3. The Beauty Paradox: Art and Communication

No one can write decently who is distrustful of the reader’s intelligence, or whose attitude is patronizing.

E. B. White, from The Elements of Style

Learning to deal with frustration is part of professional life. So is being able to explain what you do and why you do it. I kept repeating those maxims to myself on November 1, 2010, after the weekly news magazine I worked for, Época, published what I considered a decent graphic about the prison population in Brazil.

It all began two weeks before. As the magazine’s infographics director, one of my responsibilities was to coordinate a two-page section called “Diagram,” a news story told through short pieces of text, statistical charts, maps, and illustrations. ...

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