A Conversation about Content

Brynna Baldauf and Daniel Dannenberg of Vertical Measures have a conversation about content.


Brynna: Hi. I’m Brynna, and I’m here today with Daniel. He’s one of our Vertical Measures graphic designers, and we’re going to talk today a little bit about content and how to do it. So, Dan, what are some of the top things you have to keep in mind when creating content?

Dan: The top things that I keep in mind are generally the audience, the information that we’re providing to the clients, production times, how much time we’re going to spend on the project usually, and the level of branding for the clients. Those are at least the top things that I can think of offhand.

Brynna: So, when you’re creating the content, do you ever think about the end user or who might be placing the content?

Dan: Yeah, absolutely. Audience is always a key factor in every project that we do. It depicts everything from start to finish. We have a pretty solid foundation of a process that we do with every project or content piece, but it always starts with the audience. It determines if it’s going to be like a really niche content piece or it’s going to be a broad shareable content
piece. So yeah, absolutely.

Infographics, everyone loves them. How long does it typically take you to make an infographic?

Dan: That’s a very loaded question. It depends. Infographics should always be based on the data, the information, and they should be designed from that and not vice versa. So it just depends. It depends on what the client comes to us and what they want. If they want something that’s really data driven and information heavy, then that’s going to take a little bit longer period of time to work on. If it’s just something short and simple, something like a data graphic, then it just could be like a day, if that, maybe eight hours. So it just depends.

Brynna: What about the data graph you did for Vertical Measures of the Halloween masks?

Dan: That one was quite different. Research time, I would say it only took about an hour to two hours perhaps, just to find and make sure you get the proper research. I mean proper because you want research that’s grounded at its root. You want to find the most accurate research you can, not something from like a Wikipedia or a low grade source. So, after finding the proper research, then I started to draw it out, and that took longer. It was just because of the specific type of content piece it was. It was hand drawn. It was unique and different, which also helped its shareability levels actually.

Brynna: I would agree with that. Coming off of shareability, what would you say the life span of a data graphic or an infographic is, once it’s online?

Dan: Right. Well, that is a very common question you can find online. Again, that just depends on somewhat who your audience is. If it’s a very niche audience and it’s going to be a very niche infographic, then you might expect your lifespan to not be too great. If it’s a very broad topic, then you probably are going to see a bigger lifespan or larger lifespan as it touches upon many different things and then go out to many different industries. But, in general what you can do with lifespans for infographics is, if it’s not a timely based theme, based around
like a holiday or anything like, but it’s in an industry that you know about, then you just kind of create this broad, general infographic, but have a very compelling design to it, say for instance, we did a Vertical Measures authority building machine infographic, and we did that exactly a year ago. We still get it picked up every month. So it’s got quite the shelf life to it, and so it’s really worked out because the design is so unique and the content, it’s only specifically about content pieces actually, was very broad. So it worked out really well.

Brynna: So it’s useful for everyone.

Dan: It is.

Brynna: That’s great. Awesome. One of my favorites. Making these infographics, what are your kind of tools of the trades, the programs that make you excellent, I guess?

Dan: I’m an Adobe fan. A lot of people use Photoshop to create infographics. I generally don’t do that. I generally go straight towards Illustrator. I always use Illustrator as my number one tool. If I do any photo editing, that’s with Photoshop. But I would say top off Illustrator, Adobe After Effects and Design, Photoshop, and then for research Excel and Microsoft Word are definitely key.

Brynna: Now the Adobe products, those are a little expensive. Are those a necessary to create good infographics, or does everyone need to have those?

Dan: Are they necessary? No. Does it help? It depends. There’s a lot of online tools right now that you can use to create infographics or content pieces. But I will say having a trained eye behind the wheel, I guess you could say, to help steer your content piece can always help.

Brynna: Excellent. I hope you’ve enjoyed our little talk about content. If you have any questions, feel free to put them in the comments! Thanks.