Here at BizWeekGraphics we take enormous pleasure being able to take something like a line chart from Excel and turning it into a black hole sucking up George W. Bush.
It began as a proposal to quantify our nation’s spending and how it contributes to our nation’s debt.
1. We didn’t know what form the data would be so we threw in an FPO prototypical chart.
2. Days later, as Peter Coy is wrangling the numbers no progress had been made on this page but we had to make it look like we ware doing SOMETHING so the designer moved the prototypical chart around, hoping that it looked more interesting when obscured by the headline
3: Peter delivers great numbers. Turns out a lot of the debt is due to the piling up of unexpected spending. As Peter talks us through the debt crisis it’s clear that he can take a rather complicated situation and explain it so that someone with a 6th grade reading level can understand it. His explanation practically designs the page: Make it step by step.
4. Here’s the thing, interesting data can only go so far. A line chart is a line chart is a line chart. As a graphics maker it’s important to make an interesting story LOOK interesting as interesting as the content because good data can’t always just speak for itself.
And nothing says debt like a giant hole.
5. But nothing says ‘giant hole’ like a black hole.
6. A black hole sucking up tax cuts, defense spending, medicaid, and TARP.
So there you have it. From excel to printing press. How a line chart becomes a region of spacetime where gravity prevents anything from escaping.