Wednesday, 29 April 2009

Swine flu: UK press [2]

More work from Fleet streets finest?

The Guardian added updated figures for their data map

And The Times produced a wee locator map. A little disappointing somewhat

Ho hum. 

The Daily Telegraph continued with a similar line of thought from the previous day, updating with news of the UK, by how many cases, some 'suspected cases' to bulk out the graphic

But a great infographic from the Independent by Archie Bland and John Bradley, focusing on Mexico and neglecting the global spread, a trend used by the Guardian and the Daily Telegraph

Lets break the infographic down

A great map/timeline of Mexico, showing how the swine flu spreads across the country

I quite like this. The black arrow/box are a little clumsy, but the information - both written and visual is fantastic

The main focus is, what looks like, the state of the nation of April 28. District by district, we get the picture, culminating with a information box on the suspected source of the outbreak - La Gloria. 

'Mexico by numbers' offers a lighter understanding, and the 'anti-viral' chart gives a global feel of who has taken the past warning of avian flu seriously

The design and typography are clean, and crisp

A joy to read?

I think so

What do you think?

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

Swine flu: UK press

Ha ha the swine flu

Bloody hell what a fuss. But great media fodder

These examples were from Monday for Tuesday editions

Sorry - these are the only examples I have

The Guardian produced their classic map with data-driven circles

I must admit that I wanted to do something similar

Indeed I had some 'magic' working, but a senior editor had his doubts

And in a way I slightly agree

If we are all looking at the spread of the disease, then the 'circular method of present the spread is misleading' he said

Great as the Guardian graphic is, does it indicate that the 'suspected' circle has directly contaminated the countries that it covers?

I had not wanted to take this into consideration, because as an example of such, and as the production looks so wonderful, the editor had a major point - that this technique is flawed in this example

I guess, the fall out is, that it is OK to produce the circular data graphics as data graphics, but to overlay over a map can confuse things somewhat

Certainly over a map of the world, which covers millions of miles

It would most certainly work over a localised area map

We at the Telegraph tried too cover to much, I think

The information over the map, which was updated overnight, maybe became a little on the side of 'where do I look first'

Overall I think the desire was fine, we managed to incorporate a timeline of the swine flu, and hint at possible causes. Which added that element 'unintended learning'

My winner was the first infographic, which shows, in a headline manner, which companies were 'winner and losers' from the Mexican disaster


Sunday, 26 April 2009

Spring is in the air

A fantastic days in Henley-on-Thames

The wonderful Hambleden valley

Horses, chicks in jodpurs, spring flowers, and children eating treats

An amazing course for the three-day eventers

And a great pic of my youngest on the icecream!

Strapped to my back was the young missus

Go on girl, enjoy the vanilla feeling

Guardian Rock!

Great stuff from the Guardian

Awesome editorial

Great design

Excellent infographics

Full integration

and they look sweet


Infographic caviar indeed

Thursday, 23 April 2009

UK Budget [2]

Three's a crowd?

Fantastic - all three competitors of ours - the three other daily 'quality' newspapers in London, the Independent, left, the Guardian, on the right, and centre is the Times

Producing very similar work

All very good, and what matters, is not who's the best, but does the graphic[s] explain the news, and the data in a clear way?

Yes they do

Who developed this technique first, for the Budget, I do not know

Although it wouldn't surprise me that it was the Guardian - they are normally first with something new, and not yet seen

But other quality newspapers are following the Guardian's lead, then what next for the Berliner format newspaper. What different visualisations will they do next year?

Indeed does they need to?

What if the Independent, and the Times develop new ground?

And do something different like what we did at the DT

Not that our coverage was any better - just bigger, and in-depth

But I think we made a good stab at this huge news event

Does it matter that we are seeing a homogenisation of infographics, not only in the UK, but around Europe, and the world?

In Spain - it is difficult to tell from which newspaper what infographic is from where

Is homogenisation good for business?

It certainly makes for a 'strong scene'

I guess it is safe, and secure. We all drink coffee in the morning. We know everyone else is doing it, and therefore we don't stand out. It is confirmation that what we are doing is OK

The world copies the NYT - sometimes very poorly. Only the National Geographic has replicated the NYT – and is doing things better!

We all want to replicate the very best

But where is the creativity?

Where is the innovation?

When we innovate – everyone develops infographic hybrids of the original thought

But to develop this 'thought' – only those who innovate know how to take creativity further
Is innovation dead with the printed format?

I don't think so... the times are too interesting

YESTERDAY was the time to innovated. NOW is the moment to develop

UK Budget [1]

On Wednesday, the Chancellor delivered his forecast for the economy

Here are some images from my office, the Telegraph

Infographic examples

I can't remember how many graphics we produced for our Budget coverage, but at a guess 20+

It was a busy day, explaining many points, and the new financial measures means for our readers

In conference, editors plan what is what and what goes where, right of centre

I wanted to capture the moment

Crikey – what a day

But worth it all the same

Monday, 20 April 2009

Boston Globe [2]

The latest on the plight of the Boston Globe

James Vaznis on an interesting piece, that Mass. Democrat Senator John F Kerry is to hold hearings on the financial problems facing the newspaper industry in the US, where dwindling advertising revenue forcing the closure of many papers

I hope that these discussions will allow companies to think, and innovate with new business models, as they currently, and clearly DO NOT WORK

Earlier this month, owners of the Boston Globe, the  NYT Co, threatened to shut down the Globe unless unions agreed to $20 million in cost concessions, as the paper is on track to lose $85 million this year

Crikey - this is a lot of money, although bugger all compared to what the financial institutions have cost the tax payer in trillion dollar bail-outs

On this note, with interest Jeff Jarvis has always a good opinionated rant. A great column in today's Guardian Media section, although he can be read on his sight

"Newspapers looking for fault in their fall need look no farther than the buttons on their bellies. The Atlantic magazine has just published a survey of a handful of esteemed, mostly print, American journalists and two-thirds of them said the internet is harmful to journalism. Well, the web has been harmful to the maintenance of their comfortable hegemony over news and advertising. But in truth, the internet presents no end of opportunity to them. They didn't grab it. They blew it"
Great stuff. Always hitting the nail on the head. Jarvis signs off with:

When papers die, there will be silence, confusion and chaos and a few bad guys will escape the watchful eye of journalism. The good news is this: into this crying need, this vacuum, entrepreneurs will rush. And finally, journalism will get the reinvention it has been waiting for...


Sunday, 19 April 2009

Koutoubia tower [Marrakesh]

Visual symbolism

I've just returned from a family break in Marrakesh

I superb holiday of sun, culture and harassment.

My hotel was next to the 'Koutoubia mosque', which is the largest in the city and completed under the reign of the Almohad caliph 'Yaqub al-Mansour', and used as a model for the 'Giralda' in Seville.

Such amazing history in Morocco, in a way the melting pot of cultures of the Moors, Arabs and Europeans. 

The minaret of Koutoubia has influenced thousands of church towers in Spain and Eastern Europe

A visual symbol of community, history and our future

Like news platforms, and infographics

Like Zarracina's and Baptista's infographic work in the past for El Correo in Bilbao

Symbolic design with meaning, and a following

Visuals that are replicated across the globe for originality, innovation and quality

What is next in the world of infographics?

The NYT have shown us how data can look cool, and likewise the Guardian

The illustrative caliphs from Bilbao, and likewise Serra at Clarin in Argentina resurrected and developed the hand drawn news presentations not seen in newspapers since the '70s and '80s

So, what is next?

Is it a guarded secret?

Is the latest offshoot of our great and beloved method of explaining the news a mash-up of presenting data published by our readers and online viewers? Allowing them to edit and develop work published by ourselves?

Do we become more community orientated, publishing work off/online for our people rather than our portfolio? 

Saturday, 11 April 2009

Are infographics over-designed?

Well its an interesting thought

My matey at the Telegraph, Ciaran Hughes thinks so. Is he right? 

Does the power of great illustration and rendering get lost in the quagmire of leading, kerning and baseline-grid alignment?

Maybe its a very valid point. 

Does illustration mean anything? 

Do we prefer to design the news display rather than render the reason?

Do infografistas feel inferior to designers?

Do designers feel inferior to infografistas because they deal with the content?

Should we be meeting in the middle, i.e 'the content'

We've had great fun at the Telegraph the past week, working with Tim Shearing who designs the news section. With the 'Tomlinson' packackage, and the recent 'terror raids' we have produced some interesting editorial - mixing the words, the photography and the infographics to produce editorial harmonics

I hope to get these online soon

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Winning entries from the UK

And here they are
Although I don't have the other from the Guardian, who won two
Congrats to all at the Guardian and the Sunday Times
Although the ST had many days to perfect this, we should not forget it is breaking news
The story changed many times, indeed up until the Saturday morning
And fantastic visuals
Great infographics

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Italian earthquake

Sketching the disaster

Awful I know, but we infographic journalists must always visualise the news agenda, WHATEVER it is

Sometime tricky, involving complex levels of understanding, before we even start to think about the execution of the finished article

Here are a few examples I'd like to share

Sometimes these are more interesting than the computer rendering

I'd like to see more sketches: please send to igraphics blogger

Boston globe

Does anyone know what the latest news is of the Globe's future? NYT - the owners of Boston's great newspaper want to close within 30 days if unions don't agree to slash savings and costs...

As we all know there are some seriously talented staff at the Globe

Will the NYT be on the sniff for 'the talent' if the Globe is indeed put to the sword?