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A data-based who’s who of the 40th Ryder Cup 2014, including player rankings, tournament experience and rankings-based match predictions.

For only the second time in Scotland, the 2014 Ryder Cup tees off at Gleneagles today. The figures below give a visual overview of the teams and players involved, based on official world golf rankings data and player experience.

2014 Ryder Cup graphic summaries player rankings and Ryder Cup experience.

Rankings and Ryder Cup Experience

The figure above: a look at rankings and experience on each side of the Atlantic. Players are listed down the page in their official world ranking position, with Rory Mcilroy top of the pile and Lee Westwood down at the bottom (44th in the world). Players are then ordered by rank within their team, from left to right, to show how the two teams square up face-to-face. Experience is shown by the squares, with 1 square for each Ryder Cup the player has taken part in. 

At the top end Europe’s big guns win out, but lower down the field USA dominates, winning 8 of the 12 virtual head-to-heads. Hence, on rankings alone USA should win the tournament  (leaving pairing selection to one side).

While Europe lose out on rankings, they win on experience. Largely thanks to the inclusion of Lee Westwood, down at the bottom of the rankings. For USA, Mickelson and Furyk seem the lynch pins, holding 58% of the team’s total Ryder Cup experience between them. Each team has 3 debutants.
2014 Ryder Cup chart showing Ryder Cup player world ranking against average tournament ranking points..


Ranking Points Emphasise Importance of Mid-field battle

The world rankings are based on points – average points won per tournament, in tournaments over the last 2 years. A look at these points gives some more insight into the expected spread across the field.

In points, Rory Mcilroy is way out ahead at rank 1. Points then drop away steeply over the first 8 ranking places. Further down the ranking table, differences in points per ranking place are much smaller – there is less margin between players further down the table.

As a more representative measure of expected performance, the shape of this curve supports the idea that the performance of the lower ranked players on the day, will have bigger influence on the overall result. So while everyone is following the high-profilers around the course, keep a keen eye on the lesser-known faces, particularly the debutants, as these could be the key battles to swing it.
2014 Ryder Cup graphic showing Ryder Cup match predictions based on player world rankings alone

Match Expectations

Partnership selections are an interesting subject, with many relevant factors. Leaving these partnership factors aside, we can take a very simplistic look at who should win the matches, based on just the rankings, and this is done above.

For each match the colour of the solid bar shows the expected result, with the bar’s width effectively showing how likely it is to happen (wider bar has bigger difference in rankings and hence is more certain).

Europe seem to have taken a different strategy to USA. Europe’s pairings are generally of very similar rank (e.g. 1-2, 3-4, 10-11), where as USA’s are more split.  Europe are playing all 4 of their best players in the first 4 matches, where USA are saving 2 of theirs. All 24 players get a match on the first day.

The rankings say it’ll be 4-4 at the end of the first day, but at this level, golf is a game of small margins. The difference in average shots per round this year between the best and worst players taking part is just under 2 shots (Mcilory, Rank 1, 68.8 shots, Westwood, Rank 44, 70.7 shots,

Will the rankings tell the tale? Either way, I can’t wait to find out.

Data from and the official Ryder Cup website. 


Setting the scene for an amazing summer wedding, with the latest wedding invitations project.

A quick look at the latest bespoke wedding invitations project:
Bespoke Wedding Invitations design project by rainbowworks
Bespoke Wedding Invitations design project by rainbowworks
Bespoke Wedding Invitations design project by rainbowworks

Rose Pink was a requisite to match overall wedding themes. The A5 wedding invitations are printed on the Hahnemuhle German Etching for a quality, hand crafted finish. Flecked recycled Kraft envelopes, complete with wedding logo, finish things of perfectly.



A set of 12 classic british bird illustrations, as simple geometric icons.

This set of birds icons were originally created for use in a school’s website theme as class logos, but after proving quite popular I thought you might like to see a bit more of the little chaps.
birds of britain geometric illustration icons
Framed Print British Bird illustrations
birds of britain geometric illustration sample images
I hoped the simple geometric construction would appeal to the pupils and also allow the birds to be incorporated in other aspects of school life – drawings, puzzles etc.

Based around a consistent geometric design, bright colours and distinctive features were added to give each bird it’s own personality!
british bird illustrations notebook design
british bird illustrations pattern



Touring around Ramsbottom restaurants, in a cycle race stylee, with this poster sized map guide.

My sister and her boyfriend are on a mission to eat their way around all the Ramsbottom restaurants in a year. They wanted a map for the wall, to help track progress. Nick’s a keen cyclist so the map got a cycle race theme – the ‘Tour De Ramsbottom Restaurants’ fit like a spanking new pair of spandex shorts.

There are a lot of restaurants in Rammy. The map focuses on the village centre, and features a mere 27 eateries! Just over 1 new restaurant every two week’s.

To track progress, the ‘Tour Stages’ restaurant list has scope to either rate each place out of 5, or keep a tally of number of visits for added value.
ramsbottom restaurants map poster
Tour De Ramsbottom restaurant logo design for Em and Nick's map poster
ramsbottom restaurants map poster close up 2
ramsbottom restaurants map poster close up 1
ramsbottom restaurants map poster close up 3
The map was Giclee printed at A2, on 310gsm Canson Aquarelle Rag, for a nice handcrafted finish.

The base map was custom built using the awesome Mapbox studio. A great way to design custom maps and a must for anyone with an inkling towards maps and CSS.

If you’d like your very own themed Ramsbottom Restaurants map or anything similar just drop me a line. Work can be designed and printed at all standard sizes.  


rainbowworks’ latest primary school website launches today at Corpus Christi in Oldham.

We’re excited to be launching our latest primary school website project today, over at Corpus Christi Primary School in Oldham. We set out to produce an excellent primary school website and we’re proud of the results. Feedback from senior staff and governors has been very positive and we now hope the whole school community will benefit as a result. Corpus have been great to work with and we’re looking forward to working with them on other exciting projects in the near future.

Learn more about the project here in our portfolio

The best primary website primary school website design for Corpus Christi
primary school website design homepage screenshot
Corpus Christi Logo Re Design


Helping children navigate their way through primary school with the ‘Passport for Learning’

The ‘Passport For Learning’ is an interactive guide to accompany each child through their primary school development. It’s designed to enhance both life and curriculum learning in a fun, engaging and quantifiable way.

The ‘Passport’ concept has been developed in conjunction with Holcombe Brook Primary School, Bury over recent months and has received very positive feedback throughout the process. All passports are now printed and shipped and we’re really looking forward to launch this Wednesday. Project leader and Deputy Headteacher, David Bradshaw, at Holcombe Brook added:

‘It’s a tremendous product that the school community will hopefully benefit greatly from.’


Passport For Learning - Primary School Guide Booklet Graphic Design Overview

Summary of the Passport For Learning Design, with content extracts.

Passport Content

Driven by the school’s mission and values, key life skills are broken down into clear, concise lists, such that progression is measurable and attainable. Pupils will be encouraged to make regular notes, to relate these achievements back to both their personal experiences and what they are learning in the classroom. With further pages dedicated to curricular and extra-curricular activity notes, the passport encompasses the child’s overall achievement and learning. It will also help to reinforce lessons learnt, track progress and be a personal achievement journal. The Passport’s ID page, complete with passport photos, provides added personalisation, fun and a great memento of those bad haircuts!

For Holcombe Brook, two Passports have been created – one for Key Stage 1 (5-7 years) and one for Key Stage 2 (7-11 years).

The passport also includes a comprehensive outline of the school’s curriculum, for each subject, in each year. Children and parents are able stay up to speed with what is being taught and when and also benchmark their skill-sets against expectations.

The Learning Journey

The design themes are based around a ‘learning journey’ that the Passport enables and records the key milestones along the way. Life skills are broken into different strands, which are identified by icons and colour. The different strand pathways combine to form the rainbow – paving the main route for the learning journey. Aeroplane logo and underlying travel themes create positive holiday associations, intended to increase pupil engagement.


Passport For Learning Poster

Project Take Off

To further strengthen pupil engagement and get off to a flying start, Holcombe Brook is having an official project launch this Wednesday, where children will be presented with their personalised passports, complete with passport control, passport inspectors, fancy dress and a beach holiday, to start the journey in style!

To anyone attending – have a great day and enjoy your travels to follow! Just don’t forget your passport!

If you’re interested in a ‘Passport For Learning’ for your school, please just get in touch.



A prize car boot sale find – some vintage nautical Pilot Charts from the 1950s with one proud and loving new owner.

These vintage charts are the reason why I love a good car boot. A brilliant combination of maps and data visualisation, these historic charts are comfortably my best car boot find to date.

The charts are packed with a staggering amount of information, much of it averaged for the month of issue: Prevailing winds, Ocean Currents, Storm Tracks, Magnetic Variation, Sailing Routes, Ice Limits, Gale and Fog reports and more.

If that wasn’t enough to keep you busy, the reverse side of each chart seems to feature a different ‘bonus’ study into other related weather phenomenon. Mine include: The Total Eclipse of June 30th 1954 and ‘Tropical Cyclones Of the World’. And all that for 30 cents.

It seems the charts were compiled and issued monthly by the US Navy Hydrographic Office. I haven’t hadn’t chance to delve very far into their history, but the chart’s state that they are ‘Founded upon the researches made in the early part of the nineteenth century by Matthew Fontaine Maury, while serving as a lieutenant in the United States Navy.’

The chart footnote reads as follows: Prepared from data furnished by the Hydrographic Office, Navy department, and by the Weather Bureau, Department of Commerce, and published by the Hydrographic Office under the authority of the secretary of the navy, Washington D.C. (Legislative Act, June 17, 1910).

Having worked with wind data quite a bit in an aerodynamic capacity, I was an instant fan of the wind roses, but the favourite has to be the ‘Extreme Limit of Icebergs’ lines.

I don’t know where these lines current lie, but was pretty surprised to see one reaching within 150 miles of Buenos Aires, back in 1950.

It seems a bit sad that something of such quality, had been demeaned, by time, to the grass of a Lincoln field. I was happy to jump to the rescue. A new loving custodian of these brilliant pieces of nautical charting history.

I picked up the 4 A0 charts, which range from 1947-1954, from Hemswell Car Boot, for a mere £7. A steal. Aside from putting one on the wall, I’ve got a couple of ideas to ponder for the others. Will keep you posted with any movements.



If you’re currently predicting scorelines for the World Cup Semi’s and fancy a flutter, a 2-1 home win seems a worth a shout…

The figure below summarises scorelines from the 60 games of the 2014 tournament so far. The area of the circles, indicate how many times each scoreline has occurred.

There have been a freaky number of 2-1 home wins – 11 in total, out of the 60 games played. This is equivalent to 18% of all games. There have been 20 different scorelines so far and almost 20% of games have had the same one: a 2-1 home win. The 2-1 home win also has more than 3 times it’s opposite number – the 2-1 away win – which has happened only 3 times.
Bubble chart Showing World Cup 2014 scoreline frequencies up to the semifinals

I haven’t looked at scoreline frequency before but, aside from the 2-1 home win, things look fairly sensible. You might expect high scoring games to happen less often and the figure below supports this. The 2-1 home win is the only outlier from this curve, by a fair way. Bizarre. (The curve shown is a second order polynomial fit to all data).


Other notes:

  • Out of 20 different results, 1/3 of all games have either been 0-0 or 2-1 home win.
  • Several sources state, without data, that 1-0 is the most common world cup scoreline with 0-0 in second place. So far 2-1 is beating both of these in this world cup.
  • The winners of the high goal games are fairly imbalanced, with the away team’s winning much more often. The Away team has won roughly twice as many games as the home team (11-6), when 3 or more goals have been scored.

I’m sure the wise will prefer to weight their predictions toward the specifics of the new pairings involved in the forthcoming games and will also be aware that the World cup home advantage (excluding the hosts) shouldn’t count for much at this stage. But perhaps there’s something in the Brazilian water and as I’m not very wise – I think there’s probably enough to warrant a little flutter…