Guardian defines visual rules by covering Panama Papers
Apr 22, 2016
Guardian establishes visual rules for Panama Papers coverage, creating a design language for breaking news.
The Guardian was not among the newspapers that denounced the accounts of global personalities in Panama, the Panama Papers. Even so, the newspaper took the scene, as always, by establishing criteria that should guide breaking news for newspapers around the world.
Unlike the journalists who were in on the investigation, designers at The Guardian didn’t have a year to prepare their stories about the Panama Papers. Because of the sensitive nature of the work, they only had a week to create a design language for the far-reaching investigative series.
“Without knowing with certainty how the story would break over the forthcoming days, we set about producing a set of design rules, color and tonal theory that would underpin our visual storytelling,” said Chris Clarke, deputy creative director for Guardian News and Media. “Having these robust sets of principles allowed us to react quickly to the demands of the breaking news.”
Clarke spoke with Poynter via email about how The Guardian told the story of the Panama Papers in print and online, how the visual storytelling was carried out and how readers have responded.