OU By The Numbers is a motion graphic piece created for The Oakland Post, Oakland University's independent student newspaper in Rochester, Michigan. The premise behind the project was to discover what campus looked like during the busiest hour of the day, noon to 1 p.m. on a Monday. The data was collected by twenty staff members of the newspaper after observing various locations during the hour. The graphics were created in Photoshop and Illustrator and then animated in After Effects.

One of the main objectives behind OU By The Numbers was to take basic information, such as data in this case, and present it in an entertaining and informative way. Numbers can be dull even if the content behind them is interesting, so the main goal was to package the information in a way that would appeal to different demographics on campus including students, teachers and faculty. Most people at Oakland would agree that between noon and 1 p.m. is the busiest time of day, so for months I had been planning to find out exactly how busy. I wanted to present information to the school that had not been calculated before and in a way that hadn't been seen before.

Another goal of OU By The Numbers was to use it as a marketing piece for the newspaper. The animation was promoted online and in print and generated significant traffic in the first few days. It was an opportunity to market The Oakland Post in a way that would be appealing to anybody regardless of their personal interests.

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Benjamin Wiederkehr

Research findings in data visualization captured, streamed, animated… beautified!

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