Golan Levin and Collaborators

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Infoviz Graffiti: an Adjustable Pie-Chart Stencil

9 June 2011 / infovis, project

I designed an adjustable lasercut stencil, suitable for the rapid deployment of pie-chart infographics.

An Adjustable Pie Chart Stencil

The design comes with a set of re-arrangeable letters. Changing the message and percentage is straightforward.

Demonstration of the Adjustable Pie Chart Stencil

The stencil has some noteworthy design features:

  • The letters are designed to be held in place with adhesive tape.
  • The pie chart pointer is held in place by an adjustable-tension bolt and wing-nut.
  • A small cutout arrow indicates which portion of the statistic is being described by your text.
  • The perimeter of the pie chart is etched with 100 tick-marks, making it easy to adjust its percentage.
  • The letters (a new stencilized version of Trade Gothic) preserve correct character widths and are provided in proportion to letter frequency (e.g. ETAOIN SHRDLU).

Here are the stencil designs (Illustrator CS4 .PDF format):

If you’d like to make one for yourself, you’ll need:

  • 1/8″ (3mm) thick sheet material, suitable for lasercutting. I used MDF, but acrylic is fine.
  • A one-inch 1/4″-20 bolt, wing-nut and suitable pair of washers.
  • Scotch tape or masking tape (to hold the letter in the stencil)
  • 1 quart-capacity Ziploc bag (for storing the letters)
  • Spray paint
  • A laser cutter!

Additional documentation
I’ve written an article (“Some thoughts on infographic street art“), in response to interview questions by Nicola Bozzi and Suzanne LaBarre, explaining some of my thinking behind this project. Photographs for this project are available in high resolution in this Flickr photoset.


“A provocative exhortation to get the substance of immediate information and infuse it with the boldness of political rage, hopefully defacing public properties and informing people at once.”Nicola Bozzi

  • Aw, Jean. “Infoviz Graffiti: DIY Pie Chart Stenciling”. Notcot, 6/11/2011.
  • Bozzi, Nicole. “Golan Levin’s Infoviz Graffiti, or Communicating Dissent In a Short Attention Span World”. Owni.eu, 6/23/2011.
  • LaBarre, Suzanne. “Infographiti: Golan Levin Brings Data Viz To The Street”. FastCompany Design, 6/16/2011.
  • Stone, Zak. “Customizable Stencil Lets Anyone Make Street Art Infographics”. GOOD Design, 6/15/2011.
  • Van de Moere, Andrew. “Infovis Graffiti: Spray Painting Infographics in the Wild”. Infosthetics.com, 6/10/2011.

References for quoted statistics

This 4-hour Speed Project was supported by the STUDIO for Creative Inquiry at CMU. Thanks to Asa Foster III for production assistance, and to Nicola Bozzi and Suzanne LaBarre for their provocative interview questions.

Infoviz Graffiti Adustable Pie Chart Stencil by Golan Levin is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
Creative Commons License

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