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- 10% of the news in infographics …

Different styles of infographics – what have we learned?

johngrimwade1

Malofiej 2002: John Grimwade showed various examples of gold medal winners throughout the 10 years of Malofiej Awards. The first years were dominated by the spanish papers with mega-sportsgraphics, that could really blow you away. (And blow the readers away oftentimes too).

Next came the era of Clarín. The ‘Builder Graphics’. Graphics departments was turned into construction sites, where you might hear the editor shouting through the noise of hammering, sawing and drilling ‘Have you build that graphic yet? – I need it now!’. Clarín has been and still are so succesful in getting awards, that John suggested it would be easier to save them the trouble of submitting graphics each year, and just send them an ‘automatic’ gold medal.

The simple style of Newsweek was the next trend to win the goldens. Heavily influenced by their Graphics Director, Bonnie Scranton. (Who in turn subscribes to the Edward Tufte way of doing infographics).
And growing out of that came in 1998 NY Times under Charles Blow. They have routinely won lots of gold since then in much the same way as Clarín …

John Grimwade made a point about how in the first years the category of breaking news ‘couldn’t bear the competition from magazine color features. Not even be in the same room.’ He noted with satisfaction how they reappeared because of the Oklahoma bombing in 1995.

Another point was how graphics can’t be truly international. Not yet at least. He urged us to allow for cultural differences when judging graphics. The style and the colors of Brazilian and Spanish graphics just doesn’t fit at the foggy British Isles.

Lastly, John now sees the infographics getting ready to enter the next stage of development with the new possibilities of animation.

(This article was first published in 2002 in the former version of VisualJournalism.com)