The Pudding Awards
Our favorite projects on the internet in 2017.
Although we love creating stories for the internet, we are endlessly inspired by what others in our field are producing. Our team keeps copious amounts of bookmarks when we see something that wows us. We decided to share notes this year and reflect on the past 11 months of visual storytelling. Here are our six favorite projects of the year.
The eclipse was major news this year. While we seemed to be approaching the saturation point, Denise released this elegant and informational story that eclipsed the rest. There was nothing not to like here; from setting the tone with a browser eclipse, to hooking the reader by contextualizing it from their age perspective. She packed a ton of information and visuals into a tidy presentation.
It’s always impressive when someone can find cultural insights reflected in what seems to be a relatively simple data set. When Nikhil and Thu-Huong analyzed one hundred thousand drawings and broke them out by country, they found deep links between the culture’s dominant alphabet and the way they drew simple shapes. By crisply overlaying the shapes from each country over one another, the visualization presents the claim in a clean, simple manner. And by pairing each insight with diagrams of the various alphabets, they make a thoroughly convincing case.
In a project that blends art and code, the authors created a beautiful experience that maps hand-drawn lines to shapes found in Google Earth satellite imagery. The whole project makes readers see beauty in the outlines of rarely appreciated objects, such as swimming pools, mining sites, or airfields.
Visualizing text is always difficult, but David and Stuart’s piece did so beautifully, illustrating, through a dated and fact-checked wall of text, President Trump’s dishonest pronouncements since his inauguration this January. The visualization is simple, explorable, and piercingly effective at demonstrating an avalanche of inaccuracies that have been emanating from the White House.
What’s the deal with eggs, anyway? Sarah Crespi and Jia You took readers on a beautifully visualized and illustrated tour of why they’re shaped precisely the way they are. Through video, gifs, and charts, and illustrations, the pair explained how studying 50,000 eggs helped scientists understand the relationship between egg length and bird size, as well as link between egg shape and different bird flying habits.
The gender pay gap has been visualized many times. But what’s unique about Xaquín’s approach is the use of a clever hook, “The median salary for women working full-time is about 80 percent of men’s. That gap, put in other terms, means women are working for free 10 weeks a year.” He then uses hand-drawn visuals and graphics to nail this point: time-spent working for free. The rest of the essay then proceeds to debunk commonly held myths, with superb visuals that allow for exploration.
As we near the end of the year and reflect on the work that has inspired us, these six pieces rose to the top. There may be no trophy (although we did look into sending you each a large box of pudding) but we tip our hats to you and can’t wait to see what you create next. Congratulations and thank you.