At The Pudding we explain ideas debated in culture with visual essays. Our goal is to advance public discourse and avoid media echo chambers. We’re not chasing current events or clickbait. We choose topics where visuals both entertain and inform. This means that we invest in research, ignore news cycle noise and experiment a lot.
We’re six full-time journalist-engineers who operate as a collective rather than hierarchical team. Each team member can do every step: research and reporting, data analysis, design, writing, and code.
We’re trying to advance the craft of visual journalism. We don’t have an established pattern language found in traditional reporting. Sometimes we’ll attempt an unfamiliar visual approach—not because it’s guaranteed to work, but because we won’t know until we try. Rarely do organizations have the liberty take such risks, yet we’re small enough to experiment in the pursuit of quality.
All the stories on our site are bespoke experiences, but we design all of them to delight and engage our readers. Here are some specific examples from the links we have submitted:
– In the investigation into women’s pocket sizes we hand measured 80 pairs of jeans to prove something all women anecdotally know to be true. We take the reader through our top line findings step-by-step using scrollytelling, and then allow the reader explore all the data for themselves. Only 10% of the women’s jean pockets we measured can even fit an average woman’s hand! (Information is Beautiful winner: https://www.informationisbeautifulawards.com/showcase/3250)
– In our piece looking at the world population in 3D, we use geolocation to drop the reader into their own city. The 3D bars give the population figures an almost tangible quality. You can also compare the 2015 population numbers to 1990 and 1975 and see the change between 1990-2015.
– In our piece that looks at the world through the eyes of the United States, we chose to use a flag grid to emphasize the span of global conflicts like WWI and WWII and the Vietnam and Iraq wars. It captures a brief history of the last 100+ years through the New York Times archive,
– For our piece on colorism in high fashion, we again use scrollytelling to take the reader through how we programmatically classified model skin tones and Vogue magazine’s progression over the last 19 years. This piece is emblematic of what we try to do at the Pudding — to challenge people with data, to demystify data, and to do good with data. (Shared by the Guardian, we gained 3,000+ new Instagram followers from this piece.)