Yesterday was the third edition of the Dutch Infographics Congress in Zeist. It was a very informative and diverse day with a handful of speakers that were really worth listening to. What me immediatly surprised was the mixed audience. Students, professionals and even some grey haired older man. Very broad so to speak. I won’t be writing a report about the whole day from start to finish but just give you some highlights.
My personal favourite were the last ones to have their speech, the guys from Catalogtree. They have a really nice approach to their infographics and I love the way how they come up with nerdy-computer-techie solutions to create their graphics. I feel very related to that style of working, hehe. They showed us a great project about diplomats who work in New York and got parking tickets. The locations, time of date, how often, they had all the data and using computers and software they created some awesome very clean and stylish infographics.
Then their was Chris Campbell. He works as a infographic designer for the International Court of Justice in The Hague. His work only shows data that is true. If their are not sure about a certain detail it cannot be included in the graphic. That is because the graphics he makes are used in trials for the Prosecutor. Since the defends alost always objects when he want’s to show one, he thinks he does a good job. So do it. He makes good use of time in his graphics. Some of them are animated, but only when needed.
That is also something that Chris Blow said at the start of the day. He finds it problematic that people who create infographics these days only make them because they look good (I personally think that is what we can call art). He says that infographics should only be used to clarify your opinion about something. The infographic is just a tool, not the result. I somehow agree with him, but come one, sometimes it just looks really cool and there doesn’t have to be a point to it. For the same reason he also isn’t a fan of competitions (basically the whole point of the Infographics 2010), because then graphics are designer for judges and not for the audience. True.
A different and more relaxing presentation was the infographic battle between Kay Coenen and Roland Blokhuizen. They both got the assignment on Wednesday last week so they had two days to prepare, but man was it cool to sey their completely different approaches to the problem. They had to clarify why the earth was turning faster since the earthquake in Chile. During the 20 minute period the audience could listen to some nice jazz music and Remy Jon Ming who talked it all together. Roland has a very 3D approach where as Kay works much more simpler. The results where both really nice and I won’t go into the details, but Kay’s was way simpler and easier to understand. After their battle the public got a really annoying and boring commercial speech about Cinema 4D and how awesome it was. Hope these kind of speeches won’t be their next year…
The other commercial speech was from the Augsburg University and their professor Michael Stoll. It was a boring and lengthy. What more can I say. Only cool thing was one of the student’s final exam work. An installation that lets you skip through records who are sampled. You can listen to the original, check what pieces are used as samples and listen to those sampled parts in the songs. The guy, Roland Lößlein, made a very niceinstallation that contained LP’s with RFID chips and a projected user interface onto the record itself. Really intuitive and very slick and stylish. This whole day gave me a load of inspiration and good idea’s. Next year I’ll be attending again for sure!