This project was commissioned by Nathaniel Pearlman. Growing up in Colorado, Nathaniel developed an interest in maps. We worked with historian Karl Phillips to create a large format poster about how the states took the shapes we have today. Our goal waas to create a complex, rich reading experience that can reward multiple viewings.
- Karl Phillips, GIS mapping, research, and writing
- Nathaniel Pearlman, client
Concepts → Blueprint
Working from the GIS files, I eventually was able to create unique typographic styles for each layer of information, and complement those styles with linework. We decided to use bullet points to call out each state, arranged on either side of the map, to provide an index and more information. Data designer Noah Illinsky likes to call ineffective visualization 'spaghetti,' because it appears like a dense tangle of information. The goal, he says, is to make lasagna. By working in layers, I believe that I was able to make the spaghetti into lasagna.
With my Graphicacy teammate Youyou Zhou, we also designed an interactive. We chose a fun framework, the periodic table of the elements, so that we wouldn't have to worry about spatial geography to answer the reader's primary question: what types of boundary lines belong to each state—and also, how and why did they get them?