Contact Us

We'd love to work with you.
(415) 598-8405

Thanks for your email! We'll be in touch shortly.

Explainer Case Study

Client: KQED
Topic: Minimum Wage

The Challenge

In the spring of 2014, KQED's The Lowdown blog hired Newsbound to write and design a visual explainer on the minimum wage debate.

The goal was to distill this complex subject for readers who want to catch up on this unfolding story. The underlying challenge was to make sense of the conflicting body of research on the economic impacts of minimum wage increases.

You can view the final product here and learn more about the production process below.

Our Editorial Approach

After researching the issue, we boiled the topic down to a few key takeaways:

    The federal minimum wage has completely and utterly failed to keep up with cost-of-living in the United States.
    New studies have started to shift the debate about the economic impact of minimum wage hikes.
    While Congress is unlikely to pass a minimum wage hike soon, there is a lot happening at the local level.
Our Visual Approach

We structured the graphics around a waitress character meant to symbolize the typical minimum wage worker.

We weaved her into several of the data visualizations and then grounded the piece in reality by integrating a variety of AP photographs.


The explainer went live on March 13, 2014 and spread quickly over the next two weeks.

“Raising the minimum wage is a hot topic all across the country. Here's a ton of facts, all loaded into one really pretty set of graphics. Some are even animated! I cover this topic all the time, and I learned a few things from it myself.”

- Brandon Weber, Upworthy
Social Media Reaction

The explainer received over 30,000 shares on Facebook and Twitter.

Reader Engagement

Nearly 900,000 readers launched the explainer. Over 50% made the 35 clicks to complete the piece, spending five minutes on average and reading over 1,000 words.

Contact Us

We'd love to work with you.
(415) 598-8405

Thanks for your email! We'll be in touch shortly.