Pictures Painting Thousands of Data StoriesFebruary 21st, 2017
Everything we create today is built on something someone did a long time ago.
A confident person, or perhaps a person who is merely honest, will admit that everything is recycled. There are no new ideas just variations on a theme. This is doubly true in marketing and triply true in anything tech related.
When the digital world took over all forms of communications it set out to invent new words to inform how bright and shiny its ideas were. So editors suddenly found themselves creating “content” and not “communication” or “writing” and “storytelling” became a buzzword for, well, storytelling. And on and on. New words allow “innovators” to prove their “disruption.”
Infographics feel new but, of course, they’re not. Data has long been mined to uncover a kind of truth, to feed narratives, to prove things. Data is a way to make a point. This site shows how old it is. W.E.B. Du Bois is perhaps better known as a civil rights leader, but he also had “a talent for visualizing data” – these were created in the 1900’s for the World’s Fair in Paris.
Our digital director, Line Atallah, has said we should create “data stories” that are good enough to “hang in galleries.” And while our editors and designers already create truly beautiful work, we want to formalize the process so that clients and potential clients can better access our teams to produce on-the-go (another way of saying “fast”) content for their purposes (our co-CEOs discuss this initiative, and others, here).
We’re not inventing the infographic or the “data story.” We aren’t even reinventing it. Humans have been trying to make sense of complexity since they first contemplated the stars. What we are doing is adding our own spin to them, making them a “Bookmark service” by uncovering patterns in premium data for premium brands. Because everything old is new again.
About the Author
Arjun Basu is Senior Vice President, Content Strategy, at Bookmark. And a big fan of bourbon.