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JMM 622: Profile II – National Geographic Magazine


Juan Velasco and Fernando Baptista

Juan Velasco is an award-winning art director of the National Geographic magazine. He was a graphics reporter for the Spanish newspaper El Mundo in Madrid, and later became the graphics art director for The New York Times from 1998 to 2001.

Velasco owns a business called 5W Infographics, from which he has done graphics redesigns for newspapers such as Le Monde in France and Tribune de Geneve in Switzerland.

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JMM 622: Profile III – The New York Times

Steve Duenes and Xaquín G.V.

Steve Duenes began working at The New York Times in 1999 as the graphics editor for the science section. He then became the deputy graphics director and has been at that position since 2004.

At first, Duenes was a bit scared to manage people, but thanks to Charles Blow – who was the art director during that time – Duenes became the deputy graphics director of The New York Times.

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JMM 622: The Functional Art (Ch. 9)

The Rise of Interactive Graphics (Chapter 9 of The Functional Art by Alberto Cairo) talks about the discovery of interactive visualizations and how they began in the multimedia world.

I enjoyed reading this chapter because I could feel Professor Cairo’s excitement through his words. For example, when he referred to the feeling he got when he was creating the interactive graphic below, back when working for El Mundo in Spain.

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JMM 622: The Functional Art (Ch. 7 & 8)

Alberto Cairo’s Chapter 7 of The Functional Art (Images in the Head) taught me how images we have in our heads may often be a burden when reading and analyzing infographics. That’s why an infographic must have the appropriate designs and features and must be well thought out before putting them out in the world for people to analyze and interpret.

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JMM 622: The Functional Art (Ch. 5 & 6)

In Chapter 5 of Professor Cairo’s The Functional Art (The Eye and the Visual Brain), Prof. Cairo explores the role the eye plays in the way we see and how people understand infographics.

Antonio Damassio said the following: “The human brain is is a natural born cartographer.” Therefore saying, we humans were born with the ability to understand visualizations and different types of graphics.

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JMM 622: The Functional Art (Ch. 3 & 4)

In Chapter 3 of Alberto Cairo’s The Functional Art (The Beauty Paradox: Art and Communication), I was pleased to read about Professor Cairo’s experience working for Época, the Brazilian magazine.

It is not always simple to tell the difference between what a good illustration and what a [not so good] illustration is.

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JMM 622: The Functional Art (Ch. 1 & 2)

Chapter 1 of The Functional Art by Alberto Cairo (Why Visualize: From Information to Wisdom) is a reminder that simple visualizations are useful, but they are not great when they are insufficient.

In the following graph created by Matt Ridley, we can see the insufficient graph which shows that there is a decline in world population (1950’s to 2005), but it really does not show much else.

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JMM 622: The Truthful Art (Ch. 11 & 12)

Uncertainty and Significance (Chapter 11 of The Truthful Art by Alberto Cairo) talks about the margin of errors. According to Cairo, the margin of error is very important to the final result and could greatly affect the information presented and its accuracy.

In the example seen below, Cairo shows the difference in percentages between the people who do not want Catalonia to become an independent state, and the people who do. It also shows the margin of error (depicted on the right), which is more or less 3 percent.

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