Remember the pre-pandemic world? Yeah, me neither. Conifer, a Chicago-based market research agency, set out to find people who do remember how they lived before COVID-19 turned modern existence into a gauntlet of Zoom calls and nasal swabs. They surveyed and/or interviewed 1,664 people across the United States and compiled the results into a huge and fascinating report on Americans' indoor and outdoor activities over the past 3 years. The main takeaway: we used to be hermits. We still are (and it's gotten even worse, actually), but we used to be, too.
They typed up their big report into a Google Doc, handed it to me (as an employee at Little Bird Marketing), and asked me to make it pretty and digestible and full of spiffy data visualizations, a la Vox's The Year, Explained,  In 4 weeks.
So I did. In 3 weeks.
Editorial design, data visualization
Adobe InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator
A report this long (49 pages) and dense (30+ charts) would be a chore to design for (let alone read!) if it wasn't written by an agency like Conifer. Their incisive personality shines through every word. It's witty and irreverent, yet incredibly insightful — they manage to make Americans' gardening habits captivating by breaking up all the text with catchy titles and sharp cultural references. 
In keeping with the rest of my work for Conifer — particularly their lovely blog — Americans: Inside & Out is loosely inspired by the early Pop Art scene. Nearly every page is covered in collaged-together stock photos dredged from the catacombs of Adobe Stock. To drain them of their disarming, sterile cheesiness, I passed most of them through a high-contrast black-and-white gradient map. Paired with the Conifer identity's bright colors and cartographic vector elements (like loose, organic topographic map blobs), the overall visual effect is an intended corniness, somewhere between a 1950s home appliance catalog and a Risograph zine, that matches Conifer's sharp writing.
This early draft of the front cover (below) ultimately wasn't used, but it informed the design of the entire report. I used shitty stock photos and tried to cobble them into coherent "scenes", often tying it all together with topographic blobs and dotted lines. The 3 big "areas" of the report — indoor, outdoor, and online activities — became color-coded, and those organic topographic shapes became simple (but more-interesting-than-usual) pie charts in a few spots.
This collage on page 30 (below) is one of my favorites, and it exemplifies the mindset with which I designed the whole book. No stock photo was too corny or dated or sterile: it could be made into a semi-cohesive collage if it felt just right.
To illustrate an eye-opening fact from this page (that city dwellers are 20% more likely to be satisfied with the amount of time they spend outdoors than those who live in rural areas), I combined photos of crosswalks in New York City and rural Spain into a single scene. The effect is both subtle and startling — a dense urban atmosphere turns into a sparse rural one as soon as it crosses the dividing line down the middle of the road.
All in all, I collaged together or otherwise manipulated over 100 photos for this report. There are some 36 data visualizations, ranging from bar graphs to Marimekko charts to heat maps. 
The report exists in printed and digital forms (via download from Conifer's website). The project also included adapting various pieces of the report into graphics for social media and emails.

3 other random things I have made (you won't BELIEVE #3!)

Identity: James Lewis butcher & deli
I drew 30+ simple geometric food-related icons as part of a modular brand system.
Restoring the neighborhood collective
My degree capstone project investigated sparsely-attended civic meetings that make huge housing and land usage decisions in communities across the United States.
Data vis: "Partisan Pawprints"
As a reckless challenge to see how many different data inputs I could combine into one visualization, I chronicled five years of my life through travel, dogs, politics, and culture.
Race, class, and COVID-19
As part of the Winthrop Rockefeller Foundation's Reimagine Arkansas series, I created a social media kit diving into the CARES Act and the racial disparities of the COVID crisis.
Frazier Homes
I developed a minimalist identity inspired by early 20th-century craftsmen for a local contractor and applied it to business cards, yard signs, and shirts.
Starspot & Starcards
I made an identity system and package design for Starspot, a company making beginner-friendly astronomy equipment, plus a series of "trading cards" for real-life stars.
App prototype: Canopy NWA
I prototyped a volunteer coordination app in Adobe XD for a local organization that helps refugees from around the world resettle in Northwest Arkansas.
Visualizing the Earned Income Tax Credit
In my third project with Reimagine Arkansas, I made a series of data visualizations on SB10, a bill that would create an EITC for working families in the state.
The housing rainbow
In my second project with Reimagine Arkansas, I made a quote wreath and a series of illustrations pushing viewers to think of housing as a spectrum.
Digital Thinkers Conference
I made a type-tastic bilingual brand system inspired by complex urban landscapes for the annual technology and design conference in Tokyo, Japan.
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