Here's where we post periodic updates on what we've been up to at Fathom. Reflections on the interesting stories that emerge from our client work, side projects, after-hours rabbitholes, and other miscellaneous threads of inquiry.

Building Tools for the Next—and the Current—Pandemic
For years, Pardis Sabeti has tried to get funding to build the necessary tools to mitigate the “next pandemic.” On the front lines of the Ebola outbreak in 2014, she saw firsthand all the ways in which institutions and infrastructure broke down. Most simply, the time to act is not during a crisis — when people are frightened, institutions are stressed, and the day-to-day is itself exhausting. The results are predictable: a haphazard response, money suddenly flowing to all the wrong places, and substantial inequities where the vulnerable become only more so.
Read more →
Twenty Twenty…
To navigate the strange territory of the past year, which included learning to collaborate with team members 5,000 miles away, keeping 10,000 students safe from COVID-19, and balancing time with our families, pets, and plants, we did what we do best: we iterated.
Read more →
The Latest from Fathom – February 2020
If you’ve had an opportunity to check out fathom.info recently, you may have noticed that we redesigned our website. Our new site better reflects our strengths as a company, highlighting projects that showcase our strong design capabilities and unique approach to data.
Read more →
Building a maze typeface
Ok, so I love mazes.

Growing up, I spent most of my time at school embellishing notebook pages with intricate landscapes and labyrinths filled with alien characters. Actually, I still do that. To me, the open-ended nature of mazes expresses something both playful and profound. I recently dove back into mazemaking to explore its potential as a generative typographic form, creating a series of sketches that evolved into a typeface, called Mazeletter.
Read more →
Context-Driven Activity Apps
Before we went on break for the holidays in December, the office got together to brainstorm solutions to a question we’ve been thinking hard about over the past few months: what does a good health app look like? “Good,” of course, can mean countless different things. It could mean that it’s good at reminding you to exercise and eat well, good for logging personal health information, or good at predicting when a chronic condition may flare up.
Read more →
The Year in Review
At the end of the year, we like to take some time to recap what we accomplished over the past 12 months. From client work to internal projects to talks and new hires, there’s a lot to celebrate. Here’s the best of Fathom from 2019:
Read more →
Knitting Our Holiday Cards
Earlier this year Fathom acquired a Brother KH910 knitting machine. We’d been trying to learn more about it with the hope that we would eventually be able to hack it to quickly read complex, generative patterns, but we needed a project to jumpstart the process. When it came time to decide on a theme for our annual holiday card, we saw our opportunity. Although I had not actually used the machine yet at the time, I suggested we make a Fathom Holiday Sampler, knitting a unique, computer-generated, multi-colored square for each of the nine members of our office.
Read more →
Tackling Adult Literacy with the Barbara Bush Foundation
This summer, we teamed up with the Barbara Bush Foundation for Family Literacy (BBFFL) to investigate the current status of adult literacy in the United States.

It’s been well established that the U.S. is in the midst of a literacy crisis. One in five U.S. adults struggle to read basic sentences, fill out a form, or understand basic vocabulary, and limitations like these prevent people from navigating the world with dignity.
Read more →
The Latest from Fathom – Fall 2019
This fall, we’ve had the opportunity to wrap up some long-running projects that we’re excited to finally share with the public. We’ve already had several occasions to do so — over the last couple months we’ve been busy presenting work at conferences, in classes, and within the office. In case you missed it, here’s what we’ve been up to…
Read more →
Understanding a Changing City
As an office based in Boston, with some people who have been living in the area for decades, we’ve seen the city and surrounding area change significantly in the past several years. Technology and biotech companies have thrived in the area, attracting waves of people to work high-paying jobs. Luxury apartments and businesses are popping up in the Seaport, a rapidly gentrifying neighborhood whose growth exemplifies the trends happening around the city. In Cambridge, the large demand for housing has driven up rent and home prices dramatically, similar to housing trends in Dorchester, Roxbury, and Jamaica Plain. These changes have developed on top of a living city, with a history of valuable diversity and also significant inequality.
Read more →