About

Randy Krum infographic designerRandy Krum

President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization, Infographic Design, Visual Thinking, Product Development and Marketing professional fascinated by good infographics.  Always looking for better ways to get the point across.

Infographic Design

Looking for help creating your own infographics?  Randy’s infographic and data visualziation design company:

InfoNewt Infographic Design

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Friday
Sep192014

Marketing Artists vs. Marketing Scientists

Marketing Artists VS Marketing Scientists infographic

The Marketing Artists vs. Marketing Scientists infographic from Pardot highlights the assets of both kinds of marketers in the modern age. But the alliance between the two groups will create the best end product.

In a great article published last week, Stan Woods of Velocity Partners offered his thoughts on how fast marketing has developed over the past few months, and the new marketing roles this change has created.

In his closing paragraph, Woods distinguishes between the creative-driven and data-driven marketers by referring to them as “marketing artists” and “marketing scientists,” respectively. Although a slight oversimplification, these distinctions hold a lot of truth about the current divide that exists within many marketing departments.

Technology has given marketers the ability to track, quantify, and optimize marketing processes at a level that was unheard of only a year ago. The marketing scientist has come to dominate this new arena of objective measurement and data-driven thinking, while the marketing artist continues to thrive on creative ideas and a more abstract way of thinking.

But while these two differently-minded marketers may sometimes disagree over where the focus should lie,  the marketing departments that will truly excel in this new age of marketing are those that recognize the value in both approaches. We have put together the infographic below to help highlight the tremendous assets marketing artists and marketing scientists can bring to the table, and the advantage of finding a balance between the two.

This is a purely informational design with no numerical data, but tells a good story. There are two aspects to marketing represented by the illustrated personas. I would prefer less text and more icons or illustrations, but the infographic does a great job of telling one story really well.  That keeps the design short, easy to share and easy to read.  The dominant central visual is also appealing and attracts attention.

The footer should include the URL to the infographic landing page, not just Pardot.com.  When readers come looking for the full-size version, don’t make them search your site for it.

Found on http://www.business2community.com/

Wednesday
Sep172014

The Evolution of iOS from iOS 1 - iOS 8

The Evolution of iOS from iOS 1 - iOS 8 infographic

On iOS 8 launch day, The Evolution of iOS from iOS 1- iOS 8 infographic is a timeline of the iOS systems from 7 Day Shop. The infographic shows the evolution of the home screen, app icons, and the most noteworthy features.

This week saw the launch of the highly anticipated iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iWatch. Apple also announced that iOS 8, the operating system that will run both of the new iPhones will be made available for download on September 9th, 2014.

In light of the evolutionary change of the iOS, we decided to dig a little deeper to the first ‘iPhone OS’ right through to it’s latest iteration iOS 8. It’s development both in the hardware and software front over just only 6 years is beyond remarkable.

We have charted the evolution of the home screen, app icons and the most noteworthy features of each iOS.

It’s a tall design with a lot of information, but the visuals help out tremendously.  There’s way too much text in this design, and they chose to make the font size too small to fit it all in.  For the new features added with each major upgrade I would remove the text descriptions, and just keep the titles.  Keep the design simple.

This is a good example of an informative infographic capitalizing on a hot trending topic. There’s no hard sales pitch or even a call-to-action. This makes people more willing to share the infographic, and 7DayShop.com just put their logo in the footer to claim credit and build their overall awareness and credibility. They should have included the URL link to the original infographic on their site to help readers find it. Especially on a design this big, because most blog and social shares will post a smaller thumbnail version.

Are the new features compelling you to upgrade to iOS 8? Did you order the new iPhone 6? Let me know in the comments!

Thanks to Kunie for sending in the link!

Tuesday
Sep162014

Beer Colors

Beer Colors Cans Visualization Infographic

Beer colors is a fun design idea that combines packaging design with beer label design, these beer label designs imitate Pantone® color chips.  Maybe more of a data visualization of colors than a true infographic, but I love it!

Concept and design based on the color of the beer. Each type of beer is associated with its corresponding Pantone color. The typeface chosen is HipstelveticaFontFamily in its bold version by José Gomes, thanks for sharing.

Designed by Spanish creative agency Txaber, this series of beer packaging labels show each brew type represented by its corresponding official color. 

Beer Colors Bottles Visualization Infographic

Found on creativebloq and BoingBoing

 

Friday
Sep122014

Grandma's Apple Pie Infographic Recipe

Grandma's Apple Pie infographic

Delicious and informative! The Grandma’s Apple Pie infographic from Task & Tool shares the recipe to delicious success when making apple pies as a visual, illustrated recipe!

This apple pie tastes delicious. It’s inspired by Grandma Ople’s Apple Pie. The 4.8 star rating from over 5000 reviews doesn’t lie - this recipe is fantastic. 

This is our first illustrated recipe. When I’m following recipes, I hate when I start cooking and then lose my place every time I need to find the next step on the recipe. The goal of this recipe design is to make it easier to find your place with helpful illustrations.

The other thing that bothered me is having to go from the recipe instructions to ingredients list to find the right quantity of each ingredient. Abigail designed these recipes with colored icons to help you go back and forth between the recipe design and the ingredient quantities easily.

Also, these recipes are designed to look pretty =)

Fun and delicious, a great combination! I love the use of the hand-drawn chalkboard look. It is a reminder of an old fashion teaching style with an old favorite, apple pie. Good use of color, and visuals (3D and 2D) with minimal words.

They have the TaskAndTool.com URL in the footer at the bottom, but it should include the URL to the actual infographic landing page on their site. Don’t make visitors search your site to find what they are looking for.

Thanks to Gavin for sending in the link!

Thursday
Sep112014

A Comprehensive Look at the Ebola Virus

A Comprehensive Look at the Ebola Virus infographic

The newest outbreak of Ebola virus caused a lot of panic due to the lack of public knowledge of the disease. Buddy Loans has created A Comprehensive Look at the Ebola Virus infographic to increase (or maybe in this case decrease) the public’s exposure to the disease.

2014 has seen the worst outbreak of Ebola Virus Disease (EVD) in history, with WHO reporting more than 1,700 cases worldwide (as of August this year). In this infographic we take an in-depth look at the virus (formally known as Ebola Haemorrhagic Fever) and its history, origin, genus, transmission, symptoms, fatality rate, and treatment.

All information is correct as of mid-August 2014. Data sources include the World Health Organisation (WHO), the Center for Disease Control (CDC), Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF), the BBC, The Guardian, and other high profile news outlets.

Infographics that explain anything health or medical related tend to be a little word heavy, due to their job of thoroughly and explaining complex information. This is a very clean design that implies authority and credibility, and uses a very simple red-blue color scheme. 

The chart in the History of Ebola Outbreaks section is interesting. They chose to only include the data of the biggest outbreak years instead of including every year on the timeline. This is a good method to use when you have a lot of specific data you want to highlight in a small space. If this infographic was focusing on a comparison between the good years and the bad years of Ebola, then including the data sets from smaller years would be appropriate.

The stacked bar chart is also a little tough to understand, and might have worked better as a clustered bar. The blue bar is the total number of reported cases, and the red bar is the portion of those cases that resulted in death. Not the normal way that people use a stacked bar chart.

I like that each section uses a different visualization method (bar chart, map, doughnut chart, etc.).  That makes it easier for the audience to read through clear separations between the sections.

The infographic landing page is also worth noting. On the original landing page, they correctly included some intro text, the full infographic, social sharing buttons and embed code for anyone that wants to post the infographic on their own site. They added a longer text description with more information about each data visualization. This gives reads additional incentive to view the original web page and provides additional text for the search engines to associate with the infographic.

Thanks to David for sending in the link!

Friday
Sep052014

Alchemy of Tea

Alchemy of Tea Infographic Poster

The Alchemy of Tea infographic poster from SweeTooth Design Company maps out 15 traditional tea recipes from around the world, paying homage to the 4,000 year old beverage. Posters are available for $25 through the Kickstarter project, and will ship in November.  They have already exceeded their funding goal, so these will definitely go to print.

“Alchemy of Tea” is the first infographic illustration that depicts traditional tea recipes from around the world. It is not only a poster, but an informative recipe diagram of one of the most favorite drinks, tea.

There is a total of 15 tea recipes. Through mixing tea base with different ingredients, there are different results. What is more interesting is that simply by adding one or more ingredients, the entire recipe may becomes an entire different drink. 

Alchemy of Tea Infographic Poster Red Closeup

Posters will be printed in Red and Black:

Alchemy of Tea Infographic Poster Red Black

Found on http://www.fastcodesign.com

Thursday
Sep042014

Abby & Chris: Wedding Invitation

Abby & Chris: Wedding invitation

Another fun way to spruce up your life with visuals! The Abby & Chris Wedding invitation from Abby Ryan Design takes an ordinary wedding invitation, and makes it extraordinary with data v visualization Fun idea! Maybe try it out for your next party?!

Abby & Chris: Wedding invitation

This illustrative wedding package was designed to reflect the playfulness of Abby and Chris’s food truck wedding. First, a 18 x 24 screen printed wedding infographic that works as an invitation, program and menu. The poster was designed with the rehearsal dinner invitation as the bottom section so it could be removed for guests only coming to the wedding. Next, the save the date card, which focuses on important events in Abby and Chris’s relationship with the final date being their wedding. A wedding website was also created to keep their guests informed.

This is fun and original. A keepsake for all the guests! It also gives a lot more useful information than most wedding invitations!

Thanks to Abby for sending in the link!

Friday
Aug292014

False Visualizations: Sizing Circles in Infographics

Accuracy is the most important aspect of an infographic design!

Last week, the article The Truth about the Ice Bucket Challenge by Julia Belluz on Vox Media included the infographic, Where We Donate vs. Diseases That Kill Us, that used proportionally sized circles as its data visualization. The problem with this design is that the circle sizes don’t match the values shown. This is a false visualization and significantly over exaggerates the smaller amounts of money contributed to each charity and the deaths attributed to each cause.

This causes problems because readers often just look at the visuals without reading the actual numbers. They start with the assumption that a visualization accurately represents the data. The Vox Media story and infographic already have over 12,000 shares on Facebook, and this is a great case study for designers to understand how important it is to visualize data accurately.

As readers, we see the area of two-dimensional shapes on the page to represent the different values, but design software only allows width and height adjustments to size shapes. Designers make the mistake of adjusting the diameter of circles to match the data instead of the area, which incorrectly sizes the circles dramatically. It takes some geometry calculations in a spreadsheet to find the areas and then calculate the appropriate diameters for each circle. To demonstrate, I created this corrected version of the infographic.

False Visualizations: Sizing Circles in Infographics Revised

My Google Docs spreadsheet of the correct circle area and diameter calculations is available here.

Assuming this was a design mistake, and there was no intent to deceive the audience, this is a common mistake that many designers make.  So many designers, that I included an entire section on this topic in the Cool Infographics book to help designers understand how to size the area of circles.

I made one other improvement to the corrected design above by removing the color legend and listing the charities and causes of death right next to the appropriate circles. This makes the whole visualization easier for the audience to read by eliminating the need to look back-and-forth from the circles to the color legend to figure out what each circle represents.  Placing the text next to each circle keeps the information in the reader’s field of view which minimizes eye movement.

Sticking with the circles data visualization style, I wanted to take the design a little bit further. I would recommend one of two alternate improvements.  First, adding colored connecting lines is one way to make it easier for the audience to find the related circles in the columns sorted in descending order.

False Visualizations: Sizing Circles in Infographics Revised Lines

A second alternative would be to sort the lists to line up the related circles.  This makes it much easier for the audience to see the direct comparisons between charitable contributions and death rates related to the same cause.

False Visualizations: Sizing Circles in Infographics Revised Descending Sort

I’m passing over any discussion about whether using proportionally sized circles (a bubble chart) is the best visualization method for this data. If a designer makes the choice to use sized shapes, my point is that the data visualizations in the infographic must match the numbers using area.  David Mendoza published a good analysis worth reading and designed an alternative way to visualize the data in his article, This Bubble Chart Is Killing Me.

How else would you improve this design?

NOTE: I was able to contact the designer who created the infographic at Vox Media, and he had already realized his error after the infographic had been published. As I had guessed, he had mistakenly adjusted the diameter of the circles instead of the area. He told me that he’s working on updating the official infographic design in the article, but it hasn’t been published on the Vox Media site yet.


 

Wednesday
Aug272014

Visual Customer Service in the Social Age

Visual Customer Service in the Social Age infographic

The Visual Customer Service in the Social Age infographic created by Gryffin for TollFreeForwarding.com, describes the different social media platforms and how they could be to supplement customer service information to customers.

I’m sure you know that visual content on social media can massively improve engagement. But just how important is it?

On the web, it’s estimated that 55 percent of all traffic will be video by 2016, and mobile video traffic will increase by 1800 percent. YouTube, Instagram and Vine are currently the best platforms to maximise video engagement, so are you utilising them to their full potential in your marketing campaigns?

I like that this design takes some of the great things we know about visual information and applies it to a specific company function.  This is one way the companies can leverage the power of visual information with their customers.

It’s interesting that I couldn’t find the original infographic on either Gryffin or TollFreeForwarding.com sites.  There’s no blog post or infographic landing page on either one.

Again, we see the folk research statistic that “the brain processes visual information 60,000 times faster than text.”  This data point is quoted so often that people believe it’s true, but no one can find the research to back it up.  As far as anyone can tel, it was quoted in some marketing information from 3M in the 1980’s to support sales of transparency sheets used on overhead projects.  If you’re interest, I suggest reading these posts from Alan Levine and Darren Kuropatwa.

Found on www.mediabistro.com and Visual.ly

Thursday
Aug212014

Missing Money

Missing Money Infographic

It is no secret that the U.S. is deep in debt. But something you might not know is how much money the U.S. can’t find. The Missing Money infographic from Masters in Accounting covers multiple instances where huge amounts of money are unaccounted for.

With a national debt approaching $17 trillion, Uncle Sam is tightening his belt and looking under the cushions for extra change. But a closer look at his pocket book reveals just how little he knows about where your money is going. Below are a few examples that will make you think twice about Uncle Sam’s accounting skills.

This infographic shares some bold accusations, all meant to be shocking to the readers.  The sources are clearly cited in the footer, but in this case I would recommend including each source along with the claim in the infographic.  The publisher isn’t making any of these claims themselves, just sharing the claims from others, and that should be made clearer to the audience.  It would also be easier for the audience to follow the source link, and learn more about any particualr claim.

The first chart showing the annual increase in the U.S. Debt caused by the budget deficit should show the deficit amount at the bottom of each column instead of the top.  That would visually show that the deficit is the cause of the growing debt from one year to the next by placing it at the end of the column where the heights are different.

Thanks to Merrill for sending in the link!