‘If all the information is out there, we have to find ways to show it to people’

By Sahar Vahidi, Syracuse University/SND

John Grimwade: “I’m a big baseball fan, which is weird because I’m British…”

Oh, and: “New Yorkers feel the the center of the universe revolves around them.”

And: “If all the information is out there, we have find ways to show it to
people, to make ourselves relevant.”

Grimwade opened his presentation with a big ode to New York City, because obviously the city is awesome! He doesn’t think infographic designers should be depressed considering there is an “information explosion going on. He cited the fact that “more technical data has been collected in the past year alone than in all previous years since science begun”. More importantly, information needs to be organized. The world needs infographic artists.

Every day we are collecting information about our lives, even by using social networking websites. John said even at 58 years old, he uses Facebook, but he hasn’t tweeted his first tweet yet.

Grimwade spoke about the changes in the graphics industry and looks forward to see if the pending Apple tablet will change journalism. One of his favorite examples of how the industry has changed is the New Yorker cover drawn entirely using an iPhone. (See above.)

The future of graphics according to Grimwade:

  • Less photo realistic 3D graphics and more restrained 3D graphics.
  • Monochromatic graphics with careful uses of color.
  • More vector based art.
  • More use of photography in graphics in creative ways, for examples, see New York Magazine.
  • Some graphic trends are currently looking backwards to the eras of the 50s.

Some of Grimwade’s notes on what to look at:

  • Andrew Kuo: A graphic designer that plots his daily life. It’s interesting to look at, even if you don’t care about the information presented.
  • Relief Web: Helpful graphics that cover news such as famine, disasters.
  • Associated Press: They are currently working on a lot of graphics for mobile phones. Check them out!
  • Nicolasrapp.com: Nicolas provides tons of feeds and links to information-graphics resources.
  • Bryan Christi: A notable 3D graphic artist which Grimwade works with.
  • Wired Magazine: Specifically their “Future of Food” issue which won awards from the Society of Professional Designers.
  • Seed magazine: A New York-based magazine full of graphics that makes it worthy of a subscription.
  • Good magazine: A magazine about doing good things that is following the trend toward vector-based graphics. The graphics are available online in high-resolution.

What would Grimwade like to see more of?

  • Google SketchUp, because it can be used as a resource (“it’s something, really something”).
  • A new form for interactive graphics. He wants to see a better interface for online graphics and how people are able to view them (as compared to the numbered-slide format).

A gallery of the infographics from Grimwade’s talk are available from his website.