In this interview we present to you Ana Landi, one of the infographics artists of our team. She’s Venezuelan but she lives in Spain, she loves rock and roll and sports and she tells us why computer graphics isn’t the same thing as graphic design, and what the three pillars of a great infographic are.
Ana Landi’s passion for computer graphics emerged as an accidental discovery, almost unconsciously. She was 19, lived in Caracas and was studying psychology, although she had no interest in this career: what she liked most was summarizing texts using different charts and diagrams that she made herself. Without realizing it, she was rehearsing her first infographics.
When she understood that this wasn’t her passion, she decided to embark in what she liked most and started her career in journalism at the University of Santa María in Caracas. She had to wait almost until the end of her career to specialize in what she was most passionate about, but the wait was worth it: the teacher who dictated the infographic subject saw her talent and led her to work in the offices of the El Universalnewspaper. She stayed there for two years, until life her to live in Spain, her country of residence for eight years, doing what she likes best: infographics.
What is the difference between working for a newspaper and working for a client like the Ernesto Olivares agency?
Generally, making infographics for a newspaper involves sticking to a design that is already established and working very quickly with very stringent data. However, when I work for the agency, new customers always come who may have some idea of ??what they want, but we can play a lot more with different styles and proposals.
What is the mode you like best? Newspapers or marketing?
Both are challenging. In the first one, you must be able to react quickly and to adjust to very dimensional parameters; at the agency, however, I have to make a chart that is effective for a client that is usually a company. That client wants to convey a message resulting in a business or economic success and to position itself within its competence.
So, What is the challenge there?
The challenge is to know how to convey that message. Moreover, as we are dedicated to various companies in different fields, we get soaked up in a lot of very different information. Furthermore, each client is different. At the newspaper you already know the style; however, with Ernesto’s customers, it’s a challenge adjusting to the taste of each customer and being able to generate an effective message. That implies a lot of versatility.
Many people confuse the computer graphics artist with a graphic designer. What would you say is the difference between these two fields?
There is something in common because clearly the computer graphics artist uses graphic design as a tool, but that does not mean that a designer is a computer graphics artist. Infographics go far beyond graphic design. If you give a text to a designer, what he or she will do is improve the text aesthetically: put pictures or columns on it, or can work on the layout of it.
And what would an infographics artist do if you give him or her a text?
The infographics artist seeks to convey the main ideas of a text graphically. He first reads the text, understands it, if he has to investigate something, he researches it and edits it. From this edition the most important extracts come up that he then will visualize. From this visualization, he makes a sketch where he there does use graphic design, but only after going through a lot of previous steps. Then the computer graphics artist models the text, designs it and produces it. The graphic designer does not go through these steps, he just models the text aesthetically.
What skills does a good infographics artist must have?
He definitely has to know how to use the tools of graphic design well, but he also has to be a great communicator; he has to be able to write well, synthesize, visualize, investigate … i.e. he has to know how to cover many areas that are also necessary, as well as design.
How would you define a good infographic?
There are three fundamental pillars: that it has focus, tells the story well and has a good look.
What does each pillar mean?
That it has focus means that when you see the infographic you must immediately see what it’s talking about. The focus is constituted by a main image that summarizes the chart. Regarding the story, a good infographic has to answer all the questions that the reader can make about the subject. And with regard to aesthetics, it has to have a nice style that is in accordance to what is shown. A David Bowie infographic isn’t the same as as dental care one.
Why do you think that this resource is untapped in Latin America?
It is unknown, there is an underestimation of the power of the graph. In the journalistic case, many believe that graphics are “cartoons” that accompany the articles. That is changing, but many believe we make, “cartoons”.
What would you say to those who tell you that you make “cartoons”?
That nothing we do is random, everything has meaning: the color, format, shapes, textures, everything has a meaning. The graphics tell stories and have great power of communication, especially in RRSS, where they allow you to position a message very effectively.
How do you perceive this market in Spain?
The Spanish market has always been a bit behind, they always do what the other countries do, but a little later than the rest . Now that many countries understand the potential of computer graphics, in Spain they are opening more to this resource, they are asking for more budget and are assessing the infographic as a marketing tool.
Ana, you often work from home. What do you do to avoid getting bored?
I spend part of my day doing something else. I love going to the gym and listening to music. I’m a fan of bands like Led Zeppelin, the Rolling Stones and David Bowie, don’t think I named him unintentionally!