Jer Thorp & Processing

If I had to pick a designer who has impacted me the most in the past year, it would be Jer Thorp. Does my work reflect this impact? No, not really. This is due to the fact that I have just gotten my feet wet with Processing, the program Thorp uses to create his mind-blowing work.

Processing is a Java IDE (development platform) for artists and designers. It was developed at the MIT media labs in 2001 as a way to teach object oriented programming in a visual fashion. Since then, it has evolved into a tool used by artists and designers to create anything from digital sculptures to psychedelic wave-forms to–the part that interests me the most–visual trend forms.

Thorp uses Processing to show trends in social networks such as Twitter and Facebook, as well as in socio-political issues and the economy. The graphs he creates track exceedingly large amounts of data in simple, concise, and easy-to-follow visual solutions. They are dynamic, use color very well, yet simple, as they stick to their concept and never veer. The best part about these graphs is that they are organic, since they are fed by the ever-changing data of the internet.

-rgm

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