nouns, pronouns, adjectives and the most frequently occurring words in every chapter. Each rectangle represents one word of the thesis.
All these attributes have a designated colour.
The infographics aim to explain my writing almost instantaneously. Even without reading a word of my thesis, you understand its subject and structure. The front of each postcard is the visualization and the back of it has the actual words of the thesis.
The form is meant to engage the reader and encourage them to read the chapters that follow. In order to reduce the words to mere shapes, the orientation of the visualization has been kept landscape. The spreads are not bound together like a book to make it easier for the reader to compare and contrast between different chapters. The density of each form also reflects the length of every chapter. For example, my visualizations made me realize that my conclusion and introduction are longer in length as compared to other chapters