Ben Willers
Graphic Communication



MA Design


  The Startup Universe
A Visual Guide to Startups, Founders & Venture Capitalists

July 2013

Concept, Direction & Front End Development
Design & Back End Development
Graphic Design

I am a strong believer in the show, don't tell approach when it comes to data visualisations. The joy that comes from exploring these pieces and discovering the many stories buried within is something that is rarely matched by more direct methods of information delivery. Those stories the reader extracts for themselves are inevitably more interesting, more relevant and more memorable than those that we are told.

The Startup Universe was not only my first opportunity to collaborate with other designers on a large project, it was also my first experience designing for an interactive. While working on my own projects I constantly making efforts to remove as much nonessential information as possible to avoid clutter, or as Tufte would put it, "chartjunk" to ensure data remains the primary focus. Here though with so many great ideas for additional elements coming from all members of the team it became increasingly challenging to retain the clean, minimal aesthetic from our early designs, while also allowing the piece to be as informative and useful as possible. Drawing the eye to the centre of the display and moving additional information towards the sides helps keep the reading experience as pleasurable as possible, while using a consistent visual aesthetic throughout prevents these from feeling disconnected. Even the loading icon is styled to match the rest of the piece, although the load times are so short in the final product it's almost a shame we don't see more of it!

Click the image above to explore the interactive, or read about it here on the
  Ben Willers