Fathom Information Design helps clients understand and express complex data through information graphics, interactive tools, and software for installations, the web, and mobile devices.

Partial list of clients

  • Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
  • Chelsea Football Club
  • Consumer Reports
  • Fidelity
  • General Electric
  • Google
  • Harvard (The Sabeti Lab)
  • Health & Human Services
  • Knight Foundation
  • Nike
  • Popular Science
  • Progressive
  • Samsung
  • Thomson Reuters
  • Volkswagen
  • World Bank Group

  • Analysis & Design

    We work with clients to help them analyze and understand their data, producing everything from simple, understandable information graphics for a broad audience to interactive software tools for use by experts in a particular field. We begin with raw data, parsing and evaluating it in-house, and produce work that’s specifically tuned for how it will be used and shared. Data is our most important material: information drives every aspect of our design process.

  • Marketing & Communications

    Data is only useful when the insights it contains can be shared with and understood by others. Our task is to tell clear and nuanced stories that make use of complex data. Focusing on a strong narrative thread can help make data more human and relatable. Audience and purpose are paramount: the design process is always centered around who the project is for and how they’ll interact with it.

  • Prototypes & Products

    With a close-knit team made up of designers and developers (and some who are a little of each), we can quickly assemble mobile and web apps, interactive installations, and other types of software from the ground up. We’ve built everything from standalone internal prototypes that make better use of companies’ data assets, to apps with their own custom servers & content management systems that are designed to scale for use by millions of people. Having design and development in the same room makes for a seamless end result.

Recent Talks

Talk, O’Reilly Strata Conference

featured, Speaking, February 2014

Talk, Eyeo 2013

featured, Speaking, June 2013

Talk, Visualized Conference

featured, Speaking, November 2012

Press

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Our Team

We all come from different backgrounds—from scientists and artists to janitors and bank robbers. We love working together and it shows. Check out our bios and read some of the blog posts we’ve written.
Better yet, drop us a line and find out in person: inquire@fathom.info

Ben Fry

Ben Fry received his doctoral degree from the Aesthetics + Computation Group at the MIT Media Laboratory, where his research focused on combining fields such as computer science, statistics, graphic design, and data visualization as a means for understanding information. After completing his dissertation in 2004, he spent time developing tools for visualization of genetic data as a postdoc with Eric Lander at the Eli & Edythe L. Broad Institute of MIT & Harvard. During the 2006-2007 school year, Ben was the Nierenberg Chair of Design for the Carnegie Mellon School of Design.

He is the author of Visualizing Data (O’Reilly, 2007) and the co-author, with Casey Reas, of Processing: A Programming Handbook for Visual Designers and Artists (MIT Press, 2007) and Getting Started with Processing (O’Reilly, 2010), which describe the project they co-founded in 2001. Ben’s work was part of the Whitney Biennial in 2002 and the Cooper-Hewitt Design Triennial in 2003 and 2006. Other pieces have appeared in the Museum of Modern Art and the International Center of Photography in New York, at Ars Electronica in Linz, Austria, and in the films Minority Report and The Hulk. His information graphics have also illustrated articles for the New York Times,New York Magazine, and the journal Nature. Ben was selected as one of Fast Company’s 50 Most Influential Designers in America (2011) and as one of Slate’s Top Right (2011). He has lectured on data, design, and programming on five continents.

In 2011, Ben won the National Design Award for Interaction Design. At a White House luncheon for the honorees, he had the opportunity to meet Michelle Obama, whom he found to be very gracious but quite imposing in heels.

Teri Schindler

Teri Schindler has spent her career working in media, producing documentaries, short form content, and global events, like the Olympics, for NBC, CBS, ABC/ESPN, and HBO, earning several Emmy and Gracie Awards for her work. As vice president of programming and marketing for NBA Entertainment, she developed brand strategies, partnerships, and programming concepts for the NBA. She has advised numerous Fortune 500 companies on emerging technologies and content/platform strategies. As a freelance writer, Teri has been published in Elle Magazine and the Boston Globe, among others. She has been a featured speaker at Harvard Business School’s Dynamic Women in Business conference. Teri graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Notre Dame.

Mark Schifferli

Mark Schifferli likes to make life easier through computing. His programming career started at Target Analysis Group, where he processed and analyzed nonprofit revenue data. After seeing his first data visualization application, he was hooked on teasing meaningful stories from large and complicated data sets. This led him to join EnerNOC, an energy management company, where he developed applications for critical real time decision making during electrical grid emergencies.

Prior to programming, Mark contributed to various ensembles in San Francisco’s experimental music scene as a guitarist and recording engineer. Mark graduated Phi Beta Kappa from Indiana University, Bloomington, with a BA in philosophy and minors in math and French.

Andrés Colubri

Andrés Colubri is interested in the interface between computing, science, and art. He studied mathematics in his native Argentina, carried out research in computational biology at the University of Chicago, and later obtained an MFA from the Design|Media Arts program at the University of California, Los Angeles. Andrés currently works with visualization of biological and epidemiological data. He is also involved in the development of the Processing language and environment.

Terrence Fradet

Terrence Fradet grew up in western Massachusetts, attending private schools rooted in the arts. He studied graphic design at Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, GA; however, he was more likely found developing his craftsmanship in the fine arts and industrial design buildings. As a result of taking research-driven design classes he discovered the importance of visualizing data. Terrence enjoys making information accessible as a byproduct of his visual process to learning. After replanting his life in Boston to join Fathom, he is relieved to begin skiing, mountain biking, and rock climbing again.

James Grady

James Grady is a proud native of “Little Rhody” but has lived in Boston for over thirteen years. After spending eleven years at a strategic branding and design firm as a designer, senior designer, and associate, James decided to take a big risk and return to school. He earned his MFA in Graphic Design from the Rhode Island School of Design in 2012. During that time he discovered Fathom and became their oldest intern to date. James continued to work with Fathom while completing his thesis and joined the studio full-time shortly after graduation. Prior to RISD, he received a BFA in Digital Media from the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth.

At Fathom, James takes pride in designing innovative experiences and systems. His work includes interactive and static visualizations as well as animation and video editing; he also supports the front-end engineering of various projects.

James enjoys boasting about his daily NikeFuel points after he walks two blocks for lunch. When he’s not at work, he’s happiest spending time with his wife Christina and their daughters Joy and Flora.

Alex Geller

A Minnesota girl at heart, Alex Geller first headed east to study geography and English at Middlebury College. Though versed in more traditional forms of storytelling, Alex became fascinated by the visual narratives she found in her cartography classes. She’s been combing through spatial data and mapmaking ever since. Her love of writing, audio editing, and mapping has taken her from The Jerusalem Post to Backpacker Magazine, WNYC New York Public Radio, and now to her desk at Fathom. Outside the office, you can help her find her way out of the nearest hiking, biking, and paddle trails because, regardless of her cartographic inclinations, she is most likely lost.

Varounny Chanthasiri

Varounny is a native of Boston, but considers herself a true New Yorker since she survived living there for eight years. She graduated from New York University with a degree in Media Studies, but somehow found her way into the New York fashion industry.  She spent five years at The Museum at FIT, working alongside amazing writers and curators while perfecting her individual style. After returning to Boston, she spent nearly two years working at the MIT Media Lab, continuing her tenure as a higher education professional until she finally made her way to Fathom.

Varounny is the ultimate utilitarian, and likes to break down concepts for the sake of coherence. She gets her teammates moving and translates technical jargon to the masses while maintaining order among a group of programmers and designers.  Varounny is an avid writer who dabbles mostly in short stories, screenwriting, and the occasional poem.

Olivia Glennon

Olivia Glennon started programming at the age of ten in attempt to beautify her Neopets page. She earned a B.F.A from the Cooper Union for the Advancement of Science and Art in New York City. There she took a variety of courses in both the art and engineering schools, exploring ways to connect her design background with her passion for programming. Before coming to Fathom, Olivia spent a year at The Wall Street Journal designing and building client-facing and internal products.

Olivia enjoys talking about all people and things having to do with her hometown of Newton, MA (ex: Matt LeBlanc and the Fig Newton). Outside of the office, you will find her wearing a sweater, drinking Earl Grey tea, and thinking about what to cook next.

Brian James

Brian enjoys making and breaking pieces of design, code and language. Prior to his involvement in visual design and development, he received degrees in philosophy and second-language acquisition. He began his career as a teacher and instructional designer specializing in computer-based learning tools, but while the work was rewarding, he ultimately desired to explore design outside of a strictly pedagogical context. He moved to New England to study at the Rhode Island School of Design, receiving an MFA in Graphic Design while blending his interests in visual making and programming. He is excited to work at Fathom, where he can continue to explore how programmable media reshapes both its viewers and its makers.

In his free time, Brian wanders the Boston–Cambridge area looking for coffee houses where he can work through his ever-growing reading queue. He also enjoys a wide variety of music, and sometimes makes his own electronic attempts, which explore the limits of listenability and his friends’ patience.