Five Questions for Heather Jones, Information Graphics Designer

Five Questions for Heather Jones, Information Graphics Designer


Ever looked at a magazine's masthead and wondered just what do all those job titles actually mean? What does a photo producer actually do? Does a deputy art director get a shiny badge? And why are some people creative directors and others design directors? 
  
Back after a brief hiatus, our blog series "Five Questions for..."  is here to help answer those questions and give you insight into working in the world of publication design. Is there a particular job that you want to know more about? Email  us at spdstudentoutreach@gmail.com and we'll find an expert who does it. They'll give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work. Read on to find out what being an Information Graphics Designer is like for Heather Jones.

Five Questions For... is edited by Joseph Caserto



The Pro's Work

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About the Pro
 
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Heather Jones
Information Graphics Designer
  
Works for: Time Magazine 
Degree Earned: BFA, photography
Twitter: @msjonesnyc 
Instagram: @msjonesnyc


1. Imagine you're talking to someone who has never heard of your job. How would you describe it to them?
My job is to make a complex idea simpler; to decode a process visually; translate or chart concepts with any combination of illustration/words/photos/numbers to further understanding; to introduce diagrams or data points to entice the viewer to dive in or read on; and at the same time to always aim to make the work beautiful.

2. What about your job makes you love it?
I love that, especially in the news business, I'm always learning. And, I think in a broad sense, infographics can help people navigate life better.

3. What do you think of as the big break in your career?
Time Magazine of course! I'd been an art director, photo editor, and designer. When I began focusing on infographics, it kind of encapsulated all of them, and was what interested and galvanized me most. To delve into the worlds of politics, health, science, sports and culture, and offer views that might be different than just pictures and text, is very satisfying. I think working in investigative journalism helps you feel connected to the world. Breaking news is never dull, and it has taught me to be very quick, and also trust my first instincts, because often you don't have time for more.
4. What is your biggest professional mistake or regret?
I regret not learning animation and coding earlier. Having said that, it's often hard to learn things earlier. Publishing has changed so much--and continues to do so--that it's sometimes tough to take on something new, when some applications are already at version 14.0 by the time you're ready to start learning 10.0. Many designers are growing and learning though, so it's great to be a part of a changing industry.

5. What advice or parting words do you have for anyone who wants to do what you do?
Study the professionals whose work you love, and meet as many of them as possible. Don't be afraid to work the room. And, I find when you constantly push yourself and check off something on your list, as little as it is--read something new, learn a new skill, take a different path--it only enhances your outlook and your work.


Is there a particular job that you want to know more about? Email us at spdstudentoutreach@gmail.com and we'll find an expert who does it. They'll give you their take, and then it's up to you to put their advice to work. 


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