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Marcelo Duhalde showcases his research work behind the infographics. Photo: Zhang Ruirong

The first principle of making infographics is clearness because infographics are created for sharing, said Marcelo Duhalde, an infographic designer from SCMP as well as his colleague Marco Hernandez, invited by Hong Kong Design Institute on Feb 6.

“If you made something beautiful but too complicated for readers to understand, that’s just a waste of time. You have to test your work, not only in your house because your mother will always say ‘oh it’s beautiful’, ” said Duhalde.

When compared the minimum wage of helpers in Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and Malaysia, Duhalde and Hernandez took the price of a pair of shoes as a benchmark, just like the McDonald Index, making the infographic more easy for the readers to understand.

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Always on duty: foreign domestic helpers around the world


In fact, Hernandez said he always let his 10-year-old child read his scripts. “If my child can understand it, so can readers,” said Hernandez.

That’s also why they called themselves “storyteller”. They tried to dig facts that people didn’t know through available data. “We don’t tell people what is happening now, we dig deeper,” said Hernandez. When Duhalde was in Times of Oman, he spent several weeks to research Oman’s national dress through material and interviews of experts from museums for a feature story.

Research work usually cost Hernandez one to two weeks, meanwhile, “code tricks can speed up production, but not everything is about making it fast,” said Hernandez.

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Marco Hernandez explains why can’t reporter solely rely on online data. Photo: Zhang Ruirong

Working on The passport power, he initially wrote a crawler to grab data from Google Flight, but then he found most of the data was wrong.

“Don’t fully rely on an automated process. Computers enjoy spoiling your work a lot,” said Hernandez.

Duhalde and Hernandez will join the SND Hong Kong 2018 – Infographic Summit as guest speakers. If you are interested, free feel to register by yourself. Details as follow:

Topic: SND Hong Kong 2018—infographics summit
Organizer: Society for News Design
Time: April 13 -15, 2018
Register: https://www.snd.org/training/snd-hong-kong-2018/
Fee(for students):
One-day summit + workshop $100
One-day summit only $100
Two-day workshop only $100

If you are interested in works of Duhalde, Hernandez and the SCMP multimedia group, below are some of the data visualization pieces:

Works of Marcelo Duhalde: http://www.scmp.com/author/marcelo-duhalde

Works of Marco Hernandez: http://www.scmp.com/author/marco-hernandez

Works of SCMP multimedia group: http://www.scmp.com/infographics

Author/ Zhang Ruirong

Editor/ Jessie Pang