Infographics departments of the world: Hufvudstadsbladet (Helsinki, Finland)

Hbl is a daily newspaper with a circulation of approximately 55000 and a geographical spread over the Swedish speaking areas in Finland, primarly along the coastline in the south and west. Since the transition to the tabloid format four years ago, Hufvudstadsbladet design has been awarded several times. The infographics department was during the last year granted awards by the European Newspaper Awards, the Finnish Newspapers Association and in the SND/S competition.
Overall the newspaper has been awarded Europe's best designed newspaper in the category 'local paper' by European Newspaper Awards and Best Redesign by SND International.

Here you are som examples of the infographics made by its team, formed by three members: Björn Heselius, Mikael Bobacka and Maija Hurme. And explained by one of them, Björn Heselius.

In this single page we wanted to open the eyes of the readers and inform them of what really happened to people that celebrated New Year's Eve exactly one year ago. Instead of doing it in a short article that most likely would have been read and forgotten just as fast, we made this gingerbread man, broke it's leg and neck, burned the hand and eye. Next to each injury we presented the numer of people that last New Years Eve lost their vision after being hit in the face by fireworks, broke their leg, were killed, suffered severe burns, reported domestic violence, were raped and (as we are in Finland) of course, how many liters of alcohol that was bought for the holidays. This visualisation was awarded by SND Scandinavia this year and for me personally it was also a way of saying that the infograpics artist not always need to draw, it's just as effective to bake the story.

We found out that among all employees of the Finnish parliament only one out of three is male, but among the members of the highest executive staff in the same organisation the men are in strong majority. The symbols indicate the number of men/women in the different offices, starting from the highest superintendents, continuing via supervisors all the way down to floor personnel. At the bottom of the graphics section we also compared different kinds of duty, salary and education for both men and women employed by the parliament.

Last summer we had an extraordinary intense period of thunderstorms. This spread originated in an idea of finding out where the lightning is most intensive in Finland. After getting all the information needed we started out by splitting the entire country into a grid of about 100 square kilometer per section. We calculated the exact number of lightning strikes for each section and it resulted in a map showing that the most lightning-intensive area was in the inland. In order to get a personal touch to the story we started looking for thunderstorm-chasers in the most intensive area and luckily found one! As a bonus we also explained the origin of thunder and lightning. This infographic was presented with an Award of Excellence in the European Newspaper Awards last year.

Instead of praising the growing business of biodynamic fuel we here show that the green alternative isn't really as world-saving as we might have believed. In order to produce one single car tank of biofuel you need the same amount of crops (corn and other grains) that would feed 365 people for a day. More than 850 million people suffer from malnutrition in the world. If 1,64 million people wouldn't fuel their car with biofuel once every week there could be enough food for the starving people.

Once a week we publish a home-section in the newspaper. This issue is on how to make the perfect home entertainment room and still being able to use the room for socialising. After consulting a interior designer and an architect we came up with this idea of taking a normal sized apartment and according to the experts' ideas redecorate the living room into a more suitable homecinema/living room. We also created two technical alternatives; one for the connoisseur that is willing to pay for the ultimate experience and one budget alternative.

In the greater Helsinki area there are two competing businesses who provide food to the elderly people who still live at home. We found out that those living in the city of Helsinki paid 34 percent more than those living in the suburbs for the same amout of food. Here showed by the number of meatballs elderly people get for 50 cents depending on what food service provider they have.

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