Bård Edlund animates for clients worldwide
I'm either an art director, a graphic designer, an animator, an illustrator, an artist, or a data visualization designer, depending on who and when you ask. There are probably even a few souls out there who think of me as a musician, or even a writer. None of these people are wrong, and I'm a firm believer in the strangely controversial idea that most creative fields are interrelated in a way that makes, or at least can make, this diversification an asset.
My latest projects include animations for The Verge and Fortune Magazine, infographics and print design for The National Assembly of State Arts Agencies, a music video for London-based electronica act Wave Tourists, and a data visualization piece for CNNMoney, which was also exhibited at the Droog Gallery in Amsterdam. Another recent visualization was nominated for a Loeb Award, the most prestigious honor in business journalism.
I'm currently art directing selected projects with Flink Labs, a brilliant data visualization studio in Melbourne, Australia. I remain available for freelance work around the globe, from my base in New York City.
I was born and raised in Oslo, the capitol of Norway, where I began my career as a writer for IDG's Computerworld and Multimediaworld magazines. I left Scandinavia upon acceptance to The Maryland Institute, College of Art — one of the highest-ranked art schools in the U.S., from which I graduated with honors, a very strange haircut, a semi-famous personal website, and a BFA in illustration. I did artwork for publications ranging from Texas Monthly to YM Magazine, before moving to New York in 2000 for a job as a designer with CNN.
I worked at CNNMoney, their financial news website, for 12 years — the last six as Art Director. Some of my responsibilities included visual direction, layout, data visualization, motion design, UI, mobile apps, workflow, strategy, mentorship, news graphics, and tea drinking. Leading and growing a team was rewarding, but in 2012, I quit to make strange and wonderful things for clients and for myself.
One of the first things I completed after going solo was an animated short film called Franklin the Ladies' Cat, successfully funded on Kickstarter. It's now an ongoing YouTube series which was featured on Cartoon Brew. The second installment was a finalist in the online category of the 2013 Holland Animation Film Festival.
Another project that got a fair bit of attention was Stanley Cup Summed Up, a unique ambient animated data visualization covered by CBS Sports, CBC, Gizmodo, BuzzFeed, FlowingData, Yahoo!, Fast Company’s Co.Design, and many other sites. Deadspin named it one of The 10 Best Sports Infographics Of 2012.
A few years ago, I created The Dow Piano, a light-hearted audiovisual presentation of the stock market that translated ups and downs into musical notes. It was featured on Popular Science, Swissmiss, Co.Design (who subsequently named it one of the best infographics of 2011), FlowingData and other visualization sites, and inspired the programmers of EA Sports' Fight Night Champion boxing game to make a similar system tracking their code revisions. Possibly related: NPR's Planet Money later produced a show where home prices were translated into brief operas.
More recently, I updated this idea with Market Music, where S&P 500 data is turned into a reggae song synced to animated 3D visuals. Like several of my data visualization projects, it was named Infographic of the Day over at Co.Design. Even more exciting was its inclusion in the February 2014 Dataism show at the Droog Gallery in Amsterdam. The piece is also being used as an example of creativity and innovation in data visualization in the extensive Lynda.com visualization course by Bill Shander.
I also conceived and designed an animated visualization called Sixty Seconds of Salary, which was published by my former employer CNNMoney and shown on CNN. It was shared over 6,600 times on Facebook and generated well over 2,000 tweets. The piece shows salaries accumulating second by second, dramatically comparing the incomes of Kobe Bryant, ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson, a teacher, and a minimum wage earner, among others. The narrated animation was written up on several sites, including Popular Science, digg and Co.Design, and was selected to be part of an exclusive Time Warner exhibition in New York organized in association with Future of Storytelling — after which it was also linked on Swissmiss. At the end of 2013, The Wire (The Atlantic's news service) named the piece one of the best visualizations of the year. In the spring of 2014, it was nominated for a Loeb Award.
In addition to the media outlets already mentioned, my design work has been featured on the sites of Entertainment Weekly, The Atlantic, The Wall Street Journal, Jezebel, Gawker, GOOD Magazine, Infosthetics, The Awl, The Hollywood Reporter, Cinema Blend, Launch, Kottke.org, Andrew Sullivan's The Dish, as well as Coudal Partners' Fresh Signals. My 2008 animated short film "Gone" is being used in classes at Santa Fe University of Art and Design as well as The University of Wales. You can imagine the size of my head.
While I'm first and foremost a visual artist, I'm also deeply interested in music, and regularly write and record songs — a few of which have been used in popular shows on NBC, MTV, Bravo, Comedy Central, We, SPEED, Fuel TV, TLC, Fox Sports, CMTV, MSNBC, Logo and Telemundo.
This website has been online in one form or another since 1995. During all this time, I have not improved at all as a dancer, and my cooking skills remain embarrassing. If you read this far, you should follow me on Twitter. I ramble even more there. And brag less.
I'm available for freelance work: