[This is a guest post by Marco Vergotti*, infographic editor of Época magazine, sharing a bit of the history of Diagrama (‘Diagram’, in English), a section of the magazine that was dedicated to visual journalism]
“One of the great infographic experiments in Brazil”
That was how the journalist, professor, author and infographic designer Alberto Cairo described Diagrama, the permanent infographic section that was part of Época magazine‘s print editions between 2010 and 2013.
Diagrama was first published in January, 2010. At that time, it was a innovation in the Brazilian editorial market, because for the first time there was a permanent infographic section in a weekly magazine. Only scientific and technological publications used this type of language on a regular basis, and, overall, infographics were seen as a secondary tool, and almost always as a mere way to embellish the pages.
The work of selecting the topics, investigate and write for the double-page section every week, in partnership with the rest of the newsroom, made the infographics team to worry even more with the accuracy of the information and how to build an efficient narrative for the reporting. From there, it became clear that the analytical relevance outstripped the ornaments, usually purely aesthetic and worthless. The visual language adopted gained a deeper analysis, with more elevated standards.
The idea of publishing a big weekly infographic came from Época’s News Director, Helio Gurovitz, and David Cohen, Chief-Editor at the time, and it happen at the same time that Alberto Cairo was joining us as Director of Infographics and Multimedia, who arrived in the same week we launched it.
Here’s a ‘making of’ of some of the visual news created for Diagrama:
We told many stories and reported many news using graphics, maps, illustrations and other forms of visual representation, and a lot of important people helped to make that happen, besides Hélio, Cohen and Alberto.
I couldn’t leave out names such as Alexandre Lucas, Alexandre Mansur, Alexandre Melo, Daniel Pastori, David Michelsohn, Erik Scaranello, Gerardo Rodriguez, Gerson Mora, Luiz Salomão, Luiza Karam, Marcos Marques, Nilson Cardoso, Rodrigo Cunha, Rodrigo Fortes, Otávio Burin and Pedro Schimidt; they all helped to build the ‘Diagrama’ brand and they all believed that it was possible to make visual journalism even on a weekly magazine.
See some of the styles (classification of graphical representation ) used by the infographic team at Época:
Today, Diagram left the print edition and has now began a journey through the Internet, with new proposals and ideas. You can check all the infographics published in the print edition on our online gallery. And below you’ll find the latest work with the ‘Diagrama’ brand, developed having the digital environment in mind.
To close, a mention to the achievements of Diagrama, that include a SND Award of Excellence in the Portfolio category (edition 32, in 2010) and a bronze medal at Malofiej19 (2011), with the work: ‘A População Brasileira Cresce Mais Nos Presídios‘ ( ‘Brazilian population grows more inside prisons’, interactive version here).