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- 10% of the news in infographics …

The Graphics Editor from Hell – (if you’re a graphics consultant)

Ivan Kemp from Sabado Magazine, Portugal was the first of the judges to enter the scene and give a presentation. His talk was named ‘How to survive a graphics reform’.

Well, Ivan was still alive, but I’m not sure if he really had survived the reform in one piece. At least his compassion for a certain graphics consultant seemed to have taken a fatal blow. I think he needs more time.

Here is a useful snippet, I just found in a handbook of how to deal with graphics reforms: With the passage of time and the lack of any recurring traumatic events, a person usually returns to the regular routines of daily life.

The traumatic event ie: The Reform had been delivered to Sabado, when Ivan wasn’t around due to paternal leave. When he returned, he was handed the reform as a printed pdf and asked to start to follow it in detail. An impossible job according to Ivan.

A job gone horribly wrong
For this presentation Ivan took it upon himself to get revenge and show what it looks like when a consultant-job goes horribly wrong. Page by page he showed the graphic manual to the audience accompanied by dry and ironic comments delivered in a very low-key voice.

So whenever Ivan said ‘That’s nice’ most of the time, it really meant ‘how come my company paid this guy all this money to write a manual, which is telling me what to do, when I clearly know my way around infographics myself’.

You can’t pay your way to excellence
Sometimes it was funny even if it was a bit sad. But most of the time, I watched with the feeling that the presentation should really be shown to the directors at Sabado rather than the malofiej-audience. That way the directors could see for themselves why it will never work to force a reform on talented people. If you want the best graphics in your paper you won’t get it by hiring an expensive consultant. It may come as a shock for the directors, but you can’t just pay your way to excellence.

Ivan went on to tell, how he was asked to copy graphics of other newspapers all the time. To keep his integrity high in this environment, he insisted on giving credit to the source in every single graphic he copied. Not many newspapers can claim such a standard, when they copy.

Loyal only to the quality of work
On the ‘Do you want the truth or something beautiful-o-meter’ Ivan definitely scored high with the truth. And that is why he will often be perceived as a graphics editor from hell – a man with no other loyalties than a high standard of work and with no mercy towards people going the easy way.