Business and finance newspaper headquartered in Copenhagen, Denmark
Business Case

Børsen is read by industry leaders, and used to make actionable decisions. Their need was to improve the usability of their information graphics by making them easier to understand in a shorter period of time.

The Challenge

Børsen’s readers are busy. They don’t have a lot of time to read the paper, yet it is an important part of their day. Information needs to be understood quickly. The paper uses information graphics to add supporting or extra information. They can sometimes tell the story of one thousand words in five to ten seconds.

The graphics at the time were difficult to understand. They were sometimes represented in units that didn't match, units of measure were hard to find and, information was not always represented in the correct graphic form. At worst, the story was confused by the graphic.

Bubble Graphic
The bubble graphic is a great form to use because it can show more levels of data than possible with a table, bar chart or fever graphic.
Lollipop Chart
The lollipop chart uses the circle size to represent the amount of kroner that can be earned within each country– the larger circle, the more money could be made. The x axis shows how many jobs can come from this growth.
Project Scope & Objectives

A review of the process in place was needed. There would need to be new guidelines and workflow changes to improve upon the readability and usability of the graphics.

The ultimate goal was to find a way to make sure the graphic was written and designed with information that made sense, and followed a set of rules for creating the graphic in a consistent design style.

The Solution

After evaluations and meetings with top management in both editorial and design departments, created guidelines and processes to aid in the creation of a graphic– from the starting stage of a writer requesting a graphic to it being proofread before publication.

✓ Improved communication and working processes between art and editorial departments.

✓ Reworked paper’s information graphics and created a style guide.

✓ Laid out new rules and guidelines on how to:

1. Create a good information graphic.

2. Choose the correct graphic form to communicate the core message.

3. Present graphics that are quick and easy to understand.

✓ Use typography and line styles and weights to communicate multiple levels of information.

The Contributors

Managing Editor Jørgen Andresen

Art Director Marianne Bahl

Design & Concept Development Marci Papineau Gottlieb

My Role

I spent the first days watching the work of the graphics department and how they interacted with the other departments within paper. I reviewed the contents of the graphics, and made notes on where improvements were needed. Meetings were then held with the senior levels of the art and editorial departments to discuss my findings. I then worked on creating new design guidelines– both visually and editorially. There were meetings back and forth to discuss progress.

The project was completed by my delivery of a detailed style guide and Illustrator files that could be used as a skeleton for creating graphics.

Skills Utilized

» Information Graphic Design
» Graphic Design
» Mediator improving communication and understanding between departments

Tech Used

» Adobe Creative Cloud » Deltagraph » Excel » Illustrator


The final product was delivered with a PDF and Illustrator files to assist in creating future graphics. It included guidelines for designers, writers and editors.

Anatomy of a Graphic
The guide was started with guidelines to follow at the start of creating a graphic. It also contained a list of what needed to be included in every graphic (A-E). For example it is very important that the graphic had a headline and sub-head. It is also important to write the unit of measure in a consistent place for all graphics There were also visuals for how to design numbers, charts, and chart lines. In addition to the PDF style guide, there was an Illustrator file to use to help start a graphic.
Typography, spacing and line weights
A graphic uses many tools to convey the story. These tools are not necessarily noticed by the reader, but they help guide them. Things such as line weights and styles, colors, spacing and font weights all help in making a graphic that is easily understood.
A new way to tell a story
The older graphic (above left) was eye-catching but it didn't help explain the main point of the story. It showed there had been some ups and downs– ending high, but the fact that the end of the graphic is only a projection is not apparent.

The new style (above right) is quick and easy to understand. The key on the bottom shows the quantity of one circle represents 1000 Euro of profit in 2012. By 2017 "financiell mål" (financal goal) (where there are 50 circles) it is easy to understand the amount of growth expected.
Above preliminary bubble chart work
Drawing upon information from an Excel table visualized information in a new way using the software, Deltagraph. There were multiple levels of data to be visualized. (final chart higher up on page "BUBBLE GRAPHIC").