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Fetching facts

Categories: Data design, Useful/interesting

Visualisation of this blog post made using wordle.net

When we decided to revamp our website, the very first consideration was; content. What exactly are we going to populate the site with?

New case studies? Definitely. More about some of our extra-curricular projects? Of course. But also, a better explanation of what it is we do and what it is we care about. And that's where it got tricky.

After countless drafts and redrafts, false starts and random notes, we were left with a load of blurb to explain what Supercool's all about … but in a convoluted, wordy, complicated, no-one's-going-to-read-all-this format.

"How can we use this and have it be useful? Arrrrgh! Oh, hang on; let's make a Wordle. Yay!" is pretty much how it went.

Wordle takes prose and makes it into (usually) pretty word clouds, with the most frequently used words the biggest. A very good way to get a general, digestible overview from lots of wordy, essay-length notes.

There are plenty of excellent information visualisation tools out there, some of our favourites being: Wordle, of course; Spezify, which takes your keyword/s and shows you copy, images and links related to it; Google Charts, which visualises HTML data and makes charts; this nameless thing which visualises the structure of websites … ummm, and there must be loads more. What've I missed?!

Our Supercool Wordle's housed on the About page, and the one pictured here is made from this very blog post. So, hooray for visualised data – oh, and if you like prettified statistics, you'll love Information is Beautiful.

Cuppas and cupcakes

Categories: Jewellery Quarter

Last week, Birmingham's Likemind coffee morning celebrated its third birthday. Wow, that's a lot of early starts!

To help mark the occasion, we made some cakes (as did Lindsey and Claire – thanks both!) to help raise donations and awareness for Marie Curie Cancer Care and as part of their Blooming Great Tea Party.



The cake donations raised were enough to pay for an hour of at-home nursing care, plus bereavement booklets to support more than 20 children. Brilliant stuff – thanks so much to everyone who came along and donated.

Thanks also to Saint Caffe for continuing to look after us so well every month.

(The next Likemind will be on Friday 20th August; same time and place as usual. Hope to see you there!)

A message from Sarah W

Categories: Superinterns

I had a great time at Supercool during my two month internship.

I really enjoyed working in their pretty office on exciting projects. I was able to create a character for the 'Not My Type' exhibition in Created in Birmingham's Bullring shop. Furthermore I created the look for Diversity 2010 and a logo for Brum Book Club.

Thank you for involving me so much in working on such great projects and thank you for taking me to your meetings, especially Likemind. I enjoyed being a part of your team.

Another good thing for me was to improve my English skills and teaching James the German letters ä ö ü! The journey travelling from my place in Worcester to Birmingham twice every day was certainly hard, but worth it.

Now, I'm back in Germany I miss sitting on the orange chairs, listening to James' background music and getting new projects from Katie.

I had an exciting and inspiring time in England especially because of a great placement at Supercool. Thank you so much! LOVED IT!

Sarah Wilbois