admin30   21 May 2015   Internet Governance

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Creativity often involves a lot of tension and, sometimes, heated debate. Today, our heated debate centred on the graphical style for icons to be used on the Digital Watch website. The discussion was very interesting reflecting the dilemmas of modern graphical design and visual culture.

On one side, traditionalists argued for the use of Diplo’s hand-drawn illustrations, saying they  provide a human touch in a generally uniform Googlish material design where most websites look like one another.

On the other side, modernists argued for material design, saying that modern visual culture has been re-shaped so much that traditional Diplo illustrations look completely ‘dated’ (lost in time). Their argued, too,  that we have to create a ‘visual handshake’ with the visitor before we provide our specific content.

The modernist approach won out; technically it is much easier to render smaller icons on tablets and mobile phones.

Here is a visual illustration of this debate on examples of icons for child safety online. Let us know your views.

1. Traditional proposals

2. Modern proposals


About Diplo's Crative Lab

You can follow Diplo’s Creative Lab diary which provides updates on the development of Digital Watch – a dynamic observatory built on the dynamic interplay of

  • advanced use of technology (data-mining, cognitive and language analysis);
  • creative visualisation (a mix of modern material design and hand-drawn illustrations in traditional Diplo’s style);
  • a network of knowledge curators who analyse and contextualise data in specific policy and cultural contexts (the impact of policies is ultimately local even in global developments such as digital policy); and
  • experience in developing information repositories and observatories (the first observatory was developed in early 2000 – see WebArchive).

Diplo’s Creative Lab includes IG experts, techies, cognitive scientists, data specialists, graphic artists, and designers.

The Alpha version of the GIP’s Digital Watch will be prepared by the end of June. If you want to follow Diplo’s Creative Lab diary, please subscribe to the GIP mailing list or contact Tereza Horejsova at

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