Bård Edlund animates for clients worldwide
Hi! I can help you connect with an audience in interesting and entertaining ways through animated videos, data visualizations, and various kinds of design. The companies and organizations listed above are some of the clients for whom I have designed, directed and animated.
With six years of experience as Art Director of CNNMoney, and more than 15 years spent in and around digitally focused newsrooms, I'm a natural fit for all sorts of editorial projects — but I love working on everything from apps and websites to kiosk displays, music videos, films, posters, advertising, and anything else that can benefit from a clever, creative touch. 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.
Since taking EDLUNDART full-time in 2012 I have been fortunate to work with interesting clients, large and small, on a great variety of assignments. My projects have been written up on the sites of BuzzFeed, Fast Company, Entertainment Weekly, The Atlantic, Digg, Flowing Data, Salon, The Wall Street Journal, Jezebel, Gawker, GOOD Magazine, The Awl, The Hollywood Reporter, Cinema Blend, Launch, Swissmiss, and Kottke.org, among many others. Additionally, my pieces have been exhibited at the legendary Droog Gallery in Amsterdam, the Time Warner Center in New York, and the hilariously named Museum of Human Achievement in Austin, Texas. I was a Loeb Award finalist in 2014.
My latest projects include data animation for Vox, narrative animations for NBC News and Doctors Without Borders, UI/UX design for Business Insider, and infographics/poster design for the Australian health care system — a project I art directed for Flink Labs, a brilliant data visualization studio in Melbourne with whom I occasionally collaborate. I remain available for freelance work around the globe, from my base in New York City. If you have a project you want to discuss with me, email firstname.lastname@example.org or check in on Twitter. I'm @edlundart.
I was born and raised in Oslo, the capital 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. 12 years later I quit my job as Art Director, and started making strange and wonderful things for clients and for myself.
Below are some highlights from the last few years:
For Vox.com and Veterans Coming Home, a cross-platform public media initiative made possible by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, I animated a video about the growing military-civilian divide. It passed 2 million views on Facebook, with around 50,000 shares. For Doctors Without Borders, I contributed animated scenes for a video explaining an open collaborative approach to conducting TB drug development. I've also designed several images for their various campaigns, some of which have been used on social media, while others have been printed on trucks and pedicabs (!) or used as posters. Another favorite project is a series of explainer videos for NBC News — each based on a phone interview with an expert — about different aspects of the 2016 Presidential race.
As a bit of an irreverent side-project, I attempted to make something aesthetically worthwhile out of the universally reviled typeface Comic Sans. I set out on a series of experiments, working with the font as a raw material without worrying about the constraints of typographic conventions. Along the way I documented my steps, and Fast Company asked me to publish the project as an expert post on their Co.Design blog.
An animated visualization I did for CNNMoney shows the evolution of new single-family homes in America over the last 40 years. The piece was featured on Digg, FlowingData, Kottke.org, FastCo.Design, Yahoo! Homes, Curbed, as well as on Architect, Good Housekeeping, and many other sites.
Ahead of the 2015 Oscars ceremony, one of the big stories was the lack of diversity among the nominees. For a self-released animated infographic, I looked at the nominations for Black, Hispanic and Asian people throughout the history of the Academy Awards, and animated marbles coming together to form an Oscar statuette to represent the racial disparity of winners in the top categories. The resulting video was featured on BuzzFeed and Salon, as well as DesignTAXI, Kottke.org and both Co.Design and Co.Create at Fast Company. A 2016 update received a new round of press and was acquired by Free Speech TV (home of "Democracy Now!") and shown as an interstitial in the days leading up to the ceremony.
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 7,000 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.
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.
One of the quirkiest finance-related design projects you'll ever see is Market Music, where S&P 500 data is turned into a reggae song synced to animated 3D visuals. Like several of my data visualization pieces, it was named Infographic of the Day over at Co.Design. Even more exciting was its inclusion in a February 2014 show called Dataism 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.
A predecessor to Market Music was The Dow Piano, a lighthearted audiovisual presentation of the stock market that translated ups and downs into musical notes. It was featured on Popular Science, Swissmiss, Co.Design (which 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.
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. 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.
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 IFC, NBC, MTV, Bravo, Comedy Central, Netflix, Hulu, We, SPEED, Fuel TV, TLC, Fox Sports, CMTV, MSNBC, OWN, Logo and Telemundo. If you're a producer or music supervisor, many of my songs are currently available on Jingle Punks under the name 'edlundart'. I'm available for custom compositions for apps/games, films, TV, etc.
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: