Based in Austin, Texas, Info Aperture is a blog by Kate McKerlie.

#uncapthepossibilities: Branding it Sharpie style

#uncapthepossibilities: Branding it Sharpie style

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When I read this month’s SWD Challenge Re-Brand it! I couldn’t help but smile with excitement. I spend a lot of time branding things in the day job, so I wanted to try to challenge myself this month with something beyond my usual tools of excel and illustrator.

After some research on brands I like and the branding board I have on Pinterest, I decided to go with a big name brand as opposed to one of my favorite crunchy local, all-natural brands, that no one else would know. I decided to #uncapthepossibilites and brand the given fake sales data for Sharpie. I love Sharpies, I already had a bunch of them at home (this didn’t stop me from buying even more Sharpies for this challenge, because it is in my opinion one could not have enough office supplies). After some visits to Sharpie’s website, Facebook, Instagram and watching a few commercials on YouTube, it became obvious to me that in order to really brand something Sharpie style, I’ll have to create the data visualization with well…Sharpies. I also got the impression that the design should be bold, but also showcase Sharpie’s original signature black fine point pen.

I have to admit, I had more trouble than I thought I would with this challenge! First off, I have some beginner artistic ability with graphic design, but not so much when it comes to good ole’ fine art where it’s not a simple CTRL- Z to undo a mistake. I ended up having to draft the graph at least 3 times, due to just honest mistakes with visualizing the data, and “permanent” design choices that did not sit well with my perfectionist heart. In the end, I’m just “ok” with the one I submitted.

 I also decided to split the original visualization’s data by focusing in on the differences of the two years’ sales and focusing on the predicted increase in sales. Most of Sharpie’s marketing with hashtags like #uncapthepossibilities, #uncapwhatsinside really focus on empowering and inspiring individuals to be creative with their products, so I decided to focus on the positive and the possibility of growth in my viz. I was slightly inspired by William Playfair’s work. He often brought attention to the difference in between his two graphed lines with design choices. I also learned how hard it is the draft graphs by hand. This challenge really made me appreciate those historical data vizzes even more than I already did.

The resulting viz, was entirely made with Sharpies. A mix of Original Sharpie Fine Points, Sharpie Art Pens, and even a Sharpie highlighter. I decided to also submit it as a photo of “my canvas” with some Sharpies on the side. An image that is fairly common on their social media accounts.

 While this isn’t the most legible graph I’ve ever made, this was still super fun. Thanks for the opportunity Storytelling with Data!

 

"Eat Local" with Thomas Jefferson

"Eat Local" with Thomas Jefferson

 It Takes a Village: Helping people make decisions now, using data visualization.

It Takes a Village: Helping people make decisions now, using data visualization.