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Paul Blickle


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Interview with Paul Blickle from 'Golden Section Graphics', Germany.

By dMultimedia
Carlos Gámez

Published in: Technology
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Paul Blickle

  1. 1. Paul Blickle Interview by Carlos Gámez > 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” - (CEO > Jan Schwochow) for nearly one year. There I am responsible for many different projects, some of them are rather small experiments. 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 quickly, etc. 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 ( 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 pictures. 2-What kind of software are you using? Xcode. 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.
  2. 2. 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 from it.
  3. 3. 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 manipulate it. 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!