Malofiej —‘Malofiej Awards and World Summit’ are named after the Argentinian cartographer considered to be a pioneer in infographics Alejandro Malofiej— is a conference organised by the Society for News Design (SND) focusing on the design of information; the speakers and attendees work for the best newspapers and digital platforms and their job is to make information accesible and understandable by using graphics. During the conference the Malofiej Awards are announced, which are considered to be the Pulitzer of infographics.
It is not new that technology shapes how information is provided to the reader. Let’s remember for instance that newspapers had no images until printing provided a fast and cheap solution, or the lack of colour until quite recently, etc. The latests advances in digital screens, portable devices, fast broadband and wifi networks and smaller microchips, have transformed the content of an entire newspaper into a gadget that fits into our hands reading in very different environments. This is the challenge for information designers now; how to design for different media, different platforms, devices, screen sizes, addressing the same complex information and distilling it into something readable and informative yet still engaging with the reader.
Throughout the sessions it was very clear that contemporary information design resides concurrently in the digital and the printed world of editorials, and how they can negotiate to provide useful content for the readers. Useful in the sense of having accessible information, for being able to make informed decisions before voting, and why not, to be entertained.
A stronger emphasis could be made on the role of typography in information design. It is a fundamental piece of the design, and in the words of Sarah Slobin —closing speaker at Malofiej and editor at Quartz—, typography is an object. If there is a gap between infographists and type designers our task should be to close this gap by working together on the development of future typefaces and listening to the needs of the graphic, editorial and infographic designers in this particular area of design.
We at TypeTogether are very ready to do so!