Monday, 19 July 2010

Inside the NYT graphics department

Inside the New York Times graphics department with Gestalten in Berlin, have produced THE MUST SEE interview with Steve Duenes, Graphics Director and Archie Tse, Graphics Editor of the NYT. The graphic department at the NYT have won countless awards for their ground-braking and peerless graphic journalism. This video podcast offers an incredible insight into the minds of two leaders of the most successful graphics team in journalism

In extracts from the interview Duenes states the core requirement of his team philosophy:
It is our job to edit, to reduce and determine what it is about a story that someone wants to know, needs to know and try to convey a hierarchy of things that are really important and things that are a little less important, just interesting
And on relations with the newsroom:
There are plenty of word editors in our newsroom who have really terrific ideas about what might make a good graphic, and we actually owe these editors a lot because... we can't pay attention to everything and they like point out opportunities for us that turn out to be really exceptional graphics and we probably would never have done them if it weren't for word editors saying... "there's a clear visual angle and maybe you should get plugged in..."
Tse also comments on the newsroom and a usual graphic editor's role:
In the news room editors are people who sort of take content that has been created and then edit it, but in the graphics department, the graphic editors actually create a lot of content also, they do the reporting, they do the distilling of the information, we could also be called graphics reporters, or graphics journalists but editing is one part of our job
Later, Tse reveals the secret of the most successful infographic style book in the world, and what they do:
We don't, and we've made some attempts to create one in the past but, but its difficult because of the principles that we sort of follow are fluid and depend on the situation and they depend on the material that you have... I feel like what we should try to do is find a story that is uniquely visual that will give our readers a better understanding of what has happened
Duenes adds:
There's a visual language at the [New York] Times... that there is no law that governs what that visual language is... just a sought of an agreement between the designers about what works well and is clear

This interview was conducted in relation with the release of Gestalten's latest book Turning Pages: Editorial Design for Print Media


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