• Interview with infogr8's Richard Silvester about infographic design

    infogr8 is a new infographic design company launched by Richard Silvester. Richard has a passion for making information more visually appealing which is why he launched his infographic design company, infogr8. Follow them on Twitter

    Thanks for taking the time to do this interview Richard. Tell us a bit about yourself, your name, age, where you're from and an interesting fact.
    It's a pleasure, im originally from London although I have spent a lot of time working abroad over the last few years, 6 years ago I launched a company converting Hummers into more eco-friendly LPG converted vehicles.

    You say you used to work digital on Swedish House Mafia, Beyonce etc. What do you mean by this?
    After becoming digital qualified I project managed all things digital for a range of Sony RCA music acts, some Urban, some dance led, some alternative but the same key rules always apply. I worked with a dedicated team in social media, online PR, I would be responsible for the overall output across music release cycles. With Swedish House Mafia, it was more hands through their direct management, a really exciting role, highly reactive! it was amazing to see such an avid fan base, extreme in every way. It was also a pleasure to meet and discuss ideas with Steve Angello, he's a true professional, an entrepreneur who will no doubt have a big part to play in the dance scene for many years to come.

    How did you transition from then to where you are now?
    I noticed how data was playing such a pivotal role across the digital industry, it's currently doubling every 2 years and there's value in that, I love finding ways of making points, subjects, objectives clearer and infographics are a visual way of representing this. I took time out, did research, scanned the environment for talent and attended a boot camp in Amsterdam to really grasp the key principles of visual data. Now in a position to launch my new startup and infogr8 is born!

    What/who are you inspired by?
    From an online perspective I am impressed with a lot of the infographics work coming from Column five at the moment, they are setting the benchmark for me. I am inspired by several entrepreneurs who I share space with at the Google tech hub, lots of exciting projects are coming.

    What software do you use to design?
    Essential packages include illustrator, InDesign then we have the niche programs for visual data such as processing, D3.

    Say someone comes to you asking for an infographic design, what is the process you go through designing that infographic? Like drafting it on paper, showing the client, drafting it on the computer?
    Infographics can be straightforward or they can be a multi layered project that can take weeks of work. We will nail down the brief and look at what data we can work with. From there we can move forward to the ideation process. All visualisations are first drafted on paper..how best to represent the information for the target audience, what emotions or responses are we trying to convey, what are the recommended outputs and so on.

    What are you trying to do with your designing? What is your goal for your designs?
    We want to break down complex data efficiently and present it in its rawest form. From a client side our aim is to make visual data as valuable as possible. If we can create strong content in a visually appealing way then we are able to distribute the content to a bigger audience, create sentiment and hold value over time.

    What do you see is in the future for the graphic design industry? How do you think it will evolve/change?
    The dynamics have changed, we now have to think about output across a multitude of devices and how best to reach, engage and inspire target audiences to act. Interactivity and real time data is also an area quite new to the design world at how to best visualize. Businesses need to move with the times and designers need to be multi disciplined in order to satisfy the fast changing market.

    Do you feel like the internet is helping you as a designer?
    From an educational, creativity and visual data angle yes.

    How do you think social networks such as Facebook and Twitter have affected your abilty to get design work?
    On one side it is more competitive, on another these channels allow us to showcase our work and creative ideas to a much bigger audience, also an audience that is tuned in to act as a test bed for constantly improved design.

    What projects are you working on at the moment?
    We have a broad spectrum at the moment, some visualisations focusing on the London Olympics, some working within major corporations across internal strategies. We are also launching a ‘this week in the news… visually’ series for our new website launching any time now..

    Where do you see yourself in 5-10 years time?
    I see us being a voice in visual data industry taking our insight and experience and applying it to new technology.

    Do you want to give a shout-out to anyone?
    I would like to shout out to @mikeobrienjam ,@steveangello and Andy Kirk from @visualisingdata

    Thanks again Richard for doing this interview.
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