Back in 2009 Jess Bachman designed the Visualizing the US/China Trade infographic for Mint.com. This design uses a sankey diagram visual that has line widths representing the relative size of all the country values.
Like it or not, the US and China have a trading relationship that has global repercussions. The plastic US flags that say Made in China don’t tell the whole story. No, not everything is made in China. In fact the US manufactures and exports almost as much as China but it consumes a great deal more. Hence, the trade imbalance. What’s interesting is exactly what the US imports, stuff like machinery and toys and as much steel and iron as it does shoes. And what we export — high-tech stuff like airplanes and medical equipment and, for some reason, 7 billion dollars worth of oleaginous fruit which is used to make cooking oil, presumably for Chinese food.
A cool infographic all by itself, but even better is that Jess captured screen shots every 10 seconds automatically using Snagit (a process he calls flowcapping), and recently put them together into a behind-the-scenes video and blog post showing his design process. 10-hours of design work, compressed down into a couple minutes. View the high-resolution version if you can so you can actually read what’s on the screen. This is the short version.
And the longer, 7-minute version let’s you see even more details behind his process.
Jess (ByJess.net) is best known for his annual Death & Taxes infographic poster of the U.S. Federal Budget, and recently joined the team at Visual.ly as Creative Director. Great job Jess, and thanks for sharing your process with the world!