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– 1% of the news in infographics …

National Geographic makes the graphics noone else can afford

When you look at the National Geographics graphics, you’ll often wonder how they can manage to get all the details in there. How can they even afford to put them in there – it must take forever and be expensive too?

Art Director, Juan Velasco, can answer ‘Yes’ to both. A typical graphic will take at least half a year to finish, and the most complicated ones will take considerable longer to produce. Regarding economy they don’t come short of anything. – ‘We needed a skeleton to use as a base for drawing and sculpting, so we bought one for 15.000 dollars’. Imagine getting such a purchase approved in any regular newsroom …

No other magazine in the world can make such a project
However the real expenses will start when they call in the best sculptors, illustrators and photographers in the world to supplement their own staff. The project, which Juan Velasco showed to us, the creation of ‘Wilma the Neanderthal’ is just such a no-efforts-spared-project, which no other magazine in the world could produce. You can make your own guess about the expenses, but 500.000 dollars doesn’t seem too much in my mind.

It’s interesting to watch the process – and somehow assuring that in the infographic world of guesswork, shortcomings and errors, there is also this kind of work being produced.