When I sat down to create a decade in review for our blog, my original intentions were to list some things we had all forgotten about and arrange them in a way that “looked nice.” The idea drifted around in my head for a week, slowly evolving to segment the information by year, color-coding, and eventually laying the phrases, quotes, and words out into the shapes of the years they came from. What follows is the child of that idea, a complicated arrangement of glyphs and characters.

The words contained in the shapes of each year are arranged (mostly) by chronological order, though some are moved to where they reached a fever-pitch and not where they were started or founded (Facebook, for example). A few years have a special section that encompasses a specific event or series of events. I’ve attempted to arrange those chronologically as well. The size of the word is loosely connected to its relative importance, similar to a tag cloud (which, as a term, did not make the cut). This is all subjective, of course, so you may agree or disagree with my choices. The ultimate intention of this piece was to present stories, people, movies, music and news in a way that let you reflect; parts of the image are purposefully abstract in the hopes that you will use the Internet to do searches or ask friends, family or colleagues to find their meaning.

Lastly, I would have you keep in mind that this is presented from an American perspective. The idea of this visual zeitgeist was to capture the mood and atmosphere of any given point in the last decade from the sort of subjects we discussed over the water-cooler at the office. Topics range from international news, crime, social tragedy, environmental issues, technology, song lyrics, and internet memes. I sincerely hope you enjoy and share this with friends.

Decade in Review

I think the best part of working on this piece was the sheer amount of information I had completely forgotten about. Who would have thought I might reminisce about something from “the good ol’ days” of 2003? I’m hoping that everyone who sees this has a similar reaction. It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. It was the 2000’s.

Can you name each of the references that were not directly named? Do you believe something was left out or overlooked? Were we unfair or biased? We would love to hear your thoughts and suggestions!

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