Scaled in Miles
Scaled in Miles was named a finalist in Fast Company’s 2015 Innovation by Design awards.
The poster is 36” x 24”, and offset printed on 80# French Construction Nightshift Blue with two impressions of metallic gold and light blue opaque inks printed on both sides of the paper.
Based on one of the greatest jazz musicians of the twentieth century, Scaled in Miles looks at Miles Davis’ career through a timeline of his recording sessions and the musicians who collaborated with him.
After first building an interactive visualization that lets users explore and listen to Miles Davis’ many collaborations, we decided to design a printed poster to see how a single set of data can be designed and tailored to different mediums. In the print version, the data evolved into the shape of a record, with thin arcs marking the grooves, and the circular shape representing the timeline of Davis’ career.
The outermost ring shows the timeline of Miles’ sessions, from his first on April 24, 1945, to his last recording on August 25, 1991. On the inside of the circle, the 577 artists that collaborated with Miles are depicted by over 2,000 bars. Each bar represents a musician collaborating in a recording session over time.
Each bar corresponds with the dated sessions along the outermost timeline. Artists who played with Miles multiple times have their sessions connected with thin gold arcs.
We called out a few albums that were particularly representative of the genres Miles played during his career. The recording sessions that contributed to one of the key albums are shown in blue instead of gold. We included names for the musicians who either contributed to one of those albums, or who played often with Miles (i.e. nine sessions or more).
One of the reasons we are excited about this poster is that it gives us a chance to demonstrate how the same dataset can take different forms depending on the medium. In the web app, details about the collaborators are revealed as you interact with them.
With this iteration, we were able to include the full timeline of each musician’s collaboration with Miles. On the back, we list each musician organized by the instrument they played most frequently, and chart the number of sessions on which they recorded.
All proceeds from Scaled in Miles are donated to charity, read more.
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