Sunday, 22 November 2009

The Leap Year

'Queen bees' making a cottage industry from their writing

Six women writers intend to revolutionise the book trade by publishing from their homes

They have set up an imprint company called Queen Bee Press and their first collection is out now

Called 'The Leap Year' the anthology charts transformational moments in twelve women's lives over the consecutive months of the year. Each story is set in a different country and considers a particular life stage

The six authors of the book, named 'The Contemporary Women Writer's Club' are Miranda Glover, Lucy Cavendish (my wife), Jennie Walmsley, Rachel Jackson, Alexa Hughes Wilson and Anne Tuite-Dalton

They decided to publish themselves because of the problems they saw in traditional publishing. Glover was quoted in the Evening Standard last week saying;
"The industry isn't courting new women's writing... established writers are losing their contracts because they can't compete with Katie Price [the chest, aka Jordan]"
I've read it. I thinks its great. Please take a leap of faith and buy it here

Fighting Taliban control

Strongholds of Hakimullah Mehsud

Please forgive the late posting of this infographic

An important story at the time, four weeks ago, but how the news event developed, or the current status of the Pakistan offensive, is a complete mystery to me

The last report by the Telegraph is here, accompanied with video. After battling since October 17, Pakistani troops gained control of Kotkai, which is the birthplace of Pakistan Taliban leader 'Hakimullah Mehsud', and also the home town of the Taliban's master trainer of suicide bombers 'Qari Hussain'

The latest, according to Al Jazeera and the BBC, is that Pakistani authorities have offered a bounty for information that leads to the capture or killing of Mehsud

Wednesday, 18 November 2009

Astute attack submarine

Astute launched into the high seas

Britain's latest £1.2bn submarine was launched this week

It will never need refueling in its 25 year, nuclear life

The Astute, as Thomas Harding writes in the Telegraph, will be able to detect the QE2 cruise liner leaving New York harbour from the English Channel

And obviously great fodder for infographics

Cutaway drawings, maps and simple explosive diagrams, the subject is a dream for infographers

On Monday, also in the Telegraph for the Business section front, Andrew Blenkinsop produced a clean and bold visual package reporting the financial aspects of the Astute project, built and designed by Bae Systems

One story, but many ways and angles to visually report

Friday, 13 November 2009

Nuclear Power in the UK

Britain's nuclear future

Another story to my earlier blog on the shooting of UK soldiers in Nad-e-Ali

Here are two infographics, showing the SAME information in a similar way

The Guardian produced clean and clear interactive, with good text narrative per new plant

The Daily Telegraph, above, shows sites where the new plants will be built, sites currently in use and those which have been shut down

Just as interesting, or more in my opinion, is the chart at the bottom which shows when our current plants will be closed, therefore seriously effecting electricity generation from 2010 onwards, and why Ed Miliband and the government needs to act as soon as possible. But it will be pricey

Although Geoffry Lean in the Telegraph counter argues in his interesting analysis that accompanied the infographic on the page

the most cost-effective policy of all would be to reduce the waste of energy... which would by us time, save us money, and create jobs... but Miliband's department is dragging its feet

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Redesign of The Australian

New grids and visuals with impact

News International's creative maestro Alfredo Trivino, talks about his recent project on YouTube

Trivino's working theory: "trying to create a very organic and flexible design – a content driven design"

Using the colours and tones from Australian art, he approached the new colour palette from the incredibly rich red tones from the earth and the beautiful blues from the skyline of the southern hemisphere

His choice of Times Classic as chief font brings a friendly but authoritative voice to the paper

Trivino has also introduced visuals with impact, by creating real-estate within the page hierarchy and NYT-esq "op-ed" infographics in the opinion and comment section

As with all Alfredo projects, it looks a thing of great beauty, but does not navigate away from the business end of the newspaper industry, and quoted here on

"When you can deliver high-quality journalism and exclusive content that is very valuable it doesn't matter if you deliver it on broadsheet or on A4 paper," he says. "The future is more positive now than ever because the possibilities are endless."

Visual journalism caviar

Thursday, 5 November 2009

Unforseen design problems

London lays host to many great architectural delights

And the super Westminster Bridge is no different, connecting north of the river to the south and positioned beneath the PHALLIC Big Ben

Financed by PRIVATE capital, lotteries and grants, the bridge was designed by the Swiss architect Charles Labelye and was built between 1739-1750

By mid 19th century it was subsiding badly and expensive to MAINTAIN. The current bridge was designed by Thomas Page and opened in 1862

With an overall LENGTH of 252 metres and a 26 metre WIDTH, it is the oldest bridge in central London

UK soldiers killed in Nad-e-Ali

Three versions of one news event

Which infographic right?

I guess we should ask 'how much do I now know'

None seem wrong, although how would we ever know?

Local sources communicate to 'stringers' and provide information for our news desk

At which point does information become interpretation?

It is generally assumed that we infographers should only 'show what we know'

If the 'know' is reported to us as 'fact' then we have to rely on this information

Or contact the source direct