Short List
Category A05. Data Visualisation
Idea Creation 3 EINO KORKALA Helsinki, FINLAND
Production 2 EINO KORKALA Helsinki, FINLAND
Name Company Position
Kaius Niemi Helsingin Sanomat Senior Editor-in-Chief
Niina Käkelä Helsingin Sanomat Brand & Content Marketing Manager
Tuomas Jääskeläinen Helsingin Sanomat Art Director
Heidi Björklöf-Mattila Helsingin Sanomat VP, Portfolio development and Marketing
Ville Vihermaa Helsingin Sanomat Producer
Jyrki Poutanen TBWA\Helsinki Chief Creative Officer
Erno Reinikainen TBWA\Helsinki Executive Creative Director
Matti Virtanen TBWA\Helsinki Art Director
Aki Toivonen TBWA\Helsinki Creative Strategist
Noora Murremäki TBWA\Helsinki Executive Account Director
Martta Kallio TBWA\Helsinki Copywriter
Rosa Kojonkoski TBWA\Helsinki Project Manager
Mikko Pietilä TBWA\Helsinki Executive Creative Director
Nelli Immonen TBWA\Helsinki Junior Art Director
Juhani Ylitalo TBWA\Helsinki Copywriter
Daniel Coull Daniel Coull Type Designer
Eino Korkala Eino Korkala Type Designer
Sami Kelahaara TBWA\Helsinki Art Director
Otto Kilpiö TBWA\Helsinki Copywriter
Juhana Hokkanen TBWA\Helsinki Innovation Director
Joonas Vähäkallio TBWA\Helsinki Junior Art Director
Umberto Onza TBWA\Helsinki Lead Innovation Designer
Saana Simander TBWA\Helsinki Content Strategist
Pekko Pistokoski TBWA\Helsinki Copywriter
Juha-Matti Raunio TBWA\Helsinki Vice President, Innovations
Milla Leisti TBWA\Helsinki Account Director
Markus Nieminen TBWA\Helsinki Content Director
Viggo Höllander TBWA\Helsinki Digital Designer
Aleksi Pitkänen TBWA\Helsinki Developer
Tommi Selander TBWA\Helsinki Graphic Designer
Juho Ojala TBWA\Helsinki Planner
Jesse Korhonen TBWA\Helsinki Planner
Pekka Raittila TBWA\Helsinki Developer
Jenni Karsten TBWA\Helsinki Project Manager
Erika Rajaharju TBWA\Helsinki PR & Insights Trainee
Tuukka Laitinen Skål Helsinki Motion Graphic Designer

Why is this work relevant for Creative Data?

The Climate Crisis Font is a variable typeface that presents Arctic Sea Ice data through its different variations. By incorporating data directly into a typeface designed for communicating about climate change, we were able to enforce its communicative power tremendously. The climate data is the work’s primary driver.


Climate change is likely the biggest threat facing mankind at the moment. Despite constant reminders and warnings from climate researchers and scientists, we are unable to change course. The primary mission of newspaper Helsingin Sanomat is to help its readers understand the world better. Climate change and its impact is strongly present in the paper’s reporting but since the discussion surrounding the phenomenon has been going on for decades, it is easy for readers to become desensitized to the situation. The coronavirus pandemic has proven that when faced with an imminent threat, humanity can take swift action. However, a slowly-progressing complex entity like climate change is too hard to grasp to trigger the same effect in scale. There is a need to find new and pattern-breaking ways of communicating about climate change and its implications.

Describe the Creative idea / data solution (20% of vote)

Since people are poorly-equipped to react to slow changes, a solution was needed that could summarize decade-long developments to be experienced in seconds. Furthermore, given the scale of climate change, the solution should work not only for Helsingin Sanomat but for anyone willing to communicate about climate change. From a newspaper’s perspective, the printed word is the archetype of delivering information but even simpler still are the characters that make it. Hence the solution: a typeface that could present climate change’s impact over time through its various weights. The climate crisis font is an OpenType variable font whose design and size changes in accordance to the NSIC’s satellite data on Arctic Sea ice from 1979 to 2019 and the IPCC’s forecast until 2050, each year being represented by a specific font weight.

Describe the data driven strategy (30% of vote)

Climate change being the complex phenomenon it is, choosing which data to incorporate was especially important. Melting ice sheets having been among the most prominent implications of climate change and global warming for decades, the slow disappearance of the Arctic sea ice was deemed an appropriate representation of climate change’s impact. In the current information environment, credibility of the data was a major priority. The National Snow and Ice Data Center (NSIDC) has collected satellite data from 1979 accurately measuring the area covered by ice in the Arctic Sea. This provided a credible and uncontestable data set for the font until present day. For future predictions, IPCC, The United Nations body for assessing the science related to climate change, was regarded as the best data provider. The font’s data from 2020 to 2050 was based on their “Special Report on the Ocean and Cryosphere in a Changing Climate”.

Describe the creative use of data, or how the data enhanced the creative output (30% of vote)

The font’s design relies strongly on data and what it represents. The design is based on the metaphor of disappearing ice sheets with each character melting away as the weight changes heavy to light. The data was implemented into the design by assigning the 1979 NSIDC data point as the base level for the heaviest weight. The following data points would then determine the specific design in relation to the base level. For instance, the 1990 weight melts away as much as the Arctic Sea ice extent had diminished from 1979 to 1990. Thus, the lightest weight, 2050, represents a mere 30 % area of the base value, as predicted by the IPCC report. The OpenType variable font technology allowed the design to follow this data seamlessly from heavy to light. Helsingin Sanomat has used the font in its climate-related reporting and it is available for anyone to use.

List the data driven results (20% of vote)

So far the Climate Crisis Font has +6500 direct downloads from its website. Later in the spring, it will also be turned into a Google system font, after which it will be available for all Google Suite users. Through increasing usage the font will further awareness and understanding regarding climate change. It has already been used in advertising (in addition to Helsingin Sanomat itself) selling climate-friendly meat substitutes, and in music videos, such as the “Second Notice” by Mikko Karjalainen Fellowship Quintet with climate change -related spoken word performance by Finnish front row hip-hop artist Paleface. Additionally, It is being acquired by the Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum for their “Responsive Collection Initiative”. The campaign has gained +800 000 euros in earned media and 26 % of surveyed respondents in the primary target group for Helsingin Sanomat stated that the font and its related campaign increased their interest to subscribe.