20:00:18 10-05-81

Artist poster project
Production: Graphic Design Festival Breda
Breda, The Netherlands, May 2010.

The poster I designed for GDFB (Graphic Design Festival Breda) revolves around the theme of "Decoding" for its 2010 edition. In the creation of this poster, I drew inspiration from a significant moment in my own life that sparked my fascination with data visualization.

Titled "20:00:18 10-05-81," the central portrait featured in the poster holds great significance. This image holds the distinction of being the first data visualization I ever encountered. It was originally generated and broadcasted live on French national television on the evening of March 10, 1981, precisely at 8 p.m. This televised moment marked the announcement of the winning candidate in the presidential elections.

What captivated me about this portrait was the subtle yet intriguing occurrence that followed its display. Approximately 18 seconds after François Mitterrand's image appeared on millions of television screens, a brief distortion transpired. It was a fleeting visual anomaly that went largely unnoticed. Driven by curiosity, I delved into further investigation, eventually uncovering the original footage that contained this peculiar "bug."

Upon examining the freeze frame of this intriguing distortion, I discovered that it presented an unexpected challenge in deciphering the depiction of the candidates. It became apparent that it was not immediately evident which of the two candidates was portrayed in the image. This revelation prompted deep contemplation on the critical role of the decoding and translation process, transforming raw data (such as vote counts) into comprehensible forms, such as pictures or symbols.

Inspired by this journey of data interpretation, I crafted the poster specifically for the GDFB project. It serves as a visual representation of the significance and complexity inherent in the process of decoding information. By highlighting the interplay between raw data and its transformation into meaningful visuals, the poster invites viewers to reflect on the importance of effective communication and interpretation.

Through the creation of this poster, I aim to spark dialogue and contemplation about the intricate process of decoding, illuminating the pivotal role it plays in conveying information to the masses. It is a testament to the power of design to translate complex data into accessible and visually compelling forms that resonate with a wide audience.