The challenge is to recreate the original chart without cheating: a single chart (no overlapping charts), no shapes/clipart to display data and, obviously, no Photoshop.

Here is Jorge’s rendition of William Playfair’s prices of wheat and weekly wages:

William Playfair wheat prices Excel version

There were some details of the chart that Jorge wanted to improve (e.g., fonts, custom number formats), but it came out closer than he expected. Excel doesn’t like areas in front of columns, and that was the major challenge. If you want to compare to the original, here it is:

William Playfair Wheat Prices

Playfair’s wheat prices chart was Jorge’s second chart to recreate. he started with a simpler one, England exports:

William Playfair exports from England Excel version

And here is the original:

William Playfair Exports

Jorge’s words of advise: Don’t make your Excel charts look like Excel charts (and don’t make your Excel dashboards look like Excel dashboards). You have a fair amount of latitude to come.

Jorge said that he wants to one day tackle Minard’s Map. I have been promising to do so using MicroStrategy for many years. Perhaps Jorge and I can both make an attempt and compare notes.


Source: Jorge Camoes, Chart Redesign,, December 6, 2011,