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– 1% of the news in infographics …

Same Principles – Different Forms, John Grimwade

John Grimwade set out to assure us all – or perhaps scare the quickfixers among us – that even if the iPad is coming hard on the infographics world, it will still be about the content, if you want to be succesful. Same Principles – Different Forms.

His presentation-style is rather unique. He circles the topic with different finds and musings, and in the end you will feel enlightened and motivated. It is as far away from a hands-on, to-the-point presentation as you can get. So you have to let your imagination stay open and relate the stuff you see to your own situation.

Talking about the iPad, it is somewhat of a paradox, that Apple is one of the big problems for publishers. They are simply starting to wear out everyone’s patience, because they want 30% of the magazine subscriptions. John’s hopes are up for a tougher competition between the tablets, but tellingly he hasn’t seen the other tablets, and of course he really wants to get his hands on an iPad2.

John briefly touched the chicken-and-egg situation, which is probably the biggest issue when it comes to interactive graphics: Not enough customers to pay the innovation-costs – and not enough innovation to attract the customers. In the end however, it will be the publishers who have to break the viscious circle and start developing some cool content, which users will want. But there will be failures on that road – and they will be expensive. John told us, that an interactive graphic for the iPad will easily cost several 1000’s of dollars.

The big problems with ipad-publishing right now is:

  • The size of the files. – it takes forever to download a copy of Wired (2-300 mB)
  • iPad-graphics are mostly carved-up versions of printed graphics. You hide 90% of the content and ask users to find it again.
  • Online-graphics in your normal browser is far superior to iPad-graphics in every way.


Lastly – to honour the tradition and end in a funny way, John showed the ‘Infographics Nightmare’-trailer.