Ever since we started Data Sketches in 2016, we've dreamed of creating a beautiful coffee table book with large, indulgent images of our projects, side-by-side with our very technical process write-ups.
After years of hard work, we've created a book we're incredibly proud of and we can't wait to share it with you!
Nadieh Bremer and Shirley Wu’s Data Sketches collaboration is a great example of what you can do with data visualization beyond a standard chart. They show that visualization can be both useful and beautiful. They show the many possibilities when you put thought into the data and the visuals. The best part of Data Sketches is that Bremer and Wu documented their processes, so that you can learn the tools they used, the messiness of the data, and how they get over the bumps along the way.
As an educator focused on computational media, I consistently point students towards Shirley and Nadieh's work for inspiration. I am so thrilled and excited that they've synthesized years of hard work and exploration into Data Sketches, which is now my go-to resource for coders interested in creative expression and storytelling with data!
What a rare treat it is for Shirley and Nadieh to share their process so openly! We see not only the technical work—prototyping with real data, riffing from examples—but the circuitous emotional journey from rough concept to polished final product. Shirley and Nadieh are honest, entertaining, and insightful in their retrospectives. For anyone interested in visualization, their stories are a powerful lesson of how designs can be shaped to communicate effectively and with intent. And their openness and humility make the practice less intimidating, inviting newcomers to get started.
Data Sketches is a collaboration between Nadieh Bremer and Shirley Wu, where we chose twelve different topics and each created a data visualization for a total of 24 projects. We then documented the whole process from data collection, to sketch and ideation, to code.
Nadieh Bremer is a graduated astronomer, turned data scientist, turned freelancing data visualization designer. She's worked for companies such as Google, UNESCO, Scientific American, and the New York Times. As 2017’s “Best Individual” in the Information is Beautiful Awards, she focuses on uniquely-crafted data visualizations that are both effective and visually appealing for print and online.
Shirley Wu is an award-winning creative focused on data-driven art and visualizations. She has worked with clients such as Google, The Guardian, SFMOMA, and NBC Universal to develop custom, highly interactive data visualizations. She combines her love for art, math, and code into colorful, compelling narratives that push the boundaries of the web.