Arrested Hong Kong protesters: how the numbers look one year on

Country/area: Hong Kong S.A.R., China

Organisation: South China Morning Post

Organisation size: Big

Publication date: 11 Jun 2020

Credit: Adolfo Arranz

Project description:

The project drives home the scale and social impact of protest-related arrests during a troubled year. The data was made available by the Hong Kong Police Force at a press conference.

Impact reached:

The arrestees are placed in a seemingly random manner to emphasise how each person is a unique individual. Page views for the digital version far exceeded the SCMP average but the print version became a surprise sensation when screenshots of the page were shared on Facebook and Twitter by thousands of people from all sides of the political spectrum. The graphic became the subject of much online debate as all sides acknowledged the social cost.

Techniques/technologies used:

The multimedia version was created with Adobe XD and developed using Google Spreadsheet, Adobe Illustrator, Adobe XD and Html5 code. The drawings were exported as png files from Adobe Illustrator onto artboards before being exported as SVGs. The print version was created in Adobe illustrator.

What was the hardest part of this project?

The story was published as breaking news within 24 hours of a police briefing. Initially we planned to create a set of tables and graphs to illustrate a new article. However, when Arranz struck upon a way to give the numbers a human perspective we turned the lack of data to our advantage by concentrating on showing the scale of arrests and how they permeated every level of society.

What can others learn from this project?

Content is king: the most compelling visual stories are often those told in the simplest terms without using technology to bamboozle readers. Editing a story to one central idea shines a clear light on your message.

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