Ton Meijdam of Studio Smack shared the transparency suit — a video commissioned for the 2010 Graphic Design Festival Breda.

“A data body is a collection of personal data that consists of all the information you have ever left behind through your buying behaviour, mobile phone, surfing habits, online social communities et cetera. Everywhere you fill in something personal it immediately enters your data body, which then grows without you even being aware of it. And the only thing you have to do is be a consumer or civilian. Therefore our existence has become increasingly transparent on virtually every level. Decisions are aligned with our desires and needs, and technology is used to track us as accurately as possible.

“The ‘Transparency Suit’ visualizes the unseen flow of information around us (in this case as a result of our buying behaviour). It shows us an aesthetic and expressive solution that reveals a new field of visual code. The hidden information of the data body is made visible through a second skin, a suit that falls outside of the everyday experience.”

What was more interesting for me was to see how it was pieced together in this “making of” short.

And the literal interpretation, modelled by Ton.

Brand suit

By Netherlands-based Studio Smack.

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July 16, 2012


This is fantastic. I like animation but it takes too long to make and most people just don’t appreciate how long it can cost (time) to make one. Big respect to this studio.
I guess if you can put in the time, someone somewhere will be willing to pay for it. Thanks David for your quite informative site.

Absolutely love it. We need to buy a suit like this for our Creative Director with all the logos we’ve designed with him on! Haha!

Perhaps, what’s needed to be tracked is not consumer shopping behavior. Rather:
1. What those products are made of—probably a huge percentage of carcinogenic materials.
2. Where is it made from? Child labor in Philippines? Slave labor in Guatemala? Cambodia? Congo? China?
3. What natural resources they used and destroyed? Rain Forest in Borneo? Amazon? Fresh ground water in India? Bolivia?

Is this the legacy we want to teach and leave behind to our children? A suit that tracks what we BUY?

I’m a designer and I’m ashamed of our consumerist mindset.

I agree with Darwin; this kind of visual representation is good, but it should have had a different dependent variable – more socialy awareable, especialy with consumerism in this case. It shows something we know, but it doesn’t offer any solution.

Share a thought