Infographics in an editorial world

It’s one thing wanting an infographic and quite another knowing how to use them.

That’s me paraphrasing – and agreeing with – illustrator-cum-infografista Nathalie Lees, someone who knows what makes for a good editorial infographic. Talking at the EDO’s infographic event last Thursday her take on infographics was fresh, inspiring and made good sense.

Illustration from ‘Eureka’

With a background working on books, magazines and newspapers and talented enough to be able to turn her hand to illustrations or infographics, small or large, conceptual or technical, she was quick to acknowledge the role of the editorial staff in the process.

She listed three reasons as to why editors like infographics: they look good, they can provide a change of pace and they can exist in their own right.

But crucially she also mentioned two other prerequisites for the best results: working with editorial staff who have an appreciation of when and how to use an infographic as well as with a good art director.

I would add another critical factor to the list, that of working with an extremely talented illustrator with the ability to get her head around complex issues.

Wonders of the Solar System, infographics by Nathalie Lees, art directed by Studio8 Design

And when it all comes together you get beautiful results, what I previously (and rather dull-ly) called ‘integrated’ infographics: integrated into the page, into the copy, into the journalism.

This is something I have admired The Times’ monthly scientific supplement Eureka for doing so well. And it turns out Nathalie has worked on lots of them too.

Lots more please!