Monday, September 9, 2013

Is the NYT changing the style of its infographics?

This may be just me —and I'm aware that a handful of anecdotes doesn't make a trend— but here's a question for you: If you're a fan of The New York Times' infographics desk, haven't you noticed that the style of their data graphics is becoming more playful and colorful lately?

On Saturday the print paper ran the static version of The Voting Blocs of New York City, which includes nice black and white illustrations by Larry Buchanan. And yesterday Mike Bostock announced the publication of Constellations of Directors and Their Stars, a network visualization in which neon bluish green (!) and dark grey are the dominant colors.

Take this as a wild guess, but I see that one of the persons in the byline of that latter visualization is Jennifer Daniel (Twitter), who was recently (re)hired by the Times to work in their San Francisco bureau, so perhaps the slightly surprising style is not that surprising after all. Daniel was the graphics director at Bloomberg Businessweek after the magazine was relaunched and went through a period of staggering visual creativity. I bet that her influence won't go unnoticed in the near future.