"Whenever you make an infographic you must take into account its purpose"
Ángel García studied Graphic Design at the University of San Carlos in Guatemala. With almost 16 years in the business, he has worked for three of the most important newspapers in the country where he worked on strengthening infographics as a valuable journalistic resource. Among the prizes that he has won, the Malofiej, SND and ÑH awards stand out. He was part of the team that helped to ensure that Nuestro Diario (Our Daily Living) was the first to be recognised as the best designed popular newspaper at the ÑH16 awards, and the most award-winning newspaper in its category at ÑH17.
A simple definition of infographics. Infographics is…
A communications tool in which the information is supported by visual elements and the design serves to transmit this information effectively.
Which are your main references?
Charles Minard, Nigel Holmes, John Grimwade, Jeff Goertzen, Jaime Serra, Alberto Cairo, Bruce Morser, Juan Velasco, Javier Zarracina, Fernando Baptista and Xabier Díaz de Cerio. Other related references: Otl Aicher, Henry Beck, Antonio López Chema Madoz and Javier Jaén.
Let us hear about your work process?
If the infographic was a gift that you will give, do you focus on the packaging or on securing that satisfactory smile due to the present inside?
I think that the work methodology varied depending on the circumstances of each subject, mainly in terms of time and resources although the most effective investigation and design for the story should also be included as factors.
This work in particular exemplifies a process that I consider to be ideal and that requires specific time dedicated to investigation.
0. Idea or requirement: This emerged from the need to try to explain the existence of this ancient aqueduct in the heart of the City of Guatemala.
1. The investigation: this included consulting archaeological reports, visiting historical archive, field work, and consulting experts: an archaeologist who specialises in the area and a restorative architect to restore monuments from the era, besides having the fortune of being able to count on the expertise of Juan Velasco, the then director of art at the National Geographic, who, invited by our journal, provided us with a series of conferences and shared his experiences.
With the information, it was determined that the focus should be on the fact of how two monuments from two different periods served as an aqueduct, an earth structure with a stone canal, in the pre-hispanic era between 2000-250BC and then this structure and route were used by the Spanish to carry water to the new city of Guatemala that had been relocated.
2. Design: the sketch aimed at finding the more adequate way to tell the story and included the proposal to make a four-page special with publicity, then it was reduced to three pages and finally the publication was provided over two pages.
3. Illustration: It was decided that a replica would be made to the scale of the most emblematic segment of the colonial aqueduct. It was photographed and the post-production was carried out on Photoshop.
4. Texts and editing: Finally the texts of the graphic were edited and the note was written.
What are we going to learn from your talk at Malofiej?
Mainly a series of reflections on what should be made into infographics, beyond limitations. Among them: whenever you make an infographic you must take into account its purpose, rather than the short size of the paper where it will be printed.