In the beginning of 2022, a visual overhaul of Átlátszó graphics was necessary. It was just at the right time, as the Átlátszó website was redesigned, meaning that any design choices for charts would fit into the overall brand of the website for many years. The idea of a comprehensive look-book was inspired by the Financial Times’ and The Economist’s data visualisations.
The two main rules for making these charts were: It has to be recognised as an Átlátszó chart, and it has to be static. The recognisability was necessary because for many years, Átlátszó charts followed no design rules, they were made up as they were created. This resulted in a cacophony of visual solutions, making it difficult to connect it to the Átlátszó brand. Now, the colors, font, and other elements are in harmony with the design of the website, which makes it more recognisable, even taken outside of the context of the website. These charts contain all visual information that is necessary for the reader to remember and recognise Átlátszó in any context.
The static rule was necessary for many reasons. Firstly, distribution. A static image can be easily distributed on social media, where interactive embedded charts cannot be published. The square format was chosen in compliance to many social media recommendations, as it is the easiest to present on a small device as well. Secondly, essence. Making the chart as an image also limits the scope of a chart, making it even more important to decide what needs to be shown and in what way. This then contributes help the true essence of the chart to come to surface. While visualising as much data as it is possible, focusing on the essence of the story, highlighting the most important part of the database, makes it much easier and faster for the reader to comprehend the chart as well.
The guidelines were partially based on the introductory chapters of Better Data Visualisation, a book written by Jonathan Schwabish.
These charts are collected on a site called Orbis Pictus, named after a Czech children’s textbook, where many topics of the world were illustrated with images.
The charts are mostly made in Flourish.studio, and then finalised in Photoshop. For maps, Foursquare Studio, QGIS and Mapbox are sometimes used. For charts without any template, Illustrator is used and created from scratch.
Click here to access the full project.
Continuous publication since early 2022.
The image only shows a snippet of the collection taken at 5th April 2023.