Reporters in my newsroom make beautiful charts on their own and yours can too

The rise of Chartbuilder

By David Yanofsky a reporter at Quartz

In the begining there was a styleguide

Make chart in Excel
Copy-paste Into Illustrator

This was our workflow, it was slow

And then there was everyone else

Illegible, ugly, inconsistent

Bottleneck at production

Ugly charts, beautiful site

We had two problems

Fix my problem first

build a new tool

Paste data into Chartbuilder
copy-paste SVG node into text doc
open in Illustrator

My workflow under this tool

I wanted image download (and didn't want to set up a server)

found canvg.js

Paste data into Chartbuilder
export as image

workflow with canvg.js

Released it to the newsroom

It was buggy and only made line charts with single data series

Saves time

Chartbuilder covers 75% of our charting needs

Gives greater independence to everyone

Your charts are on you, and thats a good thing

Enhances our
global coverage

Hong Kong, Bangkok, Mumbai, Los Angeles, Paris, London: round the world graphics coverage

Our site looks better, and is more legible

Spawned other tools


Soon: Mapbuilder

Provides a foundation for future product enhancement

Thank You

David Yanofsky



On Github soon