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New Year and infographic contests

The expectation around the major infographic events, like Malofiej 21.

January 12, 2013

For those working with infographics, the beginning of the year is always a good opportunity to evaluate the quality and functionality of the work produced during the previous year. This ends up happening involuntary, motivated by the fact that the majority of contests and awards occur within the first quarter of each year. Thus, it is necessary to look at the whole production to choose the material to be submitted.

(imagem: MALOFIEJ 21 | SND)

One of the essential points for choosing pieces is to develop criteria that can serve as a ‘cutoff’. Some important criteria are:

  • Representativeness of the infographic
  • Relevance
  • Unity

Since today many infographics are produced by a team, a way to facilitate the choice is occasionally discuss each piece, it greatly facilitates the critical analysis of each work, and consequently those who pass through this “sieve” end up being the best to send.

Events like SND and Malofiej are, above all, an opportunity for us (professionals) to reflect how we worked with the information, what were the reasons that led us to produce an infographic in a certain way, how did we find solutions and if we reached the goal of communicating effectively. When looking at a piece published months earlier, all the rights and wrongs are clear.

The careful selection is justified because the work will be compared with the best infographics and publications in the world. I consider these opportunities to be as thermometers, for measuring both regional and international infographics.

It is a huge satisfaction to be awarded, any professional, regardless of the area, likes the recognition for his effort, and as much as the focus is not winning, it ends up generating some anxiety, and the level of your work increases annually. But in the end, what counts is the informational efficiency.

Different opinions

These events reward the investment in communication innovation , accuracy and depth, but they can also generate discussions in the infographic community (something that is always welcome). A recent example happened in Malofiej 20, with the Peter Sullivan / Best of Show Award being presented to The New York Times. The newspaper won with the infographic ‘The Guantanamo Docket.’ and its online version ‘Guantanamo Detainees’.

Opinions aside, The New York Times has been producing the most sophisticated infographic news for quite sometime now, and it will always be one of the favorites.

The growth

The volume of entries is proof of how infographics settled as an important tool of journalism. In Malofiej 20 were 1513 works of 148 vehicles (newspapers, magazines and websites) representing 29 countries, which set a new record of participation.

This year, two new categories were created that will award works about the Olympics and the centenary of the sinking of the Titanic, which is a smart solution, since most of the newsrooms produced extensive materials on these subjects, and it could overshadow other interesting works.

For those who want know more about the events:

The Society for News Design (SND) –

Written by Gerson Mora

Infographic designer and researcher