This New York Times cancer graph is a beautiful piece of work.
I wanted to see if we could reproduce it with everyday tools.
Click here to watch a screencast showing how it was done. Warning the screencast is a little long—14 minutes—and a little unpolished. One cut, no retakes, banzai analytics!
Derek raised an interesting question about how to find the fonts used by the New York Times. While I don’t think you can find a high quality free version of these fonts (Helvetica Neue, Univers?), Microsoft has made some very good new fonts for Vista and these are also available to Microsoft Office users through a compatibility pack. Here’s a link or google for “microsoft office compatibility pack“. I recommend using these fonts.
Here’s a version of the graph with these new fonts and more emphasis on getting the typography right.