Design and programming are becoming interrelated, thanks to tools such as Processing and Scriptographer. Unlike standard off-the-shelf solutions like the Adobe Suite, these programs let designers to arrive at very unique creations, especially in the realm of data visualization.

Take for instance the September 11 Memorial. The Rundown blog from Newshour recently explained how Local Projects and Jer Thorp used Processing to deal with the complex task of ordering the 2,982 names that appear in the memorial, since there was a need to organize the names by affinity instead of chronologically or alphabetically.

Jer talks about the project in more detail in his blog, and Scientific American has an article on the subject too.

If like most designers (myself included) you are not well-versed in programming and Processing in particular, you may want to visit the YouTube channel of Abe Pazos. He has been uploading ten-minute tutorials where he teaches the basics of coding in Processing. The episodes are easy to follow and should go a long way into making programming more common among us designers. There’s also a lot of bibliography on Processing, including the official book by the creators of the language.

It’s a skill I’m hoping to pick up, since as I wrote on an earlier post about where identity might be heading, branding is another area where we can increasingly see programming playing a big role.

Below are three exciting examples that offer an idea of what’s possible: the COP15 identity by okdeluxe, the MIT Media Lab identity by TheGreenEyl/E Roon Kang, and the onedotzero event design by Wielden+Kennedy/Karsten Schmidt.