Interview by Carlos Gámez > firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is Paul Blickle, I studied at the University of Applied Sciences in Augsburg,
Germany. My interest in specialising in Infographics was generated by Prof. Michael
Stoll, who is really supportive. After graduating, I started to work as a freelancer on
information design related projects. I moved to Berlin and work for “Golden Section
Graphics” -http://www.golden-section-graphics.com/ (CEO > Jan Schwochow) for nearly
one year. There I am responsible for many different projects, some of them are rather
1-Why graphics for iPad?
We believe that it can help to deliver a complex message in an easy way. We make big
efforts to create the contents we deliver to our clients. It's necessary to take care of the
way it is brought to the end user. We find that research on modern media is the right
way. They have so many advantages: interactivity, mobility, the possivility to update
Since our lab is quite new and still under construction, we have been concentrating on
the main business -printed graphics- and considered working on iPad apps as an
investment. Also, the fibonacciLAB (http://lab.golden-section-graphics.com/) experiments
are not only for animated and/or interactive uses. Some of our graphics for printed
products include work that comes out of our test tubes.
The Gorch Fock (the ship you saw in our demo video) is actually just a placeholder for
testing. I still need to learn more about the Objective C programming language and the
iOS API. It's just a prototype, but it shows how simple it is to offer insights, not only
2-What kind of software are you using?
3-Do you know any other place where we can find a lab like yours?
I guess there are quite a few labs we never hear of, because they only act locally or are
just a small part of a bigger company. The Nieman Journalism Lab and the Visual
Communication Lab are places that do research in a similar way. We like their stuff.
4-How much time do you spend to experiment at GSG?
To be honest, I don't know. It mixes up pretty well with the daily business. Attempts to
define regular hours for experimenting are destined to fail. But to give you a number, I
estimate it to be about 20%.
5-What kind of devices are you interesting for or you think we can see on a while?
Currently, we only develop for the iPad. It is not just a bigger iPhone as many people
believe who haven't been playing around with it for a few minutes. In fact, it's something
very different. With the larger screen, you have the freedom to, for example, show things
side by side or implement popovers.
Applications running on the newest generation of tablet devices offer and require very
different things than, say, a Flash movie. It should be prepared for a differend kind of
input. Multitouch, gestures, reduced precicion, a change in viewport size following a
orientation change, just to mention a few. Over time, new standards in mobile user
interfaces will be established. The split view for example is something very useful and
therefore many iPad apps are based on it. Creative minds will come up with innovative
concepts that may become similarly significant and adopted by others. We try to have
this abstract thinking and develop different kinds of intuitive operation precepts that work
specifically for infographics, always keeping the common usability issues in mind.
6-Do you think we have to show the information on a beautiful way or the aesthetics
concepts are not so important for you?
Our philosophy on designing infographics is simple: information comes first. Of course
it is important to present it in a beautiful way. Any design aspect concerning the look
of a graphic that helps to transport an idea into the reader's mind is welcome. Our
company name says it all. As soon as an aethetics requirement prevents this, it's
unnecessary and should be avoided. The subject of a graphic as well as the target
audience decides if it can be more artful or should be modest. As long as the story being
told gets the attention it deserves.
7-Can you show us any examples you like?
For example, Applied Works served a very interesting and beautiful approach on
presenting data with its Health of England for The Times iPad app.
8-Do you think visual journalists must use social networks like a proffesional tool? Do
you use them?
We can be found on Facebook and integrated “I like”-buttons into our online portfolio.
We like to experiment a little with social media and get to know them. They already
seem to be everywhere, but I think their importance will increase even more. We
recommend to at least know their current significance. Visual journalists can only benefit
9-Define GSG philosophy work in three words
RESPECT - respect information, respect truthfulness, respect neutrality
QUALITY - let this be a constant factor
PASSION - what you need to have for this kind of job
Visualization should be split up in a group of “academics” more interested in numbers
and where they come from -and those people who use data as a material for artworks.
My personal belief is, that this discussion is good but kind of unnecessary. There are
so many disciplines having both an artistic and a more scientific approach to its essence
where the inspiration between the two faces is being questioned. We observe it every
day in music, architecture, film, sports... you name it. Even medicine! Instead of building
a communication wall between those two groups, we should create a dialogue about
new ways of visualization that use our modern technologies we didn’t have earlier.
11-What is your next goal?, what do you like to do?
We would like to find the best ways to present and interact with different kinds of
infographics.Our next goal, of course, is developing an app that can be sold over the
app store. Future apps should be able to handle more complex data and let the user
12-Do you see the work published in Spain? What media do you think are doing better?
From time to time, we see very good infographics made in Spain, and we love them!
Being participants or even jurors at the annual SND Malofiej Infographics World Summit
in Pamplona, we get to see many good works from all over the world. We know that
there are a few hot spots like Germany, Spain, Italy, Brazil and USA for the type of
graphics we refer to as infographics, using similar technologies as the ones we use
(flash, graphics for iOS devices).
I'm looking forward to meet you and other infographic artist from around the world at
The Jumping Jester in Pamplona!