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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Caffeine Poster

The Caffeine Poster infographic

Google Insights

Thursday
Jun122014

The Evolution of Life Poster

The Evolution & Classification of Life poster

This beautiful “tree of life” poster does two things at once:

First, it shows how over 250 common plants, animals, and microbes are classified by biologists into domains, kingdoms, phyla, orders, families, and genera.

Second, it shows where each group fits into the evolutionary history of life according to the most up-to-date genetic research.

It also includes several extinct groups, featuring artwork by paleo-artists John Gurche and Nobu Tamura.

 

A “Tree of Life” in a 24” X 36” poster form, The Evolution & Classification of Life poster was designed by Matt Baker from Useful Charts, and and can be purchased on Amazon for $24.95.

There is good use of color to help organize the tree and allow the reader to understand the major section breaks.  Having the pictures of the animals as the main focus of the tree, rather than their names keeps the poster clean and not too cluttered.

Great job Matt!

Friday
Jun062014

When Are Fruits and Vegetables in Season?

When Are Vegetables in Season? infographic

If your are an avid gardener or just prefer to know when your favorite fruits are in season, these two infographics will make your tastebuds happy with the When Are Fruits in Season? and When Are Vegetables in Season? infographics created by Greek Body Codex.

Ever wondered why sometimes your veggies taste fresh and full of flavor where other times it tastes dull and old? Some vegetables are seasonal and either don’t grow at all during certain months or don’t do well during certain times of the year. This infographic will show you when all of your favorite vegetables are in season and when they’ll taste the absolute best.

Both are good designs with a clear message.  Plotting out the calendar months in doughnut chart works nicely, and the bright colors make the overall design very visually appealing.

Thanks to Tom for sending in the link!

When Are Fruits and Vegetables in Season? infographic

 

Thursday
Jun052014

Legislative Explorer: Watch Government In Action

Legislative Explorer: Watch Government In Action

Legislative Explorer is an interactive, animated data visualization that visualizes the process of bills submitted by houses of Congress; the Senate on the left and the House of Representatives on the right.  Designed by Researchers at the University of Washington’s Center for American Politics and Public Policy, it’s a fascinating visualization that is mesmerizing to watch.

A deluge of data is challenging scientific researchers across disciplines to develop new techniques for detecting patterns in large and complex datasets. This general area of research is known as data-driven discovery, or ‘D3.’ Visualizations are a particularly important area of innovation because they help researchers to investigate complex processes at a more holistic level. The goal of Legislative Explorer is to leverage the same benefits of data-driven visualizations to advance understanding of government.

A more in-depth discussion of Legislative Explorer with multiple animations and videos is available at the Center for American Politics and Public Policy.

Anyone can use Legislative Explorer to observe large scale patterns and trends in congressional lawmaking without advanced methodological training. In addition, anyone can dive deeper into the data to further explore a pattern they’ve detected, to learn about the activities of an individual lawmaker, or to follow the progress of a specific bill. Start Exploring!

I selected the 99th Congress (1985-1986) for the screenshots, and you can see the party breakdown of both houses of Congress by their color.  Each icon represents a specific member of Congress which you can identify by hovering your mouse over the icon.  The animation will show a visual spray of bills introduced by members in both houses of Congress as party-color-coded dots that move into committees and through the steps to becoming a law.

Legislative Explorer: Watch Government In Action Zoom 

There are a number of user-definable filters to help narrow down the visualization to a specific party, only one committee, or even just to watching a single bill move through the proces.

Here’s a quick video tutorial:

Found on FlowingData

Wednesday
Jun042014

How to Buy a Used Car: 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Car Buying

 

How to Buy a Used Car: 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Car Buying infographic

For some buying a used car is fun, for others troublesome. The How to Buy a Used Car: 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Car Buying infographic from Toyota Certified gives some interesting facts and tips on buying a used car.

Whether you’re in the market for a family SUV, or a sporty little two-seater just for you, buying a used car is something that most of us do at least once in a lifetime. Toyota recently did a fascinating survey that outlines 12 Things You Didn’t Know About Car Buying and found that 26% of us find the experience fun and interesting… and 52% of buyers have no idea what model they want until they step into the dealership! Check out this fun infographic that takes a closer look at America’s car buying experience and you may discover some interesting facts you didn’t know… and some helpful tips about buying your next used vehicle, as well.

Good design, and I love that Toyota Certified (the used car division of Toyota) is sharing some of their internal customer information publicly.  They definitely need to do a better job citing the sources of the data, but some of these statistics are clearly based on Toyota sales numbers.  Others like the “Top Brand Loyalty” that shows Toyota as #1 are suspect because no source is listed.

A few of the percentage statistics could be better visualized.  A percentage is always comparing the statistical value to the total possible of 100%.   So numbers like “53% of buyers prefer their first dealer interaction to be online” should be shown as a stacked bar totaling 100%.  Others like “80% of people used the Internet in their car research” weren’t visualized at all, which makes them feel less important and secondary information to the audience.

Data visualization errors like the doughnut chart of the “Most Popular Colors” just hurt the brand credibility.  You can’t have a pie chart or a doughnut chart that only adds up to 88%.  They must total 100%!

Thanks to Belinda for sending in the link!

Tuesday
Jun032014

What the Heck is a Bitcoin

What the Heck is a Bitcoin infographic

The Bitcoin is the first widely traded digital crypto-currency that is decentralized and unregulated. Find out more from the What the Heck is a Bitcoin infographic by SumAll.

Exchanges rising and falling, disputes over inventorship, wild accusations, rapid inflation and deflation, anger, confusion, and sadness. We’re talking about everyone’s favorite unicorn money: Bitcoin. Bitcoin’s six year road to the spotlight has been fraught with more turbulence than a flight through a hurricane in a Learjet, and since mid 2013 it’s only gotten more crazy.

SumAll has just added bitcoin exchanges, mining pools, and mining workers to our range of data platforms to allow our customers to keep tabs on the market and the progress of mining pools. For those who own or mine bitcoins, SumAll is now their one-stop-shop for keeping tabs on all things bitcoin, monitoring their mining efforts, and keeping a close watch over their investments.

For those who don’t own or mine bitcoins, chances are you have no idea what we’re talking about.

If you have an interest in bitcoins and don’t want to be that out-of-the-loop guy at the party who just keeps nodding his head in agreement and staring at your drink, we made this handy infographic to explain a few basic concepts to get you started. Soon you’ll be buying all your pizza–and rent–with bitcoins

Good design that tells a story to the audience, but this one uses too much text.  I wish they had included some data visualizations about the difficulty to mine bitcoins or the strength of the encryption.  The one dataset they did visualize was the value of bitcoins from Jan-Dec 2013.  The value changes so rapidly, including that one data visualization can quickly make the infographic feel old and out-of-date.  For a longer Online Lifespan, the design should focus more on the long-term, consistent information about bitcoins and not the most recent trending data.

This is a good example of the company, SumAll, using an infographic as part of their email marketing campaign.  The infographic was included as the highlight in one of their email blasts to customers with a link back to the full design on their website!

Monday
Jun022014

History of the Battle Dress

History of the Battle Dress infographic

History of the Battle Dress infographic from Pioneer Military Loans covers 238 years of battle dress for the military.

As the Army soldiers on into its 238th year, we celebrate the service of our troops whose tours of duty have been as diverse as the men and women sacrificing their lives in honor of defending ours. Fighting for enduring freedom requires that Soldiers –and their dress—be both dynamic and sustainable, guarding themselves and our country. While you may be most familiar with America’s hard-fought battles, let us acquaint you with the uniforms worn into them.

Battle Dress Uniforms have been tailored to fit the varying elements and environments for well over 200 years. As combat situations change, so do the weapons and gear carried by the Army Soldier. The info graphic below illustrates the BDU’s most major alterations from the Calvary Days to Operation Iraqi Freedom. And from their boots on the ground to the caps and helmets that protect their heads, you’ll note the evolving details that have served Soldiers well… then and now.

This is a good side-by-side before-and-after comparison infographic.  Simple design without too much information.  It’s a very quick read for the audience and easy to share.

The design should include the URL to the infographic landing page so readers can find the original on sites where they don’t link back to the Pioneer Military Loans site.

Thanks to Jake for sending in the link!

Friday
May302014

Reading Rainbow's Kickstarter Project

Reading Rainbow's Kickstarter Project infographic

Bring Reading Rainbow Back for Every Child, Everywhere.

LeVar Burton has a fantastic Kickstarter project running to bring back Reading Rainbow to make it available on multiple internet connected platforms and free to classrooms in need.  The team is using multiple infographics to help explain the project and the support the funding campaign goal of raising $5,000,000.

Hi. LeVar Burton here. You may know me as Kunta Kinte, from ROOTS, or Geordi La Forge, from Star Trek: The Next Generation. 

You also may have grown up with me on Reading Rainbow. 

It was my mother who taught me that, by picking up a book, I could “go anywhere” and “be anything.” Ever since Reading Rainbow began in 1983, I have dedicated myself to fostering a love of reading in children, just as my mother did for me. 

Over the past year, I have watched Kickstarter bring communities together to support artists and inventors. Again and again, I have been inspired by watching like-minded people team up to accomplish impossible dreams, and to change the world. 

Now, I am hoping you will join me on my mission: to bring Reading Rainbow back for every child, everywhere.

The infographic design above could be improved with the knowledge that people may share the infographic image without the rest of the text and information from the kickstarter page.  It should be able to stand alone as an independent asset with a title, and the URL for readers to find their way back to the original infographic on the Kickstarter campaign landing page. 

The visualizations help make a huge amount of information about the project easily accessible and understandable to the audience.  Take for example this simple illustration of the platforms they would like to reach.  Visualizing the multiple devices and operating systems makes the goal super easy to understand.

Reading Rainbow's Kickstarter Project platforms

I think this is an incredibly worthy project, and I hope you join me in contributing:

The way Kickstarter works, contributors at different gift amount levels can earn different types of swag merchandise and benefits.  This project is particularly complicated with 24 different funding levels with different swag.  Although mostly text, the visual lists of funding levels help potential contributors choose their amounts.  However, visualizing the swag and benefits with illustrations, icons or photos would have been more helpful.

Reading Rainbow's Kickstarter Project rewards

Infographics for the higher levels of contributions and rewards included images, but simple icons for bumper stickers and coffee mugs would make the first list easier to understand.

Reading Rainbow's Kickstarter Project Limited rewards

Infographics have helped make the campaign a huge success, and also made it easier for people to share through social media.

Friday
May302014

What Makes the Perfect Blog Post?

What Makes the Perfect Blog Post? infographic

What Makes the Perfect Blog Post? infographic from blogpros.com takes information gathered from 100 highly ranked blog posts and puts it together so we can learn from those best practices.  Even though the infographic can stand on its own, it was published as a companion piece to a much more detailed article.

Always interested in what goes into the best content we can publish, we recently performed an analysis of 100 top blog posts across a number of popular sites, including Forbes, Mashable, KISSMetrics and SearchEngineWatch. The data speaks for itself, but the conclusions are up to you. What do you see in the data? Here’s what we think.

The simple color palette makes the data visualizations very easy to read.  Some of them are very well know publishing tips like providing social sharing buttons and including images.  I don’t believe that the number of characters in a title has any bearing on its success, but good titles are very important.

I don’t know if any of these factors had any influence on whether these blog posts were popular or not.  These are purely observations by the designer and may be considered to be correlated instead of causing blog post success.

Thursday
May292014

Born in 2010: How much is left for me?

Born in 2010: How much is left for me? infographic

Resources are running low. The Born in 2010: How much is left for me? infographic puts the amount of each energy resource, metals used in renewable energy solutions, and other industrial metals left in perspective and which country to find them in. The infographic was created by Plan C.

I like the timeline design at the top.  Graphing the remaining resources is much more effective than telling someone in text that there are only 35 years of oil left.  However, I find the map visualization at the bottom confusing.  The color-coding and odd range of filled circles is difficult for readers to comprehend.

Found on Visual.ly

Thursday
May222014

Hack Your Grill

Hack Your Grill infographic

Are you planning on grilling for Memorial Day? Check out the recommended cooking instructions for your meal with the Hack Your Grill infographic from Column Five.

With Memorial Day weekend right around the corner, we can’t wait to get our beer and BBQ on. But mastering the grill can be tricky, whether it’s raw veggies or red meat. To help us crack the code, we created the helpful infographic to make sure everything cooks at the right temperature and time.

Column Five created this guide to average cook times to take the guesswork out of grilling. The guide provides average times for a wide variety of beef, poultry, pork, and vegetable items you might plan on throwing on the grill this summer—all you’ll need is a watch and a meat thermometer.

An easy-to-read, clear guide to grilling times, this design does a great job of focusing on telling one story really well.

The tall format design works really for sharing online, but I would bet that many people will want to print this out as a cooking reference.  It would be nice to have a separate PDF version that breaks the design into two printable pages that readers can print out to keep near the grill.

I would recommend two things to improve the information included in the footer.  First, the sources list only shows the main URL of the sites where the data came from.  This means that any readers would have to search for the information themselves on those sites.  It would be more transparent to list the URL directly to the report or web page that shows the specific data used in the infographic.  

Second, the footer should include the URL directly to the infographic landing page on the Column Five site.  Sadly, many blogs and sites will share an infographic without appropriately linking back to the infographic landing page, and by putting the URL in the infographic itself readers will always be able to find the original.

Thanks to Column Five for sending in the infographic!