Stories need multimedia: information graphics

About: Ah information graphics, they can either be completely wretched and confusing, or aesthetically pleasing and fitting, you’re the author, you decide.

For the information graphics I make, I prefer to use the easel.ly interface, which is a fairly new website and quite simple for staff to catch on to, here are a few examples of what I have made.

Infographics are great- or they can be. Raising a staff of over a hundred students it has become apparent that the compositional/artistic eye varies from person to person, however it is important to invest nearly equal time in the ‘extra’ story as it is the primary story, so each are equally strong and feasible for publishing.

Just like a photostory, graphics are meant to mirror the story they are attached to, or at least complement it. And just like a news story, a graphic has an introduction (referred to as a chatter), supplemental information for images (referred to as callouts and explainers) and sources (usually cited in the bottom lefthand corner, with the author in the right).

There is no foolproof way to teach an editor on how to have an artistic vision- some people just do not function that way. Personally, I approach a graphic like an art piece, with a sketch of each layout beforehand and placement of artwork prior to the placement of my information. I pull numbers and facts from my article, and try to render the infographic in a way that presents my reader a new approach. I write an article on prescriptions? I do a graphic on a certain class of prescription drugs. I do an article on a controversial election? I highlight a candidate’s ideals in a graphic.

Graphics are all about playing off of each other, and that is the strong part to being able to make a visual element.

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