Re-thinking a standard business chart of stock purchases and sales
Clarifying comparisons in censored cohort data: UK housing affordability

Clearing a forest of labels

This chart by the Financial Times has a strong message, and I like a lot about it:


The countries are by and large aligned along a diagonal, with the poorer countries growing strongly between 2007-2019 while the richer countries suffered negative growth.

A small issue with the chart is the thick forest of text - redundant text. The sub-title, the axis titles, the quadrant labels, and the left-right-half labels all repeat the same things. In the following chart, I simplify the text:


Typically, I don't put axis titles as a sub-header (or, header of the graphic) but as this may be part of the FT style, I respected it.


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.


In case someone else is looking for the article containing the original chart:


Love reader help! I grabbed the image from the very nice FT Data twitter feed so didn't have that link. Thanks!

Robert Swerdlow

The clearer (shorter) labels certainly help, but what about all those blue balls? They are all the same size, some overlap and one, Greece, has a bold outline. Why not just put the name of the country in place of the ball and remove all that clutter?


RS: The outline of Greece is surely an oversight. I agree with you on the bubble size; I don't like using country names in place of little dots because the location of the dot is now obscured. Color can be brought in to add hierarchy to the countries. I'd only label countries based on the story being told.

The comments to this entry are closed.