I caught Stefan Fichtel for a talk about the Malofiej-competition, where he was one of the stronger judges in the jury for printed entries. Stefan is the Creative Director of Kircher-Burkhardt – overseeing the daily work of 10-15 infographic artists inside the larger company of almost 150 employees.
Infographic artists should help commercial clients
As you can see in the video, Stefan has a lot of ideas about infographic – one of the more controversial suggestions he puts forward after participating in Malofiej is the idea, that infographic artists should dig into the world of commercial work.
Like Stefan says – ‘There are millions of clients out there’ – and they all have a need to get their products communicated. You will even make your editor-in-chief happy, because he can sell your infographic services to clients in order to pay for the news – and as we know – news is hard to make money from today, so why not try it out?
Good economy or journalistic content
Interesting input, Stefan, but I’m not too sure if the typical editor-in-chief will really like this proposal. I think most of them doesn’t care too much about economy compared to the journalistic content in their paper – and mixing advertising into the newsroom will surely cause all kind of trouble. Secondly I fear that too many infographic journalists doesn’t really have the skills needed to serve a commercial client.
Agencies take over responsibility of experimenting
But it is interesting that if we think of the implications of newspapers being unable to earn money and keep a decent level of staff in the infographics department, then the responsibility of exploring and experimenting with the visual language of infographics will move away from newspapers and end up with the agencies. A trend, which is already visible – and I’m not going to be surprised if we see even more premiun work from agencies in the years to come, while the newspapers are falling behind and doing work like they’re used to.