Daily Good: 2016

Information design, Graphic illustration


Daily Good is a personal documentary project, outlining one good thing that happened in every day of 2016. At the end of each day, no matter how I felt, I wrote down one positive thing about the day's events and put it away. This is a curated investigation of 365 good things in the last year of my life.

Inspired by projects like Feltron's Annual Report and Dear Data, I wanted to create a visual exploration of notes recorded in the course of a year. The notes ranged from the deeply personal to absolutely mundane, but each had an impact on my trajectory and understanding of 2016.

The vague and unscientific nature of the project content provided an opportunity to be less rigid about how the "data" is presented; focussing less on immediate legibility and hard numbers and more on abstract relationships and visual explorations.

The project began as a way of challenging the traditional New Year's Resolutions, by seeking to enhance existing positives rather than striving for change or self-improvement. I had come out of 2015 feeling content, accomplished, and sought a way of prolonging those effects.

Ironically, 2016 revealed itself to be an unexpectedly tumultous and challenging year not only in the global perspective but for me personally. In a way this project became a perfect activity for the year.

Identifying the positive element of the day became an ingrained ritual in my inner monologue, causing a real tension with some of the difficulties I was confronted with in my personal life. Some notes contained profound lessons that had been learned or sage bits of advice for a future self; other notes simply stated "this happened."

Some days the good thing was so obvious that it was almost boring; rather than seeking moments of spectacular happiness, I began to derive a pleasure in valuing the subtler beauties that are hidden in the mundane. On the hardest days I would often think about things I was grateful for, which became a positive moment in itself.