As with my various other statistical projects, like the Paleontology of Chris Wildrick Is Overrated and Suitcase Set-Up series, this series is basically an enormous analysis of a given set of data. In this case, instead of instigating the data set my, I relied entirely on the information given in one book, The Complete Book of U.S. Presidents, 5th edition, by William A. DeGregorio (Gramercy Books, New York, 2002).
The book is just a huge collection of unrelated facts; I searched out the informational themes that weave throughout its 800-odd pages and collated them together into vignettes from the great narrative that is American presidential history. Together, they create a portrait of the presidency through trivia.
My series has two parts: tables and charts. The tables are mostly black and white sets of pure data in numerical form, and are made for anyone who really likes reams of pure information; they were in turn used as the basis for the charts, which are a collection of the most vivid, exciting-looking presidential statistics anyone has ever seen–an eye-popping blaze of color, geometry, and numbers! All in all, the series is a conflation of fun facts with fun colors. When I made these, it was really the first time I got into making charts, so in retrospect the charts are a little amateurish, but I also thought of them as sort of a chart version of abstract painting, in terms of how the shape and colors interact to form a whole. The tables are also interesting in hindsight, after the continuing progress of a data society; at the time they were made, this information still took work to put together, but now all the information in these tables are probably available in a wiki somewhere.
This series is from 2006, and has not been updated, so it only includes information up through the middle of George W. Bush’s second term.
There are approximately 100 tables and 40 charts; a representative selection from both sets can be seen below.