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Dear Data

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  823 ratings  ·  139 reviews
The book explores the role that data plays in our lives and originates from a correspondence between the two authors - both data visualisation artists who met at a data conference and chose to keep in touch by sending weekly postcards composed of data visualisations in place of words. The result is described as “a thought-provoking visual feast”.
Paperback, 289 pages
Published September 2016 by Particular Books
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Average rating 4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  823 ratings  ·  139 reviews

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I wish I could rate this higher than five stars - honestly, I really do. This book has inspired me endlessly! As a graphic design enthusiast (and budding graphic designer), this was a huge amount of motivation and it has inspired me to start collecting my own data sets and illustrating them in quirky ways.

This is a brilliant book and I would 100% recommend it! I am so happy that I read this - and I recommend all of you to at least flick through it; it's one of the most wonderful reads I have pa
Jul 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5-stars. A delightful book, with some great ideas on collecting and displaying data. And a beautiful book. The only downside for me was that the data was almost entirely displayed as elaborate tally marks with details. I would have appreciated seeing some other types of infographics or statistical graphs incorporated. But I loved the way the authors experimented in trying to display their information creatively. A book to keep in my library.
Bogi Takács
Jul 08, 2017 rated it really liked it
Great concept: two designers who work a lot with data pick a theme each week for a year, and then collect their personal data based on that theme and send the other person a postcard with some hand-drawn data visualization on it. It is halfway between work and socialization / friendship-building, and they refer to it in the text as kind of both.

The execution didn't always work for me; I often had the feeling both authors tried to move away from very 'pictorial' visualizations, and the resultant
Nov 07, 2016 rated it really liked it
The premise of Dear Data is that Giorgia and Stefanie send each other one self created post card a week. Each week they decide on some item of data to track. How many times they looked at their phones. Physical contact. Complaints. Each woman created her own system for displaying the data. What emerges are weekly pieces of art with meaning. On one side of the postcard, there is the picture. On the other, a legend telling what the picture means.

I was super excited to sit down with Dear Data and c
Nov 12, 2019 rated it really liked it
It's a historical day, a historical moment...

After over 15 months, I finally managed to go through 'Dear Data.' One of the main reasons is that this is a book that needs time, it is far from being a page-turner, it's more like an arts album that you go back and forth, check few pages and put it aside for another couple of weeks.

I am full of awe for the two authors, who were able to commit themselves to collecting data every week of the year, and then spend hours turning the data into pieces of a
Sep 23, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: memoir
Unique and beautifully fascinating. I love the authors concept of using their common love of art and data to create a shared, adventurous correspondence.
Shayna Ross
Nov 14, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I primarily flipped through the book to observe the types and styles of data. While I found it interesting how they translated their lives into a form of art, I just wasn't that interested in studying the actual data or the ongoings of their lives. I think the concept of data collecting is immensely fascinating and the various ways we can translate that information, but the personal details of these two women just did not interest me as much as data about my city, my school, people I know, etc. ...more
Oct 06, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: makes-me-think
An interesting approach to being mindful of the everyday, though it wasn't the original intention of the book. I found the graphics more intriguing than the data they represented. Many of them were downright beautiful! ...more
I enjoyed looking at how each woman visualized the data she collected. After a while, it got a little boring. I borrowed this book from the library, and had it for several weeks, but didn't finish it before it had to go back. ...more
Sep 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing
this book is fantastic. a real gem for anyone who has some basic interest in data. i can't recommend it highly enough. ...more
Koen Van den Eeckhout
Apr 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Koen by: Goof van de Winkel
Shelves: non-fiction, dataviz
Detailed review coming soon...
Michael Scott
Jul 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
TODO full review:
+++ Amazingly creative project: two people meet through their weekly postcard exchange. The goal of each exchange is to reveal to the other who they are.
i I liked this book so much, I've decided to give it as a gift.
+++ I loved how creative the drawings/weekly projects turn out to be. It's all naive art, but the authors invent their own symbolic language for each drawing, bursting with ideas. What should each postcard reveal? How? Wonderful. (For anyone who thinks all this is e
Jan 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
4.5/5 stars.

Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec, two data visualisation experts, exchanged a postcard per week,
each time with a different graph showing an aspect of their lives: how much time they spent on some tasks, how many clothes do they have, and so on. To compile the result of their year-long project, they published this book, including the beautiful visualisations, some preparatory material, and tips on how to build great graphs.

It is a short, pleasant read that will be useful for anybody
Dec 26, 2019 marked it as didn-t-finish
I actually thought this was really cool and really interesting, but 104 postcards full of fairly granular data is a bit too much for me. I enjoyed seeing the ways these two women represented different aspects of their lives, and the way they managed to turn going through doors or schedules or complaining into art.

I'm glad their legends for interpreting the data are included here, but I also feel like that puts too much pressure on me to READ all the teeny tiny writing included in there, which t
Aug 29, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I love this book. 52 postcards between two artists who, each week collect data on their lives (how many times they look at their phone, what they ate, how they get to work) and send the information to one another, but in various artist forms. It’s so gorgeous and informative too. Definitely every teacher should have this book but it’s not really about teaching, it’s about expressing yourself in different ways and looking at your life. So cool!
Mar 27, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is never-ending eye-candy and it gives me so much joy. I love flipping through it and everyone that comes through my living room will sit with it for hours. I am inspired by this fun journey of introspection and mindfulness - the data collection forcing them to be more present and conscious of their actions, actions of others, their surroundings - to better understanding of data and data representation. I can't wait to try my hands at this with their workbook! ...more
Anita Boeira
Apr 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2017
This book was an incredible experience. I loved it, and I can't wait to try data gathering myself. ...more
Mar 20, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, art
3.5 rounded up

This was fun to browse through! Two designers forge a friendship through sending each other a postcard a week, each on a different theme - such as urban wildlife that they saw, doors they went through, smells, positive thoughts they had. They track data throughout the week on that theme, then send each other a postcard, displaying the data in different ways and providing a legend and explanations on the back of the postcard of how to read the data. Giorgia and Stefanie have quite d
The concept of the book is good. It's pretty and inspiring, especially for anyone who wants to start bullet journaling or sketching out creative ways to display information for other purposes.

I do wish it would have had a bit more principles and best practices documented about data mapping and design, though--what Giorgia and Stefanie learned from the experience. I can infer some of it, but I'd love to walk away with a menu of shapes, chart formats, and quick tips on what tends to be most effec
Jan 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. The authors are "data designers" (didn't know this was a thing), who trade postcards every week coding and representing a particular dimension of their experiences (e.g., annoyances, apologies... their phones... ). This book is their postcards plus a bit of commentary. Not a book to read cover-to-cover, but a pleasure to pick up and read a little bit at a time. Interesting to see the creative ways they represented information visually, and the similarities and differe ...more
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Love this! I have been following their blog and tweet for quite sometimes. It so good to finally able to see all of their works in a book, flipping through every pages and get so inspired. The book makes me happy, everytime.

It's a super easy way to communicate data. It doesn't require high-tech or ability to do advance software. In fact, it makes you thinking about the creative way to see pattern of many things around us.

Love love!
Jan 17, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. I love everything about this book. It took longer to get through I think because I really wanted to have serious TIME to devote to looking at each postcard when I read it. In a dream world I would love to do this myself with some other willing (crazy) person. Just a little less than 5 stars because some of the postcards could have dealt the info a little more clearly, otherwise highly recommended!
Cristian Iorga
Jul 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: technical
This one I'm giving up half way through. If I can't finish it in half a year, another half a year probably won't help.

While not original, the concept is interesting and what drew me to this book. After a few pages of what seems to be the same thing in terms of design and data, it gets boring to read it as a normal book. It's probably more suited as a waiting room book where one randomly browses through the pages.
Goodreads description: "The book explores the role that data plays in our lives and originates from a correspondence between the two authors - both data visualisation artists who met at a data conference and chose to keep in touch by sending weekly postcards composed of data visualisations in place of words. The result is described as “a thought-provoking visual feast”." ...more
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it
The premise of this book was really interesting to me - two artists spend each week of the year recording data about specific things in their lives, illustrate the results on a postcard, and send them to each other. The postcards are fun to look at, but the depth of data is incredibly overwhelming and I quickly stopped reading their analyses.
Katherine Spivey
Oct 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This was fantastic. Not an easy read -- there's a lot to digest -- but this shows the world of data visualization as nothing else does. ...more
Oct 18, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Super fun to flip through. Beautifully drawn and interesting view into the lives of these two people. Would not recommend Kindle version.
Nov 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
Giorgia Lupi (an Italian woman living in New York) and Stefanie Posavec (an American woman living in London) are both artist/designer types. They came up with this project where they would think of a theme for each week, collect data on that theme, and then send each other postcards of that data, but with the data represented in some kind of artistic way. So for example, one week the theme might be "compliments" - so they would document all the times in the week in which they gave or received a ...more
Dec 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a longtime fan of Nicholas Felton's personal annual reports, picking up this book was an easy choice. Two information designers, Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec, created this project together visualizing personal themed data each week on postcards for one year. These are not Excel spreadsheets nor computer-created charts; every postcard with its data representation was drawn by hand. Each week offered the opportunity to track data for a (new) specific theme and for each woman to experiment ...more
Ishvani H
Jul 10, 2020 rated it really liked it
As someone who loves to analyze data [both visual and non-visual] I really enjoyed this book which not only provided room for me to analyze the authors' lifestyles, habits, thought processes et al but also piqued my interest in data visualization. I finished this book a couple of days back and I've already started tracking data from my own life! :) Both the designers are unique in their data viz style, and at some places, the same thing I liked about their work became the reason for my mild vexa ...more
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Giorgia Lupi is an award-winning information designer, author and artist.

She is co-author of Dear Data ( published by Penguin in the UK and Princeton Architectural Press in North America,

She is co-founder and design director at Accurat a data-driven design firm with offices in Milan and New York.

Her work in information visualization frequently crosses the divide between digital

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