Your City’s Kickstarter Scene, Visualized

You can tell a lot about a city from the Kickstarter projects it supports.

Your City’s Kickstarter Scene, Visualized

Kickstarter has revolutionized the way designers bring their products to market, allowing them to pitch concepts without first taking on a huge financial risk. It’s all thanks to the millions of backers who make Kickstarter what it is. Now, the guys at Polygraph have taken a deep look at those numbers, showing at a glance which American cities are the biggest Kickstarter hubs.

In Polygraph’s excellent series of interactive charts, they’ve taken over 100,000 Kickstarter projects, sorted them by location and type–from music, to film, to design–and then shown what makes each city unique as far as crowdfunding is concerned. For example, New York is the biggest design hub, with 578 projects, 402 of which fell into the product design category. Meanwhile, Los Angeles (320 projects) and San Francisco (247 projects) were the next two largest Kickstarter design hubs, along with Chicago, Seattle, and Portland. You can even see the three most-backed design projects in each city: New York’s include the Pressy Android alert button, the Norlan whisky glass, and the NASA graphics standards manual.

See the full series of graphics here. [Image: via Polygraph]

In addition to being able to see just how many design projects each city Kickstarted, the Polygraph visualization gives a useful color map of the distribution of other kinds of Kickstarters backed by city. Each project is represented as a circle, color-coded according to categories like design, music, film, publishing, tech, and so on. The bigger the circle, the more backers. Not only does this allow you to see the types of projects different cities tend to back–New York, for example, tends to support as many design Kickstarters as tech and games projects–but it allows you to get a great overview of how different cities compare to each other. Nashville, for example, has pretty much nothing but music Kickstarters–while Los Angeles, of course, is mostly film.

It turns out every city has a unique Kickstarter fingerprint. Check out yours here.

About the author

John Brownlee is a design writer who lives in Somerville, Massachusetts. You can email him at



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