Data + Design: the Case for Creating Visualizations by Hand | Visualization Gallery |

Programs like Photoshop and Illustrator prompt perfection by bringing mathematics to bear on our inexact lines, make perfect circles out of our warbly loops, and create the exact #xxxxxx for our pixelated palettes.

While technology plays a big role in the data visualization world, it can come at a loss of variation: the unique stories that only our own hands can tell.

For designers and journalists, there are a number of good reasons to design by hand...

Last week, Pratt-educated street typographer Pablo A. Medina gave a lecture at New York’s Type Directors Club. His fonts — Cuba, Vitrina, North Bergen — are as irregular as the signs from which they hail. It’s an irregularity Medina acquiesces to in his artwork, in which he paints new messages using old, found fonts. Handmade designs are more personal, more expressive, more fun.

He’s not the first to notice. Famous artists like Greg Lamarche and Margaret Killigan, as well as underground grafitti artists around the world have all realized the beauty of creating by hand. It’s not perfect — and that exactly is the point.


In general, creating graphics the old-fashioned way is great for those who have not yet mastered software, and it enables more freedom of movement and, by extension, expression.

Even if you are too afraid to let a little bit of yourself out when designing data visualizations, mock up creations by hand. Designing visualizations this way can still be faster and have fewer limitations...


Read further to learn more about how creating images by hand saves time, electricity, and unnecessary labor, while allowing more opportunities for creative exploration and expression.

Via Lauren Moss