This visualization represents the 140 MPhil and PhD research students at the Royal College of Art, and their relationships to funding agencies and institutional partners. Research RCA commissioned the visualization as a large-format poster for its 2009 exhibition, as well as a condensed version for the exhibition catalogue.
The typographically-driven approach resulted in a functional piece (i.e. with little need for a legend) in a visual language well suited to a university of art and design. The design process exploited the diversity of forms within Lineto's Akkurat and Hoefler & Frere-Jones' Didot typefaces to differentiate between the kinds of information chosen to represent each student: School - Department - Degree_Type (Time) - Name (Nationality). The fonts work in partnership with differences in the text content itself resulting in clusters and patterns that bind like with like. Students' nationalities were further represented as relative distances (see lines before student name) between their home country's capital city and London.
The 140 students were differentiated from 52 funding agencies and institutional partners by typesetting the latter in Didot caps and reversing the direction of the text. The connection lines running from these to the students show striking concentration from a few notable sources including the Arts and Humanities Research Council, RCA itself (which funds many of its students), and partnerships with the Victoria and Albert Museum.