Hello

My name is Ben and I am the creator of The Bootiful Game.
I have been a graphic designer and data visualiser for about 10 years now, and in January of 2012, I set up www.bootifulgame.com as a storage area to dump lots of silly ideas I have about football.

I love data, and I love football and I love standing in the shower each morning and pondering questions like:

  • How far would the sum total of all Rory Delap’s long throw-ins reach?
  • Which sets of supporters travel the greatest distances each season?
  • Statistically, which is the ugliest football team in the world?
  • Is there a way of quantifying just how big an arsehole Piers Morgan is?

If I can find data for any of these questions, I’ll try and work out the answers, and if I have an answer, I’ll try to make up a little graphic which illustrates the point. Simple really.

Hopefully, The Bootiful Game isn’t just about silly ideas, and there’s some genuinely interesting and meaningful information that’s visualised around the website. I am however a one-man band and there is a limit to how much useful data I can get my grubby mitts on, and how much spare time I have to create these images.

To date, the response to the website has been really overwhelming, and lots of people have sent messages to me through the site or via twitter. I do my best to respond to everyone, but I thought it might be useful if I answer some of the commonly asked ones here, hopefully to save everyone a bit of time… So, um here goes:

What programs do you use to create the graphics on the site?

I tend to scrape data from websites and twitter using python scripts, and then use a combination of Excel for number crunching, and Adobe Illustrator for the actual design work. Notepad is really handy for cleaning the data up too.

Do you use programming languages or visualisation software, like ‘R’ and ‘Processing’?

No, but I really should do, and I’m trying to learn. If you already work with them, and fancy hooking up to create something magical, get in touch!

Can I use your artwork on my blog?

So long as you don’t edit the images in any way, and leave the logo at the bottom well alone, I’m happy for people to re-blog and re-post the artwork. It’s always nice to know where the graphics are ending up, so if you wanted to drop me a line to tell me how you’ve used them, that would be lovely.

Can you design an illustration for my blog for free?

Um, possibly! If you have an idea for a football infographic, I’d be delighted to work with you in order to create the piece. My only only requirements would be that they don’t relate to any one club, specifically, and that they have a fairly broad appeal. So long as the idea is good and the data is available, I’d be happy to create something that we can both use on our sites. I’d fully credit you, and add a link on my site to yours.

Can you design something for my magazine/website in return for cold, hard cash?

Hells yes. Talk to me!

I’ve got an idea for a visualisation, do you want to hear about it?

Yeah, sure, why not? I can’t afford to pay you anything for it, but if it’s a good idea and it ends up being used on the site, I will credit you on the piece and be forever indebted to your generosity and cunning mind.

Do you have a facebook page?

Yes, the Facebook page is here: http://www.facebook.com/bootifulgame?sk=wall.
It’s a really good way of receiving an update each time a new post appears on the site, and over time, I hope to run a few competitions from the page. Don’t worry, I have no plans to spam your timeline.

Do you have a twitter feed?

Yes, but surely you knew that already? http://twitter.com/bootifulgame.
Warning, may contain posts about cheese and other non-footballing matters.

Which team do you support?

That’s not important, and The Bootiful Game tries to remain impartial.

Can I advertise on your site?

Erm, possibly. What is it? Let’s have a chat, and I’ll see if we can arrange something.

Is there any football infographic that exists that you wish you’d thought of first?

Yes. This graphic epitomizes absolutely everything I ever wanted The Bootiful Game to be, and so much more. It was created by a chap called “Richard Munro” and is taken from the now, tragically defunct, Football Venn Diagrams website.