'Writer's Block', a Small Media report featured on The Creators Project, Information is Beautiful and Visualising Data's '10 significant developments', looks at the past, present, and future of the Iranian publishing sector by visualising the contents of Iran's Book House—the record of all books published in Iran since the 1979 revolution.
The design of this site was inspired by the textures and patterns prevalent in illustrated Persian manuscripts. These were then combined with modern typefaces and colors to create an amalgamation of vintage and contemporary Persian aesthetics. We used soft yet vibrant colors that give the illusion of faded ink as well as luxuriant gold foil to highlight interactions.
The data-driven research also heavily inspired the website, informing the ways in which we manipulated our Persian influences. When it came to information design, we were always careful to maintain the integrity of the data while still implementing the visual style consistently.
‘Revolution Decoded’ is a Small Media journal that offers a comprehensive exploration of the social, cultural and political implications of Iran’s new digital landscape. The journal is composed of five individually bound chapters and a fold-out poster, all twined together by a belly band. We were allowed free reign on this project which was refreshing and allowed us to experiment with colors and concepts we would not have been able to explore with other reports. We knew from the start we wanted two primary colors; one to display information and another to highlight the most important parts. As a result, we were able to design simple visuals from complex information.
The exception to this rule lies in the fold-out poster that shows the process of publication through three different scenarios. In order to distinguish each journey among the tangled web of Iran’s publication industry, we used three pop colors as a distinguishing key. The result is a beautifully illustrated visualization that clearly and simply highlights how Iran’s publication industry works from the perspective of three individuals who have experienced the process themselves.
This project features the 15 postcards my father sent to my mother while he was working as an engineer in South Africa in 1977. This book focuses on retelling my mother and father’s relationship based purely on the postcards he sent her. I extracted every possible piece of information from these postcards, organized them into a database, and then analyzed and arranged everything into a series of data visualizations.
My aim was to demonstrate how something as personal and ephemeral as a postcard can be depersonalized, deconstructed, reduced to data and then rearranged to tell an alternative narrative of the same story. Visually, the structured, minimalist book contrasts the emotive relationships and thoughts my father shared through the postcards, but the use of strong data visualizations and typography retains their original lust and humor.
This project is a collaboration between Small Media and United 4 Iran who have collected an extensive amount of information on the political prisoners sentenced in Iran. They collated and organized this information into three distinctive databases; political prisoners, the judges who sentenced them, and the prisons they were incarcerated in.
Our mission was to create three different interactive visualizations that humanize and breakdown the massive datasets, allowing the viewer to better appreciate the complexity and harshness of the Iranian justice system. With this in mind, we felt it was important that each visualization works both as a stand-alone piece and as part of an intertwined set.
The project is now at the development stage, and the site is due to go live at the end of September.
In Nov-Dec 2015 I had the privilege to work with the human rights organization, ANHRI, at a Data 4 Change workshop in Beirut.
Cairo based Arabic Network for Human Rights Information (ANHRI) is a legal institution with lawyers and researchers working on defending freedom of expression in Egypt and the Arab world. They collect data on all protests that have happened in Egypt.
ANHRI wanted to show how despite an anti-protest law being introduced in Egypt in 2013, Egyptians still take to the streets to voice their opinions. As a result of this law some of these protests are attacked, and this is shown in the data collected. The team chose Tahrir square as a source of visual inspiration and storytelling motif. The square, once crowded with Egyptians protesting, is now barren because it is illegal to protest there.
The website starts with an introduction about Tahrir Square and the protests happening in Egypt with a choice for further investigation of the topic for users who are unfamiliar with Egyptian protest. The groups of protesters are then introduced with a short description. These initial pages set the context for the interactive data visualisation utilising the protest data.
This visual shows all protests for any chosen year. Each circle represents a single clickable protest. On the right, the user can use the filters to change how the data is displayed. This exploratory method of visualisation allows the user to find their own stories within the data.
Read full write up for Data4Chan.ge workshop here.
This is a side project commissioned by a potential coffee company. The branding was inspired by the the Cattleya trianae; Colombia's national flower. I decided to create several elements for the branding that can be combined in a variety of ways for any medium. The elements consist of the the typographic logo, coffee icons, a Cattleya trianae icon, set guides for any additional text, a choice of three photographic backgrounds, and a set of different line thicknesses to separate or contain the combined elements. It was important to keep all elements consistent and part of the same style, but to also allow for the branding to be fluid and interchangeable whether it is printed on a burlap coffee sack or displayed on the header of a website.
This project is a collaboration between Small Media and Iran Human Rights. IHR provided an extensive dataset of executions that have taken place in Iran from 2011-now. We first provided a poster overview with a ring that is made up every day since 1st January 2011. The individual executions were then overlaid, represented by red circles, so as to visualize the extent of executions taking place in Iran. The heavily concentrated circles highlight periods when the most executions occurred, creating the illusion of blood stains in a ring.
Alongside the poster we are providing a breakdown of each year in the Annual Report, which highlights drug-related executions; the majority of executions that take place in Iran. Although a work in progress, the aesthetics for these pieces are extremely strong and instantly relay powerful information.
A working prototype for my final project on the Front End Web Development course at General Assembly.
I wanted to create something that calls in an external data set. In this case I am using a data set on the pay difference between men and women in various fields. In order to contextualize the data, I used three objects to compare how long it would take a man and a women to earn enough money to buy each object. Still a work in progress but in process of moving live.
This Small Media report takes readers on a journey through the world of Iran’s religious minorities, highlighting the difficulties and persecution they face.
We chose to design a starkly contrasting black-and-white publication, to subtly allude to the difficulties of maintaining religious individuality in Iran. The front cover is adorned with blind embossings reflecting the rich yet under-the-radar fabric of Iran’s religious communities. The publication is accompanied by three posters, each of which is an information visualization with specially designed iconographic illustrations as distinguishing markers for each religious minority.
These are examples of some illustration work I have undertaken in my spare time or as part of larger projects. I use illustration as a way to test my boundaries as well as teach myself new skills and techniques that can be applied across mediums. Birthdays or special occasions are frequently used as an excuse to illustrate.
This is a series of data visualizations designed to support the eponymous Small Media report about internet governance in Iran. Initially, the style of these reports was heavily inspired by late 19th century data visualizations. The mixture of these vintage colors and shapes with modern typefaces and processes of collecting and displaying data (Gephi used for the network mapping) created a series of stunning visuals that boil down complex datasets to simple and readable visualizations.