Over the last few months I’ve been making infographics inspired by films under the banner of Flickographics (i.e. going to the flicks, nothing to do with photo sharing). I’ve been playing around with infographics for a few years since learning my craft at the BBC. For a while I did some for The Football Ramble, riding the wave of football-based infographic blogging that recently seemed to explode in this country. But there’s lots of people doing great stuff with sport (what with there being an abundance of data now) so I fancied trying to go down a different route.
I am interested in the ability of infographics to tell stories and it seemed that the ultimate visual storytelling medium could be an appropriate subject matter for them. Effective news graphics can tell you the key point of a story in one glance, cutting through the barrage of words to deliver a clear representation of an inequality or a correlation. News journalism has used them in this way for years and I think they can go further: there’s room out there for a product that just presents the big stories of the day in graphic form. Done well it could be both snackable and enable you to absorb a lot of information in one go. I think it could genuinely emerge as an alternative to the written word and a discipline in its own right.
In the meantime I fancied doing something more fun. Flickographics is a mix between film trivia (for example, which Bond slept with the most girls?) and investigating a geeky question (is there a pattern in the roles Denzel Washington’s chose through his career?). The written part of the post is just the background notes behind each piece otherwise I have aimed for every graphic to tell a story unsupported.
With my graphics I try to keep things simple and clutter-free and following the rules of ‘correct’ visual data design as laid out by Edward Tufte rather than following many of the purely illustrative pieces that have sprung up lately. In fact I’d prefer the term datagraphic to separate what I aim to do from the poster-style ones but infographic now seems to be understood by the majority of people so it would be churlish to abandon that familiarity.
My aim is to make a one a week (currently averaging three a month) and keep going until I’ve got about 100 or enough to print a book of them. We’ll see how it goes and if you’ve got any ideas for what would make a good Flickograph do let me know…