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Behind the Scenes with Elissa Schloesser, One of My Favorite Information Designers

Updated on: Apr 22nd, 2020
Data Visualization
Behind the Scenes with Elissa Schloesser, one of my favorite graphic designers.

“My ultimate goal was to work with organizations to help them communicate those complex things in graphic form,” Elissa Schloesser told me.

Elissa’s one of my favorite information designers.

We’ve partnered on a number of projects over the years, from full-length technical reports to one-page summaries.

I recently interviewed Elissa about her career path. Data visualization is still a fairly new area. So many women working in data, like Elissa, have blazed their own career path. I always love hearing about how others got started and what they’re up to now.

You can listen to our conversation here:

What’s Inside: Elissa’s Career Path as an Information Designer

  • The difference between a “graphic designer” and an “information designer”
  • What Elissa is currently working on
  • How she creates static graphics
  • Elissa’s favorite types of projects–“I like to take really complex, messy things and create graphics for them”
  • The types of clients she works with
  • How long Elissa worked for herself
  • What she did before owning her own company (hint: it wasn’t in design)
  • How a dashboard changed her career trajectory
  • How she went from dashboards to longer term planning projects like logic models
Example of a project from Elissa Schloesser of My Visual Voice.

Elissa’s Tips for Working with Graphic Designers or Information Designers for the First Time

In the interview, we also discussed Elissa’s tips for working with a graphic designer for the first time.

In particular, Elissa “I find that if you spend time up front talking with your designer, you’ll get a much better result,” she said.

“You don’t have to know everything when you come to the table,” Elissa stated about partnering with information designers on data projects.

“It’s really hard for somebody to describe a look and feel… ‘I want an infographic’. What does an infographic mean? It can be playful and cartoony, or much more serious and technical graphic.”

Elissa described the type of examples you can share with an information designer at the beginning of a project and where to find useful examples.

Example of a project from Elissa Schloesser of My Visual Voice.

Connect with Elissa Schloesser

Connect with Elissa:

Learn Even More from Elissa

Elissa’s a guest expert in our Great Graphs: Design Principles online training program, which opens for once-a-year enrollment between Monday, April 27, 2020 and Friday, May 1, 2020.

More about Ann K. Emery
Ann K. Emery is a sought-after speaker who is determined to get your data out of spreadsheets and into stakeholders’ hands. Each year, she leads more than 100 workshops, webinars, and keynotes for thousands of people around the globe. Her design consultancy also overhauls graphs, publications, and slideshows with the goal of making technical information easier to understand for non-technical audiences.

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