Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Making of a "Charticle"

Have you ever heard of a “charticle?” In the magazine biz, it’s a term we use for an infographic. Essentially it’s a hybrid of a “chart” and “article.” In the November 2014 issue of Viking magazine, we had the opportunity to execute a full-page charticle on Nordic stars as part of our “Cinema Scandinavia” feature. Check it out on page 20.

Charticles can be powerful attention grabbers that communicate information in a visually appealing way. Plus, they are very fun, yet sometimes challenging, to execute! Our “Cinema Scandinavia” feature highlights the crossover between the American and Scandinavian film industries. While researching for the story, I found myself writing down names of Norwegian actors and directors and linking them to actors in Hollywood that they are working with. And the idea for a charticle was born!

To properly executive a charticle, it takes lots of collaboration between an editor and art director. And thankfully, I have a terrific partner in Viking’s art director, Amy Armato. This particular charticle was months in the making. From my first hand-drawn version (see picture below) created in late June to the final days of sending the November issue to the printer in late September, it was a fun and challenging task—lots of drawing, erasing, collaborating, editing, fact checking, designing, more erasing, more designing and more proofreading. Whew!

Here’s a peek at how our “Nordic Stars” charticle from Viking’s November issue was created.

The hand-drawn version: June 20
An initial layout starting to take shape: September 5

Refining, editing, proofreading: September 16

The finished charticle! September 24

Anya Britzius is editor of Viking magazine. She lives in Minneapolis, Minn., and enjoys baking, reading and keeping up on modern Norwegian trends.

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