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

Friday
Jun272014

The Basic Wine Guide

Basic Wine Guide infographic

The Basic Wine Guide infographic from Wine Folly is full of the helpful tips one needs when trying to understand wine etiquette. This infographic has tips about what glass each wine should be in, what the wine should be eaten with, some tasting tips, and other things.

The infographic is now available for purchase as a poster for $24.

Wine is more than just a drink; it’s a lifestyle, a survey into history, a gastronomic adventure, a study in farming and a way to explore different cultures. But with so many different angles to approach wine, how do you get started?

Fortunately, there are only a few basic techniques to learn as well as some common wine knowledge. With a little practice you will be over the hump of being a rudimentary wine ‘dabbler’ to becoming an upstanding wino, capable of ordering wine like a pro.

The wine for beginners infographic has the answers to your questions. Learn the different wine styles, wine glasses and tips on tasting like a wine connoisseur.

This design keeps the types of wine in the same order all the way down the infographic, creating a nice and tidy visual for anyone who is looking for specific information on the infographic.

Found on winefolly.com

Wednesday
Jun252014

Who's Stealing eBooks?

Who's Stealing eBooks? infographic

Who’s Stealing eBooks? infographic from Who is Hosting This? looks at some of the data and opinions from experts about ebook piracy.  

Production and sales of eBooks increased rapidly in the last decade. Indie authors may have led the way, but bestsellers (and their publishers) soon joined the eBook revolution. Publishers begot lawyers;  copyrights, DRM, and royalties soon followed.

Who’s stealing eBooks, and who is paying?

What’s the future for digital rights management, and how does this affect publishers and authors? Our research into eBook piracy found some interesting statistics illustrated in the graphic.

With the release of the Cool Infographics book, I now have a personal reason to take this topic much more seriously.  As an author, of course I want as many readers as possible to be exposed to the book, but I also invested over a thousand hours writing the book and had to pass up paying design projects to get it done.

Tuesday
Jun242014

HelpMeViz: DataViz Community Feedback for Your Charts

HelpMeViz: DataViz Community Feedback for Your Charts

Have you ever struggled with which type of chart to use in your presentation? Or how to get Excel to display the chart the way you want it to appear?  Or don’t know what software will create the data visualization you would like to use?

Jon Schwabish is a data visualization specialist, and in 2013 he launched a new website to help everyone become better at data visualization called HelpMeViz.  The HelpMeViz site invites you to submit your data visualization projects to get feedback from the community.  The community is encouraged to offer suggestions, critiques and debate ideas about chart formats, software tricks, visual applications and visualization methods that can be valuable feedback to make your data more understandable and impactful.

 

The data visualization community consists of people who use data and design to tackle a variety of issues and challenges. Outside of a few specific blogs and tutorials however, there isn’t a place where that community can provide in-depth comments and criticism on data visualization projects. This site is designed to facilitate discussion, debate, and collaboration from the data visualization community.

The site is open to anyone who is searching for feedback on their visualization designs, from seasoned designers and data visualization specialists to individual analysts searching to improve their graphic displays. All types of visualizations are welcome: simple, single line or bar charts to full-blown infographics to interactive visualizations.

If you have a chart that just isn’t working, or getting your message across to your audience, you can upload it to the site, and get really useful, actionable advice from the Community.

Mapping Program Participation by State

Jon is currently the Senior Researcher and Data Visualization Expert at the Urban Institute in Washington, DC, and he took some time to answer a few interview questions from me about the HelpMeViz site:

Cool Infographics: Who is the target audience of the site?

Jon Schwabish: The site was created for anyone—truly anyone—to seek feedback or submit comments. I want anyone to be able to use the site—from the data visualization expert to the experienced JavaScript programmer to the research assistant using Excel. To attract that broad audience, I decided against using established tools or sites like Flickr, Pinterest, Behance, or Dribbble. Many of those sites require users to create an account, or have some other barrier to easy entry and I wanted to avoid those types of barriers. Additionally, I felt that sites like Stack Overflow and GitHub appeared too difficult for the everyday user. So, although it’s often said that you should refine your audience, I wanted to go broad here to make it as accessible as possible.


Cool Infographics: How often do people post new visualization questions to HelpMeViz.com?

Jon Schwabish: To date, I’ve posted at least one visualization per week. There have been a few weeks when I’ve been able to do more. Interactive visualizations and ones that have a unique design question—for example, how to create something in Excel—generate the most interest.


Cool Infographics: Are you having success getting the audience to engage and recommend design ideas?

Jon Schwabish: For the most part, I haven’t had to engage the audience much on my own; community members have taken most of the initiative to engage with the content, making light work for me on that end. I’d like to see more requests on the design side—questions about font or color or layout. To date, requests have been primarily about tools and creation of the visualization. But I think a lot of people would benefit from asking basic design-style questions.


Cool Infographics: Does it take much of your own time to participate and keep the site running?

Jon Schwabish: It doesn’t take too much of my own time, but that will change, I hope, as the amount of content increases. I oftentimes have to rewrite the text to clarify the challenge or goal. Sometimes I need to tweak an image or extract an image from a larger document. I rarely fiddle with the data—if the person who submitted the visualization could use it to create the graphic, then it’s probably close enough for others to use. I’ll usually correspond with the submitter once or twice to make sure he or she is okay with my edits and then I post the submission.


Cool Infographics: What are the best examples of successful projects posted to the site?

Jon Schwabish: There have been a number of interesting challenges.

Perhaps the thing I’m most excited about for the site right now is the live Hackathon that will be held on Saturday, June 28, with Bread for the World Institute. We are inviting 25 coders, designers, and data scientists to help the Institute with two data visualization challenges. I will be live blogging the event and will make the data available on the HelpMeViz site so that anyone around the world can join the discussion and provide his or her own visualization suggestions.

This site is truly made for everyone, and I encourage you to check it out.  The feedback can range from Excel charting tips to visualization programming code.  You can upload your own charting challenges, offer recommendations on other people’s charts or just lurk and learn from the advice of other experts.

If you’re in the DC area, be sure to check out the HelpMeViz Hackathon event on Saturday, June 28th! HelpMeViz will bring together coders, data scientists, and data visualizers in Washington, DC, to help Bread for the World Institute with two data visualization challenges for its 2015 Hunger Report, which focuses on why women’s empowerment is essential to ending global hunger.

Thanks to Jon for creating this incredible resource, and taking the time to answer a few questions!

Wednesday
Jun182014

World Cup Final Stadiums: A Visual History

World Cup Final Stadiums: A Visual History infographic

The World Cup is in full swing with group play starting last week. We cannot tell you who will be the winner of this World Cup; however, the World Cup Final Stadiums: A Visual History infographic from Grass Form can tell you the countries, stadiums, and winners of the past.

La Coupe de Monde. La Copa del Mundo. The World Cup. No matter what language you say it in the biggest competition in football always means the same thing; a summer festival for millions watching the beautiful game.

Every edition of the World Cup is special in it’s own right but this year stands out from the rest; football is heading back to its spiritual home, Brazil.

The Seleção are aiming for a historic sixth triumph in front of an expectant home crowd – the pressure is on for Neymar & co. to deliver the goods in classic Jogo Bonito style.

Of course part of the World Cup legend are the iconic stadia; from the timeless twin towers of Wembley to the newly-revamped Maracanã which will take pride of place at this year’s tournament, these coliseums have provided the platforms for the most iconic moments in the history of the game.

A good visual representation of each stadium. Adding the flag of the host’s country on top of each of the stadiums is great touch. However, underneath the stadiums, we could use some better visuals.  The design could have visualized the relative sizes of the stadium capacities and used the flag of the winning teams.  The year each stadium was built isn’t really relevant information.

I love the topic choice by Grass Form, a turf company.  More information could have been included in the infographic about the type of grass used in each stadium to make the topic even more relevant to the publishing company.

Thanks to Dave for sending in the link!

Monday
Jun162014

Let Dad Be A Kid Again!

Let Dad Be A Kid Again! infographic

Wait…Dad Was A Kid??? is a fun infographic that was released for Father’s Day by Sphero.  A child from the 60s and 70s myself, I remember EVERY one of those toys!

It’s true.  Once upon a time, your old man was a young lad.  And like any kid, he loved his toys.  But which toys did Dad play with back in the day?

This is a fun, highly sharable timeline design.  Mostly images with minimal text.

The footer should include a copyright statement and the URL back to the infographic landing page so readers can easily find the original, full-size version. 

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!

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