7 Numbers in 7 Days

7 Numbers in 7 Days

For the next 7 days you will create one poster a day.

Each day, find a single number from a different subject area that interests you. For each, create a visual representation of that number using one of the seven retinal variables defined by Jacques Bertin (Position, size, shape, value, hue, orientation, texture) to encode its value—use a different retinal variable on each poster.

The poster must include a visual representation of the number and a reference to the data source. You can add additional text or formal elements (e.g., lines, shapes, gradients) if necessary, but refrain from using photography. The poster should be visually pleasing and should communicate well. Composition, form, typography, and color should fit with the subject matter. Each day, upload your design to the website. On Tuesday, bring your 7 posters to class and pin them up.

Be ready to answer why you chose the number and subject area. For each graphic decision, think about why you are doing it? Is it the best way to display the number?

This is an iterative warm-up exercise that you will also use to find subject areas you are interested in for your final project. Consider a broad range of topics but move quickly and step lightly—there will be plenty of time for overthinking things later on!


Interactive Type


Format: 11 × 17" (landscape or portrait orientation).
Data: One number (and as many other values as are necessary to contextualize it) per poster plus a URL identifying your source.
Due: Online each day between 23 and 29 January. Printed on 29 January.

First steps

Log into your account on the course website and create a new post. Give it a title along the lines of “7 Numbers” (it won't be displayed publicly—think of it more as a  filename). Type the word Wednesdayinto the main body text of the post.

Next, click on the gear icon in the upper righthand corner of the screen and find the text field labeled  tags. Start typing the text seven numbers into the field then select the "Seven Numbers" item from the autocomplete menu—this allows for everyone's work to be seen on a single page.

Now close the sidebar and click the publish link just to the left of the gear icon. This will change the link's text to update and you can click it again to save your changes when you come back and add images of your posters every day this coming week. For now, try uploading a random image as a placeholder below where you typed “Wednesday” before. Once you've created your first poster you can swap it in for the placeholder image.

For each day, add a bit more content to your post with the following elements:

  1. The name of the day of the week
  2. A jpeg or png of your poster design (ideally try to scale it to 1,000–2,000 pixels wide in its longest dimension)
  3. A line of text describing the data source where you found your number and a hyperlink pointing to its URL.
Consult the Ghost Editor Overview for an explanation of how to include images, format your text, and include links.
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