A Data Portrait of NYC Design Studios
Portrait of Design Studios header photo

A Data Portrait of NYC Design Studios

As part of SVA IxD summer intensive course taught by Christopher Cannon, I explored the diversity of design studios in New York through data.

Data Work & Preparation

As the first step of the project, I decided on using the data from an existing data visualization project for design studios in NYC called Image of the Studio. I chose to redesign an existing data visualization project after having been exposed to the idea of redesign as constructive criticism in data visualization. The Image of the Studio project was the perfect target for my redesign, as it was beautifully done and incredibly thorough, but difficult to digest at times because of the site organization and the large breadth of topics. I sought to focus on just a few areas and to lay out the visualizations in a linear arrangement for a more succinct and digestible story.

Handdrawn sketches brainstorming the data visualization

Inspired by "The Book of Circles" by Manuel Lima, I found myself gravitating towards using circles to depict the various studios. I first sketched out some of my ideas. I then explored various tools before settling on RAWGraphs to create the basic charts that I would then go and add visual design to using Adobe Illustrator.

Visual Design

While I wanted to add visual attraction to the information, I didn't want to distract from the data itself. I decided to add limited color and a clean font, Akkurat, so as to not distract from the data. I made sure to add annotations and text to tell a holistic story.

Size and work of design studios
The final data visualzation as a linear story.

Though the final product was a static visualization that could be for a print article story, I envision the project could be read in a variety of settings in a multitude of ways. As an interactive viualization, the circles could animate between the different charts with a click of a button. The individual charts as more mass producible and sharable mediums would be effective in raising awareness of the diversity and issues among design studios.

Piecharts of type of design work on a tote bag
The size and type of design work as scaled pie charts, on a tote bag.
Timeline of NYC Design Studios
The size, year founded, & number of offices as a timeline on a bus stop billboard.
Mockup of visualization on interactive devices
The visualization envisioned to be interactive on computers, tablets, and phones.


So Yeon "Soy" Jeong is an interaction designer interested in data visualization, seeking opportunity to make complex data digestible, interesting and beautiful. Since receiving a B.A. in International Relations from Wellesley College, she has worked in branding and interaction design. She was awarded certificates in computer and multimedia graphics, web design and development, and game design from Pratt Institute, and completed courses at SVA for interaction design and Metis for JavaScript data visualization.

Expert: Sketch, Illustrator, CSS and HTML, InDesign, English, Spanish, Korean.
Advanced: D3.js, Photoshop, After Effects.
Proficient: JavaScript, Unity and C#, R, GitHub.

Email So Yeon at sjeong18 [AT] gmail [DOT] com.