‘How many images are 1000 words worth?’ A quote that kindled my interest when I was visiting the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam last summer. Do you recognize those moments that the most simple way to explain a complex idea is by conveying it with just a few images instead of spending twice as much time to explain it in words? Yes, exactly, this what Robert Stiphout thought when he came up with the idea of Graphix-box.
“Show don’t tell”
The idea of Graphix-box was born in 2006 when Stiphout, former Elsevier-editor and editor in chief of Advocatenblad, interviewed Robbert Dijkgraaf, professor at the University of Amsterdam, known for his talent of explaining difficult phenomena. During the interview Dijkgraaf explained that the driving force behind a successful seminar is that “you have to be aware of the fact that 50% of the people thinks in words while the other 50% thinks in images. You have to serve both groups’.
DavidMcCandless.com: The beauty of data visualization – TED Global Oxford 2010.
Stiphout translated this philosophy of Dijkgraaf to the media, to infographics. The concept of Infographics already existed for many years, however, with some disadvantages. To develop an infographic is not only time-consuming but also costly and requires a lot of knowledge and at the end the graphic will only be published once. This is the reason why these infographics are not frequently used by media. Stiphout thought of a way to overcome these disadvantages and that is how it all started.
The first marketplace for infographics
Grahix-box, the first marketplace for infographics worldwide, was officially launched in June 2015. It offers a platform where producers and editors can meet. Producers can sell their new or previously published infographics and editors and other customers can visit Graphix-box for affordable -since most are published before- infographics. “The aim of Graphix-box is twofold”, explains Stiphout. “We do not only want to give media organizations, with a small budget, the opportunity to use infographics, we also want to give producers the opportunity to make more money out of one infographic”.
How does it work?
The infographics are divided within different kind of themes (e.g. politics, sports, culture, law). For each infographic it is explicitly declared which rights are assigned for the reuse of the particular infographic and to what extent it is permitted to adapt the graphic to the style of your media brand. The publisher of the infographic decides on the market price (in general the price is below 50% of the original price) and the use rights. The producer, and thus seller, earns 60% of the final market price. In the future Stiphout aspires to generate more revenue: “this way we are able to reduce the percentage we earn (40%) and generate higher profit for the producers (i.e. the sellers)”.
Stiphout explains in what way an infographic is being promoted: “What we do is to keep an eye on the news, as soon as a certain news item corresponds with an infographic we possess, we approach news media. But it is not only about following the news, we offer background information as well. An example is that currently the Dutch ice-skating season has started, we responded with providing an infographic covering the technique of ice-skating.”
Goals and the future
So what is next? Stiphout is very clear about their objectives: “We do not only wish to produce our own infographics, moreover, we wish to have our own tablet magazine, the first infographic magazine of the Netherlands”.