The Dawesome Digest #15 — news and happenings from designer Brendan Dawes
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The Dawesome Digest — Issue No. 15

It's been a while since the last issue. I am officially rubbish at keeping the Dawesome Digest to anything remotely resembling a consistent schedule. Anyway, here's some of the things I've been up to since issue fourteen. 

The Art of Transactions

Created for payment company Adyen, The Art of Transactions turns anonymised payment transaction data into strange flower-like structures as they seemingly float into the payment network. As I developed this piece I was reminded more and more or early Japanese prints so I decided to play on that a little more and add vertical type denoting the market sector that transaction was from. This piece — created for a one day conference for Adyen's clients — was made in openFrameworks, one of my most used tools for creating things alongside Processing.  
View the final video here

Now Boarding

Something I've been working on for over a year, Now Boarding makes real imagined passenger tickets of iconic movie characters. In many ways it's a follow up to my Cinema Redux series, and like that series is available exclusively through the Richard Goodall Gallery online and in store in Manchester.

I realised after completing the first set of six this is the first commercial work I've made without any code being involved. It was nice for a change to sit down and just go through the rigour of graphic design, trying to get every detail right. I was really pleased when one of the first sales of the whole collection was to a retiring airline pilot.

View the entire Now Boarding collection 

Plastic Player

Another personal project, this time something I've had jotted down in many sketch books over the years. Plastic Player is my small attempt at combining what I love about digital music with the tactility of analog music such as leafing through a set of vinyl records. What many seemed to love about this project was the use of 35mm slides to represent the albums. I'd had a box of slide mounts in a drawer for many years thinking that one day they might come in handy for something, so as I was putting this together they seemed a natural, simple vehicle for representing an album or a playlist.

See a video of Plastic Player in action

Chaos and Order

Just before the end of the year I completed my first project for new client Jigsaw — the luxury clothing brand. Their new Spring / Summer collection is centred around the idea of mathematics and especially the relationship between chaos and order.

For their press day they asked me to create a little something that would help communicate that theme.  I came up with a little physical controller that journalists and other visitors could use to change a display from chaos to order and everything in between. More chaos resulted in a more frantic — though still pleasing — patterns being generated. More order transformed the pattern into a grid like structure. You can see in the bottom right what it looks like with exactly 50% chaos and 50% order.

This piece was created in Processing and used a little device called X-OSC to transfer the control values to the Mac running the display. This project isn't yet on my site but just wanted to share it here for readers of the Dawesome Digest!

Big Data VR Explorations

Created for Masters of Pie as part for their ongoing project for the Wellcome Trust, I was asked to explore how data might be interacted with and represented in a VR context. The result was a series of fifteen thoughts and experiments along that theme.

View the ideas

AxiDraw Plotter Fun

New tools mean new possibilities. Since buying my 3D printer several years ago it's gone on to be used in many projects both personal and commercial and inspired lots of thoughts about what can be done creatively with such a machine. I've now got a another new machine in the studio, an AxiDraw made by Evil Mad Scientists. Plotters are of course nothing new but this one can be driven very easily from things like Processing or simply via Inkscape. 

I'm still playing around with what it can do and how best to use it. One thing I did recently was take my brother-in-law's GPS data of one of his journeys to France and create a typographic expression of all his speeds, with large type representing larger speeds. What i love about this being done on a plotter rather than a regular printer is the ink becomes part of the visualisation — the average speeds really build up the layers and make the card heavy with ink, something that isn't the same on a normal print. The medium becomes a key part of the visualisation rather than just being a conduit. My little tip if you have such a thing is Muji 0.38 gel pens work great.

Take a look at the competed data visualisation plot


In February I'll be dusting down my remotes and doing three talks, two in London, one in New York.

February 2nd — 3rd Awwwards London

February 6th — 8th Interaction 17 New York

February 17th Reasons:London 


Right now I'm working on two main projects, one for the foyer of a new building in Manchester called Neo, creating a generative artwork for a 30 screen display. You can read the press release from Bruntwood here.

I'm also working on my first 360 degree video piece to be used in London at the end of February. Can't say too much right now but lets just say I now know more about oil tanker shipping routes than I did last year.

Thanks for taking the time to read this issue and letting me clog-up your inbox again. Happy making.
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