Tangent creates diagram of Afghan troop casualties for BBC

Tangent Graphic has created a diagram of UK troop casualties in the Afghanistan war for the forthcoming BBC Four series The Beauty of Diagrams.

The Glasgow- and New York-based design group won the project after the BBC approached about four Glasgow consultancies to produce a diagram in just two days.

Tangent Graphic based its design on Florence Nightingale’s Diagram of the Causes of Mortality in the Army in the East, which showed that more soldiers were dying from poor sanitary conditions than from their injuries.

‘In the past four years, casualties from roadside bombings have soared, reflecting the fact that Afghanistan resistance to Western military presence has got fiercer and fiercer,’ says Tangent Graphic designer David Whyte.

The group chose to use the soldiers full names without their army titles in order to humanise them.

‘The average age for a soldier killed in Afghanistan is 21, but we decided in the end not to include this bit of information,’ says Whyte. ‘We also came up with the idea of using the raw data in the diagram so that nobody can accuse us of over-dramatising the situation, which really speaks for itself.’

Tangent Graphic was also interviewed about its diagram for the series, which will air on BBC Four in the autumn.

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