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This article was published on July 20, 2016

Spreadsheets suck, so Google Sheets was used for art instead

Spreadsheets suck, so Google Sheets was used for art instead
Nate Swanner
Story by

Nate Swanner

Former Reporter, TNW

TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If TNW's former West Coast writer in the PNW (Portland, Oregon). Nate loves amplifying developers, and codes in Swift when he's not writing. If you need to get in touch, Twitter is your best bet.

When you hear the word ‘spreadsheet,’ a cold sweat likely breaks out (unless you’re an accountant or data nerd, of course). They’re boring, but necessary — and Google turned them into art.

In collaboration with Refinery 29, Google wanted to bring two artists together under the auspice that they’d create art in Sheets, the spreadsheet tool inside of Google Docs. Google asked the two artists — Marina Esmeraldo of Barcelona, and Mallory Heyer in New York — to “break the grid.” The idea was to push Sheets to its limits, but not with numbers or datasets.

Google Sheets art

After a few Hangouts chats, the two realized that cells were basically just points on a map, which could be colored to create a larger mosaic. Further, the duo conceptualized those cells as bricks on a wall.

Their finished product, which you can see below, was handed to Brooklyn-based Colossal media which turned out a 13’ x 34’ mural.

It’s probably not how you use a spreadsheet, but that’s kind of the point. Next time you think your formula is pretty cool, try creating art instead. You probably suck at it, but it’s way more fun.

Google Sheets art

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