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Experts speaks exclusively to

Lucie Lacava,Well-Known
Design Consultant

1.What are the challenges a designer faces?

The biggest challenges are to present the information accurately, creatively, and under tight deadlines, especially once the games have started.

2.How can a designer be innovative?

To be innovative, a designer must first do research and be aware of what has been done before under similar circumstances. Use that as a benchmark, then find ways to improve or innovate. Do not focus on Soccer only, look at how other sports handle similar information.

3.In which way he can tune his mind for creation

It is never too early to get started. Prepare sample pages ahead of time.
Watch videos, movies on Soccer, search the web for images colour palettes. Save them in a folder called "inspiration", and refer to it when you are out of ideas. Background music and a good dose of caffeine can also help!

Charles Apple, free-lance
visual journalist and instructor.

1.What are the challenges a designer faces?

Designers face many challenges: A lack of time, a lack of resources. Sometimes, a lack of support from editors and reporters.

The biggest challenge we face, however, is the challenge of crafting a visual report of a story using data collected by or relayed to us by folks who don't necessarily think visually. This means we're sometimes working as detectives, in addition to working as journalists. We have to be creative not only in how we arrange data on a page, but also in how we talk to reporters or sources. One thing I like to do is to sketch as I talk. I'll then show them a sketch and ask: "You mean like this?" Many times, they'll help you refine a sketch, right there on the spot.

This is one reason why I insist that all young visual journalists learn how to sketch. And how to sketch as they talk. Anything that helps you tell the story better is a good thing.

2.How can a designer be innovative?

"Innovative" can mean a lot of things. These days, many people use that term to describe new technology. From that point of view, a designer will need the latest software and hardware -- and training on how to use them -- in order to be "innovative." If you're designing graphical interfaces for the new iPad, for example, you're "innovative."

However, I prefer the term when it's a synonym of "original." And in that usage, I'd advise designers to concentrate first on telling the story well and telling it best. If you can do that -- and if you do it enough to make it second nature for yourself -- then, if you have any personal inclination whatsoever toward "originality," then you'll eventually find yourself doing "innovative" work.

Concentrate on telling the story well, best and first. The innovation will come in time.

3.In which way he can tune his mind for creation

Ah, for every creative person there is a different answer for this. Some of us like playing music in the background as we work. (In a newsroom environment, however, I discourage this. I want my designers to know and keep up with what's going on around them.)

Some of us like having toys or action figures on our desk. Some of us like taking a coffee or cigarette break. I have a good friend who does his best thinking when he's smoking. I've always worried that if his work improves dramatically, it'll kill him via lung cancer.

For myself, I sketch. I'll throw myself into working on the project. Sometimes I'll have a brainstorm and I'll have to shift gears while I'm working on it. But my best ideas come while I'm in a frenzy of graphic production. So the quicker I roll up my sleeves and dive in, the quicker I'll be inspired to do something interesting or clever.

Tim Frank, creative director and deputy managing editor for visuals of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel in Fort Lauderdale.

1.What are the challenges a designer faces?

Given your resources and considering the culture of your publication, how can you best express the content and give the reader something they can’t get anywhere else.

2.How can a designer be innovative?

Rather than trying to be innovative, I’d consider forgetting everything you’ve seen about the subject and focus on the true experience of the event. If you can bring some of that to the page, you’ve created an authentic experience that’s also likely to be innovative.

3.In which way he can tune his mind for creation

Of course, it’s important to see what other papers are doing, especially if you are in a competitive situation. But if you are looking for creative stimulation to help you stand out from the crowd, you should probably look at sources outside of our business – everything from fine art to advertising in every medium – from street art to main stream television.
And ultimately, I think the best way of all is to surround yourself with creative people who will challenge and support you on a daily basis.

Douglas Okasaki
Designer,Gulf News

1.What are the challenges a designer faces?

You have to understand the importance of the World Cup to some people – it’s a really crazy passion. I am a Brazilian and that country is famous for the football, but I don't play. I don't like soccer and I’m not interested, but when you see the game on TV, it is impossible not to be caught up in the emotion and the special feeling of the crowd. The emotion is infectious and you can’t stay neutral. As a designer the big challenge is the competition. Every newspaper will make special pages and launch a project for the World Cup. Time is tight when the games begin, but there are some topics that you can work on in advance like team and group profiles for example.

2.How can a designer be innovative?

The World Cup is a good exercise to practise innovation. The pictures are colorful and there are many action shots. It is important to have a close relationship with the sport editors and work together to get the best results. It’s important to try and look at the competition from different points of view. There is the sport aspect, of course, but it’s important to bring in a more personal angle. For example you could compare the physical requirements of soccer to that of cricket, in a bid to interest cricket fans, who are a huge part of our readership. Alternatively look at other ways of interesting people who might not be into soccer.

3.In which way can he tune his mind for creation?

It depends how many pages you have for this project in your publication. If you have limited space, then you need to provide good informative pages with accurate information. The use of infographics can be helpful, but if you have space and pages then you can look to design posters, mega graphics, pages of players, profiles and record charts. To have a visual reference is always a good way to tune the mind for creation. It’s also important to gather information by using websites, blogs, SND books and sport magazines. After that go to sleep and you will dream about visual solutions.

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