I sized up my book to 8.5” x 11.5” which is the size of a legal tablet. My book is going to be printed on semi-gloss paper and perfect bound. I will be adding a hard cover by covering book board with book cloth and screen printing my title onto it. These are some of my cover iterations.


Clarifying and Elevating the Surface Level Quick Read

On Friday I visited the print shop to pick out paper and double check turn around time. I need to double check with Chrissi, but I feel confident about my choice of a semigloss/satin bright white paper that will add legitimacy and sleekness to my handmade data visualizations and match the strong tone of the topic I am talking about with my book.

I took a break from making data visualizations today to browse back through my content sources Firsts: Women Who Are Changing the World by Time Magazine, Women in Comedy and Solo Performance, and Without a Doubt by Marcia Clark.

I pulled a few quotes that I thought summarized big picture points of my book that I was having trouble conveying. I am going to experiment with putting these quotes towards the middle and end of my book, and even on the back cover to elevate the clarity of the surface level quick read.


Before I became Secretary of State, when I was teaching at Georgetown University, I always told my female students to be prepared to speak and to interrupt when necessary. When I walked into my first meeting of the United Nations Security Council, there were 15 seats and 14 men—all looking at me. - Madeline Albright

I sometimes see the glass ceiling in the number of women who get nominated for recognition. Men seem much more likely to be recognized than women, even if they are working on a team with a woman. So we have to say, Really? Is it because women contributed so little? There’s plenty of evidence against that. When somebody like me can be visible as a Nobel laureate, it says, Look, there is such a possibility. There are only eight living women who have Nobel Prizes in the sciences, and I think we ought to be seen. If you’re a young scientist and the Nobel laureates all look the same, you kind of get the sense that, Well, that’s not something I can see myself as. Being visible is important. - Elizabeth Blackburn Blackburn

But I think it also must happen in classrooms, starting at a young age. We know that oftentimes girls are not as encouraged, or aren’t confident enough to raise their hands and speak out. We know that girls as young as 6 believe that boys are smarter. We know that as young girls become young women, pressures increase about how they look and how they dress and how they behave. All of that can be very disorienting and lay the groundwork for the kind of cultural mistreatment of women that is all too acceptable. - Hillary Clinton

These cultural barriers have persisted even though we’ve knocked down legal barriers.
- Hillary Clinton

We’ve got to get to a point in our society where you expect excellence and you deliver excellence, but women should not be judged by a different set of standards about how they produce their work and how it’s judged. - Hillary Clinton

Finish Line In Site: The Final Schedule

On Thursday for class we submitted a schedule for these final few weeks. The big deadline on my mind (besides April 12, of course) is April 2nd (or 3rd) which is when I need to send the book to the printer.

I don’t feel like I have any big panic areas, it’s just going to be getting the data visualizations incorporated, flowing the updated design throughout all sections of the book, and cleaning up the typography.

I worked after class on Thursday and cleaned up some of my early spreads and my table of contents.


Post-Spring Break Data Vizs

After grinding to get a first draft finished before spring break I used spring break to apply to some internships, so that I could focus on capstone when I returned.

I did some material experimentations for my data visualizations and ultimately came to terms with ditching the use of paint or oil pastel. Oil pastels did not look any different than children’s crayons when I made simple lines. Paint, while I could make interesting marks they did not incorporate well with the text.

This left me with my final material option— cut paper. I used the work of Joseph Albers and Lester Beale for inspiration.

I used excel to clean and organize my data and look for visual trends.

I used excel to clean and organize my data and look for visual trends.

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First Full Draft

With two midterm exams the week our first full draft was due I really had to grind to meet the deadline. I prioritized just getting all of my content in and selecting pull quotes.

I got positive feedback about the speech and debate references and paper texture. My critique group agreed the dot visual language and rules did not add anything.

I obviously need to work on data visualizations, but now that I got through finishing the first full draft, now I can focus on flushing out the visual language and making the data visuals.


Iterations after Full Chapter Critique

I began experimenting with the visual language of dots because they resemble data points. I tried digital brush dots, dotted rules, and simple slightly transparent dots. The overlapping of the dots represents the clash and overlap between arguments in debate.

I started implementing more materials and language from the world of high school speech and debate such as ballots, flow pad paper, and handwritten explanations. I started using hand writing as a tertiary typeface because this adds a personal component. Right now I am using handwriting for the debate-specific explanations, like a side-bar note from the author (me).

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I experimented with rotating hand written type on an axis to make it appear more casual and jotted down. I also explored different ways to highlight or underline text. I changed colors from purple/orange to blue/orange because blue/orange are my high school colors and I got a more positive response to these colors in critique.


I pushed myself to make larger gestures with my debate language to emphasis the immersion of the reader as a judge in the world of debate. I also tried some different marginalia designs to emphasis the conflicting sides in debate. I also explored using pull quotes to intersect the body type like arguments in a debate.

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Full Chapter Design

This week we had a chapter/section due. I experimented with mark making and the typeface Domaine from Klim. The feedback I received was that the marks looked like editing markups and that Domaine read as too feminine for my content.

Also, I was self conscious about my use of debate language like “judge, ready” and “audience, ready.” However, I received positive feedback about these pieces of the debate world because they immerse the viewer into the roll of a judge in a speech and debate tournament.

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Simple Spreads

After receiving feedback from my design direction presentation about how gender perceptions had a stronger weight in my current content structure, as well as finally watching “The People vs. OJ Simpson” and discovering the story of Marcia Clarke I decided to shift the focus of my book from perceptions in general to male vs. female perceptions.

Then I was faced with the question:

how am I going to get my reader to the pairing of high school speech and debate data visualizations with stories of women experiencing gender bias based on perceptions?

I wrote the text for my introduction that would answer this question and get my reader to my table of contents with the pairings of the data visualizations and stories of women.

Obviously these spreads are basic since I was focusing on mastering the new content flow. Based on my feedback from Chrissi I am now working on furthering the design of my spreads, both visually and typographically. I am also working on bringing references from Speech and Debate into the subtitles and other areas of my book. This has been in the back of my mind since Thursday and so far I have thought of:

  • Starting the book with “Judge, ready? Audience, ready? Ok, let’s begin.”

  • Contention 1, Contention 2, Contention 3

  • Problem, Cause, Solution

  • Table of Contents = A Brief Off-The-Clock Roadmap

  • Introducing my references after my introduction like they do in interpretation events

  • Suit Up

  • Implement time limit somehow

This list makes me excited, but I question if I have to explain the use of these Speech and Debate insider references. If so I would do it through handwritten marginalia.

One of the my new sources of content for stories about women dealing with perceptions and bias about their gender.

One of the my new sources of content for stories about women dealing with perceptions and bias about their gender.

A selection of gatefold spreads

A selection of gatefold spreads


Gail Bichler @ Typographics 2018 Video Response

I enjoyed the analysis of the change in The New York Times Magazine logo because I had not realized it was changed before. I also enjoyed listening to their desire to have a condensed typeface because I enjoy love typefaces, but oftentimes when I use them in class work I am directed away from them. Finally, I loved seeing the iterations around one of the title spreads— it felt like a familiar process.

I saved spreads from the presentation that reminded me of content design, or layout from my own capstone for reference.

Class Overlap

In my other studio, Printing Propaganda, we began working with data. I used lead type letters and punctuation to attempt to create data with letterpress printing.

Prof. Ken Botnick showed me the the book Dutch Graphic Design. I captured the below images for inspiration for both my capstone and Printing Propaganda studio. Some images I captured for their use of typography because I have been thinking about creating data visualizations out of type. I saved others for their use of repetition of the same icon yet still managed to look visually interested

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Letterpress data experiments

This image reminded me of different suits in Speech & Debate.

This image reminded me of different suits in Speech & Debate.

I saved this image for its use of data across the full spread

I saved this image for its use of data across the full spread


I already had the book Image Factories, so I recognized the work of Fritz Kahn and Otto Neurath.


Data Viz Workshop

I spent fifteen minutes progressing through different stages of a data visualization workshop where I tried to create something that looked like data out of just shape, line, or color. Then I tried to create density. I examined my progress and noticed I had not ever altered the axis. I focused on this and creating more complex data patterns.

Finally I changed materials and experimented with paint.

I thought about what drawings were most visually interesting or seemed to speak to my speech and debate topics.

Another big takeaway from this process was that I should think about my data visualizations like how I was taught to construct a literary textual analysis paragraph in middle/high school (CQE or context, quote, explanation.) If the main takeaway from the data is the quote, then my design should get at the explanation of this main idea, and not just the context or restating the main idea.

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Low Hanging Fruit Data Vizs

After my design direction presentation I got to work whipping out the data visualization ideas that had been floating around in my head while I finalized content.

This included data on the gender on the Humorous Interpretation National Finalists and data on the scores I received when I was competing.

After getting these ideas out of my head and down on paper I was able to move forward with more spreads, visual directions, and data visualizations.

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Presentation II: Design Directions

The purpose of the second presentation was to present two design directions to outside critics.

I expanded my data visualization research to include artists such as Laurie Prick, Ladislav Suntar, Fritz Kahn, WEB Dubois, and Valentina D’Efillipo.

My first takeaway from the presentation feedback was that at the moment 3/4 of my selected perceptions revolved around gender. The fourth one, diversity, seemed to not fit in the current structure.

Additionally, the guest critics were more responsive to the idea of hand drawn data visualizations. They thought the craft created a level of personal touch that mirrored my personal connection to speech and debate.

My takeaways from watching other presentations and listening to their feedback were that I should start iterating more spreads and data visualizations, as well as working in black and white or lorem ipsum to better control the flow of my book at these early stages.

Current topic summary

Current topic summary



Design Direction I Mood Board

Design Direction I Mood Board

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Design Direction II Mood Board

Design Direction II Mood Board

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Mood Boards and Book Form

In my presentation I talked about Giogia Lupi, Stefanie Posavec, and Mona Chalabi as my data visualization inspirations. This past weekend, I wanted to visually look beyond them as a way to further my visual language exploration. I knew what I liked and disliked about each of the three female artists:

  • Chalabi’s use of collage and materials

  • Lupi’s patters

  • Posavec’s simplistic shapes

  • All three’s use of handwriting and bright colors

I know I do not have the same large amount of text content as my classmates. This gives me the freedom to look at accordion, gable, and other fold out book forms that are not as capable with longer books. These forms that extend the page and encourage viewer engagement also support the function of my data visualization book.


Mona Chalabi

Giogia Lupi


Stefanie Posavec

Early mood boards for data visualization visual language and methods

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Organization options based on outline sections


I will be moving forward with a gabled book design for the time being. this could possibly change to an accordion or fold out book, or even posters with a book.

First Two Weeks of School

During the first two days back from break, everyone in our capstone class gave a presentation about the research they had completed to date and their intended next steps. What I took away from my presentation was that I should pair each data visualization with an essay or article about the bigger issue that the image was attempting to address.

The feedback from my presentation also made me realize that the pervasive issues I was already considering all had to do with perceptions. This realization guided me towards my elevator pitch, or essentially a thesis for my project:

This book will use data visualizations of high school speech and debate to draw attention to a range of societal perceptions such as race, gender, or appearance. the pairing of the data visualizations with essays about These systematic issues will demonstrate how these perceptions are as pervasive on a micro high school level as they are on a macro day-to-day level.

Besides the elevator pitch/thesis statement, I wrote a first draft of a creative brief and content outline. I will use this outline to progress through the next stages of written and visual content.

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TRANSCRIBED Notes from the presentation

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A few slides from my presentation on the first day back from Winter Break

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Content outline and creative brief first drafts

Winter Break

Over winter break I began research and data scraping. I was struggling with how to not make a yay-high-school-Speech-and-Debate. I used the National Speech and Debate Association website (NSDA) for videos of the nationals finals and semifinal rounds. This will be my main source of data. I discovered many other resources on the NSDA site such as a full list of famous alumni, quotes, letters, and other content.

I set up my research organization and other notes. I tried to stay in my sketchbook as much as possible because I often struggle to return to my sketchbook once I get digital.

I used Observe, Collect, Draw by Giogia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec like a textbook to study their methods of data visualization creation.

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