Monday, 28 June 2010

Battle of Britain [2]

Battle of Britain – 70 years on

The battle in graphic form, in last weekend's Sunday Telegraph's Battle of Britain eight page supplement, which I hope to post this week

So rare these days to work on projects, time to think, time to develop

Over a week or two, Stefan Bayley and Ciaran Hughes played a blinder with visualising the content, and Fiona Mattias as always, steered the supplement, meticulously

My favorite part?

The daily number of aircraft lost from July 10 to the end of September

This is a lot of aircraft

And in the sky, over the southern coasts of England and initially across the deep channel

Can you imagine witnessing a dog-fight in clear summer skies?

I was walking the dogs this morning, and a Messerschmitt Me 109e idled above the Chiltern Valley, where I live

Great engines roaring

Imagine multiplying this by at least 100, and imagine the sounds of break-neck speed Me 109e and the British Spitfire – aircraft and each pilot with two aims – to kill and to survive

Is it impossible to "imagine you are there" with infographics? Whether we produce a more data/information driven, with illustration, or more decorative work with the added bonus of a annotated map – can our reader/viewer imagine themselves in the picture?

Maybe as children they can, adults maybe not

But the power off illustration goes along way in evoking these emotions

Although the infographic industry has grown and developed great analysts, visual reporters and chart divas, let us not forget the power of illustration

We contacted well known manufacturer of air-fix kits, and fortunately managed to manipulate a great image, to edit and show what we thought would benefit the page

Does it matter from where the visuals come?


Use what you can find

Make phone calls, and send emails

Show the story

Battle of Britain

Battle of Britain – 70 years on

Yes - ironic the day Germany's fantastically talented and youthful team, knock out a bunch of over-paid failures, the Sunday Telegraph produced a wonderful "Battle of Britain" supplement

Inside it told the story of the summer of 1940; The Spitfire – the envy of the enemy and historical by authors James Holland and Brian Milton

There was also a full-page broadsheet infographic, part of which is picture above

I will hope to upload these later today, with spreads also

Wednesday, 23 June 2010

Britain's Boom to Bust

Britain's Boom to Bust

Ed Conway, the Telegraph's economics editor, talks us through Britain's boom and bust using eight key graphs – savings, GDP the FTSE and unemployment to name but a few

These graphs, with the aid of audio narrative, give key insight to the UK economy

Importantly, Conway talks to the graphs

The data

The visual facts

Without these key visual facts, it would be hard for the viewer/reader/listener to follow and be able to quantify the report

David Kinross built this excellent interactive

I think it is the first time at we have used such AS scripting to combine audio and information graphics to show and explain news and comment

But designed in a crisp, intellectual way

Minimal design

Maximum information

Information caviar

David Kinross has supplied some hot technical background for the coding involved in producing the interactive... many thanks David

Stuff used in the code

All Tweens are done using open source Tweenlite library.


Build the MP3 player using these 3 native AS3 classes

Sound Transform

Sound Channel

MS excel to XML conversion
The XML feeds which the flash file runs off where generated using PC freeware 'toXML'


Tuesday, 15 June 2010

Book review [The Designer's Graphic Stew]

Book review [The Designer's Graphic Stew]

How exciting. To be offered design books to review

The Designer's Graphic Stew
, is much much more than what the cover shows

By Timothy Samara, his "visual ingredients, techniques, and layout recipes" really does feel like a book for our kitchen shelf. In this, his seventh published book on design and typography, Samara uses "menu" metaphor for structure, theme and rhythm, and "visual ingredients" season the book throughout. Even the "image cropping" section includes restaurant staff as case studies

On first inspection the book looks well conceived and professionally designed. The paper stock is high-end and the colour reproduction first class. It feels as though it should belong in any designer's library whether student or professional

And I don't mind that. Samara offers advice that will help anyone wishing to learn the basics, as guidelines and not disciplines, while also offering subtle reminders to the seasoned art director in the "dessert tray" at the rear of the book – case studies of various editorial/commercial/print/digital examples from the US

I found particular interest in the "Modular Grids" section on page 150:
In contrast to regular column grids, the modular grid also provides a set of consistent rows for increased precision...

The modular design grid is something I picked up from work with designers at the media consultancy group Innovation – a grid system that worked in any language and script

If the 'devil is in the detail', then Samara's latest book is a triple chocolate and whipped cream dessert. The layers of detail are what you make of it. The deeper your knowledge the longer your read. I spent at least an hour gorging over icon and pictogram examples

OK the cooking guises are sometimes over cooked:
Consider these strategies as building blocks–work from them with the ingredients and recipes that follow, and you're sure to become the chef de cuisine in your studio...

... but my general feeling is that this book is fun, very handy, and at times an excellent reference book to have in any studio

Monday, 14 June 2010

World Cup Goals

World Cup Goals – but don't make the news

The goal infographic should have made ALL the print editions of this Sunday's Telegraph

Steven Gerrard's 4th minute goal would have given us plenty of time to produce the goods for the first edition


Stefan Bayley and Ciaran Hughes rolled up their sleeves edited the text and imagery. Celebration pics and the glorious annotated England goal ready to rock

And then butter fingers buggers it up. The news changed


No celebrations

The infographic did not make it through all editions, only first

Thursday, 10 June 2010

Behind the paywall

Behind the paywall: interactives from the Sunday Times

And here we go

Remember the fantastic online interactives from El Pais in the late nineties and early noughties?

The genius behind those incredible Spanish clickable guides is now at the Sunday Times

Rafa Hohr, with John Smith's talented bunch have created this entertaining infographic which shows how engineers have been battling to stem the flow of oil which has been polluting the Gulf since the Deepwater Horizon explosion in April

Its simple yet informative and visually pleasing: the oil leak moves through the water, and bubbles rise from robot subs

Its great, and with the online background of Hohr, the Sunday Times will be producing interactive infographics previously seen on websites for El Pais and El Mundo in Madrid and Paddy Allen at the Guardian

Here is another example from Rafa

PS You may need to register, this of course will incur no cost during the trial period

WC2010: Will the US turn up?

WC2010: Will the US turn up?


We all make mistakes, annoyingly

But is this a mistake, or a complete cock-up?

Granted, Brazil will host the World Cup in 2014, but to confuse South America with South Africa, for the graphics editor to OK the job, for the news editor of channel WGN of Chicago to sign off the visuals before the on-air report...


Some commentators are offering the WGN graphics department the benefit of their doubt:

... something makes me think that the mistake was based in a lack of knowledge of geography rather than a simple confusion between ‘South Africa and South America.’ The question to ask is, how many other media outlets will make similar mistakes during the coverage this summer? I would bet that they just default to showing the entire continent of Africa to be safe