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Infographics: The Power of Visual Storytelling by Ross Crooks, Josh Ritchie, Jason Lankow

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ORIGINS OF EDITORIAL INFOGRAPHICS

IN PRINT

By now, most people have seen numerous infographics in both online and print publications. In fact, the use of infographics for editorial purposes is not a new idea, although the trend has recently increased dramatically in various media. While most of this growth has arguably taken place online, the pages of the world’s top print publications are becoming filled with more and more infographics. This is evident when you pick up copies of the print versions of magazines such as GOOD, Fast Company, Fortune, and Wired, or even older, more conventional newspapers such as The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times.

While the earliest forms of modern infographics first became prominent in the 19th century, the rise of editorial infographics in their current form can be traced to the latter half of the twentieth century. Pioneers of the editorial infographic—what we can also call “data journalism”—grew in popularity during the 1970s. Nigel Holmes’s explanation graphics for Time are considered by many to be the first major, mainstream use of a more illustrative approach to infographics. Another designer who helped make this field mainstream was Peter Sullivan (1932–1996), whose work for The Sunday Times helped to pave the way in this field from the 1970s until his untimely death.

An additional pioneer in this area was the late Argentinian designer Alejandro Malofiej, who was known mainly for his cartographic abilities. Malofiej was active ...

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