Morningstar has everyone convinced they can predict the future, but their ratings are about reliable as a magic 8 ball. With Jessica Kuronen, we gave them a gold star — or two — for their best efforts. Also we collaborated with Joel Eastwood to make a bunch of data visualization to prove the point.
The Quants is a 18-part series re-examining quantitative investing, 10 years after The Journal first investigated them. Along with Jessia Ma and Jessica Kuronen, we made a big package to visually underscore “the quants have officially won.”
Along with the general design direction, I contributed a fun little bigtop animation written in Three.js and some inline glossary components.
Do you want to hear our official award pitch?
In 1974, The Wall Street Journal first wrote about a computer trading system. Today, in 2017, quants are everywhere. Quants now make trades, determine who to hire, price insurance plans, and more. We created a cohesive series package for “The Quants” that referenced its algorithmic roots and how they interpret the world.
Taking inspiration from engineering drawings, we adapted an orthographic perspective to introduce the reader to the mystical world of algorithms, artificial intelligence, and supercomputers. This angle became central to our visual language portraying “computer perspective” that pays tribute to the Journal’s continued coverage of quants throughout the decades.
Our typography and illustrations follow the strict 30-degree axes seen in technical drawings. Photography was directed to highlight parallel lines. The identity of the series is rendered in binary code, dots, and dashes. The WebGL hero animation of the Lede story is a monolithic statement, rendered in orthographic perspective that evokes stock tickers and the information superhighway, perpetually in motion. CSS animations elsewhere in the series further explore these constructs.
All of our interactive and dynamic web elements — from responsive charts to custom pull-quotes — were crafted with static fallbacks to support our native applications.
“The Quants” includes nine stories, three columns, a game, timeline, and other graphics, totaling an 18 piece package. Navigation became crucial to accessing the deep scope of the coverage and functioned as an informational tool for what to expect as it published over the course of a week. The consistent use of “The Quants” logo and our terminal-green color palette unified the series on our homepage, inside our app and across social media.