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Adolfo Arranz at Malofiej 23

Sketching as an important part of a visual journalist's toolkit

March 19, 2015
Adolfo Arranz

Right after Marcelo Duhalde‘s presentation – that we talked about here -, the much-awaited talk by one of the most awarded infographic designers in the last couple of years, Adolfo Arranz.

Currently the Creative Director in MediaCorp (Singapore) and responsible for the graphics at the newspaper Today, Adolfo has worked at “El Mundo” (Spain) for both the national and several regional editions  as Graphics Artist, before moving to Hong Kong in 2011, to work at the South China Morning Post as Senior Graphics Artist. His infographics have been awarded internationally multiple times (WAN-IFRA Asia, SND, Malofiej), and he is an active ‘Urbansketcher’ – something that was the core of his presentation at Malofiej23.

We first highlighted Adolfo’s work in the Portfolio of the Week section, soon followed by this insightful interview.

Like we said, for his presentation at this year’s Malofiej, Adolfo essentially focused how important sketching has been for his visual journalistic work, by showing early drafts of some of his most well-known infographics. Drawing boosts observational skills, and connects you to a space or event at a very intimate level.

In a time where data visualization seems to be on the rise, it’s nice to see the ancient art of drawing as the cornerstone of such amazing pieces of visual journalism. Here are some of the examples Adolfo shared:

(image: South China Morning Post)
(image: South China Morning Post)
(image: South China Morning Post)
(image: South China Morning Post)
(image: Adolfo Arranz | South China Morning Post)
(image: South China Morning Post)
(image: South China Morning Post)
(image: South China Morning Post)
(image: South China Morning Post)

And to close, Adolfo told the story behind the amazing Kowloon City infographic, sharing the visual references, initial drafts and technical details, such as the use of color – like the neutral grey background that allows the use of white as a highlight – This infographic is actually the cover of the Malofiej22 book.

(image: Adolfo Arranz | South China Morning Post)

As for other key takeaways from Adolfo’s talk, we really liked the way he showed how drawings can – and should – be used to convince editors to invest in certain projects; that mistakes do happen, and all graphics are pretty much improvable; and many good ideas come out of having a beer with your colleagues and bosses.

You can check out Adolfo’s works over at his website and in his Behance profile.

And keep watching our special coverage of Malofiej23!

Written by Tiago Veloso

Tiago Veloso is the founder and editor of Visualoop and Visualoop Brasil . He is Portuguese, currently based in Bonito, Brazil.

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