At the 2016 EARL London conference senior data-visualisation journalist John Burn-Murdoch, described how the Financial Times uses R to produce high-quality, striking data visualisations. Until recently, charts were the realm of an information designer using tools like Adobe Illustrator: the output was beautiful, but the process was a long and winding one. The FT needed to be able to "audition" several different visual treatments quickly, to be able to create stunning visuals before deadline. That's where R and the ggplot2 package come in.
John presented a case study (you can see the slides with animations here) on creating this FT article, Explore the changing tides of European footballing power. The final work included 128 charts in total, telling the story of dozens of soccer teams in four countries. John also shared these animated versions (along with the ggplot2 code to produce them):
You can find the data and R code behind the animations here.