We were recently tasked by world-leading spread betting, forex and CFD trading provider, IG, to create an interactive creative content piece that would educate their audience on the state of play in the stock market, encouraging engagement and gaining linked coverage.

Shares are intangible, constantly-evolving representations of the fortunes of multinational corporations. When people think of the stock market, we often think of the FTSE 100 or tech giants such as Apple, Microsoft or Facebook, who have seen their prices rise enormously over the past decade.

We wanted to play on this sense of scale and changing fortune, transforming share prices into something that felt physical. We started imagining the companies as looming monoliths – monuments to success and failure that tower over us.

To that end, we created The Art of Shares – an interactive piece that enables the user to create physical sculptures in their browser using live share prices from companies listed on the London, Euronext and New York stock exchanges.

Art of shares 1

Striking, primitive visuals were always at the heart of our vision; sci-fi monoliths, brutalist architecture and scenes that play with the sense of scale. We also wanted to use a black and white palette to throw focus on the shape and stark edges of each structure.

Art of shares 2

In order to bring all this to life, we combined a data source with the latest web technologies to allow us to prototype and create an almost infinite number of structures relatively quickly.

Our partnership with the client and Quandl gave us access to not only a live feed of share prices, but historical prices from the last 20 years – a huge data set that allows us to show change over time and let the sculptures continue to evolve as time passes.

It was important for us to create structures that were uniquely individual upon each creation, yet still reflected the overall trend or shape of the chart. This was a key advantage of the medium chosen and helped to represent the volatile, day-to-day changes in business.

Art of shares 3

We start with the classic share-price-over-time graph, turning it on its side to create a vertical slice that grows from the company’s public listing at its base to its current price at the top. This line is then used as a cross section of a pillar and filled with blocks, each one scaled to fill the shape in a different way. Our final pillars are rendered in rough, brutalist concrete and placed on a plinth in a stark white environment.

The Art of Shares is a resource to get lost in, to truly examine the changing fortunes of businesses across the world in a new, breathtaking fashion.

We’re now maximising coverage for this content and ensure it reaches IG’s target audience. We’re also delighted that this project has already received industry recognition from FWA, with The Art of Shares awarded Site of the Day.