Back Office 2: Graphic Design and Digital Practices


The second issue of Back Office deals with the fundamental notions of indexation, sorting, and representation of digital data. The ability to stock and translate information into discreet entities is a fundamental characteristic of the computer. The capacity to save mathematical operations to memory as well as compute them are consequently at the heart of the Turing machine, conceived and created during the Second World War. The computer as a principle upon which to base the organization of the world appears in the very long history of memory media: writings, maps, indexes, websites, journals, databases, online archives, blockchains, etc., all of which constitute so many attempts at inscribing the complexity of the real.

Articles include “Complexity and Contradiction in Map Design” by Joost Grootens; “A Dot in Time: Visualizing Data at the New York Times” by Benoît Böhnke; “Bubbles, Lines and String: How Information Visualization Shapes Society” by Peter Hall; “Can AI help classify and select typefaces?” by Indra Kupferschmid; “Dada Data: An Introduction to Algorithmic Culture” by Nicolas Nova & Joël Vacheron; “Of Lattices, Grids, Strips and Tape: Alan Turing's Formal Machines” (an interview with Jean Lassègue); “Learning from LUST: Mirrors and Media Madness” (conversation between Michèle Champagne & Greg J. Smith; and “Data Transmission” by Sanda Chamaret & Loïc Horellou.

Back Office is an annual publication which examines the effects of digital technology through the lens of graphic design. The bi-lingual journal (French and English) features in-depth articles as well as shorter pieces on specific topics, innovative pedagogical initiatives, and historical analysis. Each issue includes a technical glossary. 

In French and English

Designed by E+K (Élise Gay & Kévin Donnat)

Published by Editions B42, 2018

Softcover, 144 pages, color and b&w illustrations, 7.75 × 11 inches

ISBN 978-2-917855-98-0

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