Making Art: Behind the Scenes of Infographics iG

Working in this market internet, it is natural that we take a look more closely at the various players exist today. Among them, I can say with confidence that the iG is one of the portals that have more invested in the production of information itself with quality. The result can be seen in the reports published by the portal, and especially the infographics.

A few days ago the infographics team iG welcomed me into their exclusive floor at the company headquarters in Itaim, a prime area of São Paulo. It was there, between a chat and the other, this troupe of beasts opened its screens to the curiosity of those who always wanted to know how they are made ​​those animated graphics that turns and moves appear on the portal cover. Also not infrequently lead international awards.

Guilhermes Damian, infographics editor (better known as Guilhes), was my guide. First, we talk about the editorial changes in Journalism iG, which consequently resulted in the expansion of the portal infographics department.

And by department, is that really what I mean. The iG adopted infographics as a sector itself, a board that still is the portal Journalism service. A risky move, I have to say, since this is a practice considered quite unusual in the communication market. However, given supercerto for iG and managed to distance the vehicle from its traditional competitors.

infographics arrival in iG

Guilhes account that the project to expand the portal art industry dates back to 2009, when the desire arose – and the need, I suppose – to provide a portal with higher quality content. Who accessed the Reuters at that time know what I’m talking about. “We wanted to transform the iG in reference,” he says, and the infographics was one of the means found for it.

During the first year, the infographics team learned what works and what does not work in this type of content. You may even find that produce an infographic is easy, but things are not quite there. There are guidelines cold, hot guidelines, seasonal issues, and so on. Guilhes account that after this year, those in charge of art within iG developed a kind of feeling for what works well (or not).

The “editorial infographic,” explains Guilhes, it is one that tells a story. It is usually a cold agenda – motivated more by interest reporter for the subject than by a recent event – which requires rapid imaging to better explain what happened.

Another type of infographic bogs down “data visualization”. According to the editor, “to handle Excel data and place this minimally painful way information. Our intention is not to embellish. “The result are interactive infographics, as it shows the x-ray of Mercosur.

“We always hit the button to simplify things,” says Guilhes. It is good that there has to be, in order to avoid the reader’s dispersal shortly after he sees the opening of that interactive content.

After almost two years since the graphic journalism revitalization project iG began, good fruit were harvested. The team has grown: currently are 13 professionals specifically developed infographics, among designers, illustrators and programmers. In addition, ten other people are responsible for the part of interfaces, which also responds to the portal art department.

The public recognition can be measured by means of pageviews that reveal the growing number of people viewing the infographics. Although state secret, iG has good reasons to celebrate these numbers.

The Coronation of the infographics department came in March this year, when two works created by him, one on the car of the future, the other on the worst air accidents in the world, took bronze medal in Malofiej award, considered the most important award of category in the world. And this is not the first time that the iG brings medals for Brazil, although it has never gone out of bronze.

Making infographic

As explained Guilhes, the production process of an infographic (is interactive, is simpler) is basically the order of arrival. Usually they advise reporters to go to the floor where the art team is at the headquarters of iG, to discuss what can be infographic and what should follow as traditional reporting.

Once the agenda is accepted, it enters a queue that always depends on the rate of production of the infographics. As the cold guidelines prevail, it can be said that the infographics team has not despair finalize the interactive content (because they hold dear enough for quality, Guilhes is careful to emphasize throughout the interview).

And if an emergency comes up? In such cases, only two people have the power to modify the line for the production of infographics. One is the director of Journalism in iG, Luciano Suassuna. The other is the publisher‘s website, Roberto Gerosa, who is responsible for the editorial identity of the vehicle. If neither sign the decision, there is simply no way to drill queue. A discipline that, in the end, is good for everyone.

Flash vs. HTML 5

Who said creating infographic is just journalistic work? Although much of journalism can be employed in this activity, choosing the right tools and resources is essential for all exit the expected way. Not to mention that, in general, good choose minimize the time that professionals spend to accomplish a task.

That said, I’m sure you will not be surprised with photos of infographics center iG. Macs, Macs, Macs! There are several machines definitely blessed by our beloved Steve Jobs, with processing power that allows to realize that the images after drawn on paper and captured on the computer, will stop at one of the country’s leading content portals.

Not figured out what the specifications of the equipment, but only to see that these guys use the same applications you can install on your home machine, already clear hint that technology to help, but creativity and good use of the tool is essential .

In addition to the Mac, there is Photoshop in absolutely all machines. The illustrators iG prefer to make their drawings by hand, using that thing called archaic paper. Once the design is ready, digitizers Wacom make Photoshop for Mac recognizes the traits and capture images. As would be expected, retouching and finishing are made ​​from the Apple computer.

Each employee has their own application options, so there’s not much I can say about it. If the guy prefers the software of one or another manufacturer can choose freely, provided that the end result is good.

What I can tell is that, although the infographics of iG are mostly built in Flash, HTML5 is gaining its space. But when they will use the free internet standard? “Whenever possible,” says one of the developers. For example, we have the infographic showing the operation of the latest U2 concert in Brazil. If you want, you can open this interactive content on the iPad without tarnishing the Jobs set with the source code damn Flash. Even the videos depend on the <video> provided by HTML5.

At least one free software was sighted by this intrepid reporter on the visit I made ​​to the headquarters of iG. It’s called Komodo Edit is available for download free at the manufacturer’s site, and serves to program Perl, Python, JavaScript and Ruby, among other languages. Even is an application for Mac.

What works

The staff iG is very quiet to reveal what works for portal audience. Perhaps you, as I do not, imagine that images of the transformation of the movie stars, the rich and famous over the years not surrender visits. But know that yields a lot. So much so that the team developed an internal tool to generate this type of infographic faster and automated.

According to Guilhes, the reporter need only indicate where are the old photo and a recent photo of the subject. The system itself performs the task, generating a codeembed to be included on the page where the particular content should go.

The same goes for reconstructions of crime. “Give me a whore audience,” says Guilhes. According to the publisher, the readers iG are curious to know how a particular villain acted.

In the case of tragedy in Realengo, for example, those responsible for the infographics iG rushed to the studio of the company, which photographed crime scenes. These photos serve as a reference for the illustrations. Two hours later, the work was finished and the special content was already on the portal cover.

With agility and attention to quality, it’s no accident that the iG is more complete in the category visual information. The turn that Reuters and other informative portal sites obtained in recent times are a reflection of this serious work, worth mentioning. My crowd is so that other portals realize the importance of good journalism (graphic, photographic, textual etc.) and bet on it. In the end, we are, readers, we go out winning.

If you were also interested in knowing more of infographics of iG, you can view all such content on a particular page.