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Mapping the VEP

The challenge

To turn 60 pages of appendices in a book manuscript into a compelling companion website — all on a budget

auut studio collaborated with Dr. Evan Faulkenbury at SUNY-Cortland to visualize years of his archival research: every grant the Voter Education Project ever made during the 1960s. His “Mapping the VEP” project makes this research accessible at the fingertips of any reader — and hopefully now can be an insightful lesson in more US classrooms.

In layman’s terms? The VEP is what shifted the primary focus of the Southern Freedom Movement from ending segregation to gaining the right to vote. These were hundreds of grassroots registration drives that ran across the South.

With our studio’s help, Dr. Faulkenbury has charted a map of the war against Jim Crow. That institution, spanning some 80 years, was struck dead in less than 6 years, once a Black-led campaign got the funding it needed.

Design strategy

To keep down the overall cost, we focused on building a single webpage for the interactive map. This was added into Dr. Faulkenbury's WordPress site.

Services

Our studio took this project full-cycle, from doctoral appendices in MS Word to a final website written with Mapbox.js and Chart.js:

  • conversion of tables into machine-readable format
  • design of an original “1960s themed” basemap
  • concept sketches for charts and graphs
  • web development

Result

Our studio couldn’t pass up the opportunity for some flair: we thought the basemap should pay homage to the aesthetics of the ’60s.  Typewriters, note cards, fabulously sallow greens.

screen image of a map of the American South

View the project»

Feedback

“I had a vague idea of what I wanted in a digital map as part of my book project, but auut studio turned it into a reality. The studio took my data and creatively wove it into a dynamic & functional map that really pops, making it a vital tool for understanding the civil rights movement for students, researchers, and the general public...”
— Evan Faulkenbury, PhD