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

Infographics Design | Presentations
Consulting | Data Visualizations

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Tuesday
Oct142014

20th Century Death

20th Century Death infographic

20th Century Death infographic from Information is Beautiful, visualizes the main causes of death during the 20th century by grouping each cause into general categories and then branching off more specifically.

Visualizing the major causes of death in the 20th Century.

Originally a 6m x 2m commission by the Wellcome Collection as a companion piece to the London exhibition: ‘Death: A Self-Portrait – The Richard Harris Collection’ (Nov 2012).

Appropriate choice of color scheme since red has a negative association like death, and red, orange, and yellow are an analogous color scheme due to their proximity on the color wheel. I would have loved to see more graphic pictures like the ones used in the infectious disease group and the animal subgroup.

I think this is a great application of a bubble chart. The audience isn’t trying to make specific value comparisons, but instead should get a general feel for the large differences in the causes of death.

I love that David McCandless and his team has made his data transparent and available to anyone. The data values are posted in a public Google Spreadsheet available at http://bit.ly/20thdeath

Found on Information is Beautiful

Friday
Oct102014

5 Great Online Tools for Creating Infographics

Professional infographic designers rely primarily on a core vector graphics software program to create their infographics designs. The main advantage is that all the icons, charts, images, illustrations, and data visualizations are treated as separate objects that can be easily moved, resized, overlapped, and rotated. No matter where you create the individual design elements, the final infographic design is usually put together in a vector graphics program.

Creating infographics using online tools has never been easier. In the last few years a number of online tools have emerged that allow anyone to create great visual content.  Whether you are working on a project for work, personal use, or social media, each new project starts with a template. With the dimensions laid out for you, you can focus your attention on quickly creating effective designs. Search, drag, and publish - it can be that simple.

These new tools are vector graphics applications that run in your browser as a replacement for using an expensive professional desktop application like Adobe Illustrator to put your infographic design together.  Each one offers different tools, image libraries, charts, fonts and templates as a starting point.  None of these have the full capabilities of a professional desktop application, but you probably don’t need that much power to create a simple infographic.

In this article, we take a quick look at 5 of the best online tools for creating infographics: Visme, Canva, Easel.ly, Piktochart, and Infogr.am. All of these tools are evolving quickly, and this is just a snapshot of their current capabilities.

 

Visme screenshot

1) Visme (visme.co)

Visme allows you to create interactive presentations, infographics and other engaging content. With tons of templates, and huge library of free shapes & icons to choose from, Visme has you creating awesome visual content right away.

The templates are set up simply and beautifully. If you wanted, you could just edit the placeholder text, insert your own, and publish your infographic.

One of the greatest aspects of this service is changing percentages within the charts. All you have to do is click on the graphic you would like to change, enter a new number, and the chart changes to reflect the new information automatically. Saving you hours of frustration trying to do it on your own.

Pros:

  • Creates infographics, presentation, animations, ad banners, and custom layouts.

  • Insert and edit chart objects directly by changing the data values.

  • Large library of icons and images.

  • Embed YouTube videos directly into designs.

  • Special pricing for students & teachers.

Cons:

  • The basic free version is limited.

    • Only 3 projects.

    • Must include the Visme logo.

    • Limited access to charts and infograph widgets.

  • JPG download is still in Beta, with a few bugs.

Price: Basic version is free with pricing plans available

 

Canva screenshot

2) Canva (canva.com)

Canva just celebrated their 1-year anniversary last month, and has made a big splash in the online design space.  Your experience kicks off with a great “23 Second Guide to Beautiful Design,” where they walk you through a brief introduction to their design program.

After finishing the brief tutorial, you can start a new design. Canva is filled with options, whether you are working on a project for work, personal, or social media. Each new project comes with a template for the project you choose to work on. With the dimensions done for you, you can focus your attention on creating beautiful designs in seconds.

Pros

  • Excellent (and short) intro tutorial to get you started, and many more on advanced concepts.

  • Templates for social media, blogs, presentations, posters, business cards, invitations, and more.

  • Easy and intuitive to use.

  • Large library of images to choose from.

Cons

  • No editable chart objects. You need to import your own data visualizations as images.

  • Have to pay for different image assets individually, instead of a monthly subscription.

Price: Free, but you have to pay for Pro quality design assets individually

 

Easelly screenshot

3) Easel.ly (www.easel.ly)

Easel.ly is a great program, but lacks some of the guidance, and features, that come standard in other programs.

Easel.ly lacks a “How-To” introduction section to their program, and just kind of throws you into the design process right away. Their focus seems to be primarily based on infographic design. Whereas other programs offer a plethora of design project options.

If you’re just looking to design an infographic, this program will work well. If you want more variety, you’ll have to utilize one of the other programs in this list.

Pros:

  • Free.

  • Very basic design layouts and assets.

  • New charts feature allows some basic editable charts in your design.

  • Easy downloads for JPG and PDF versions.

Cons:

  • Not a very large selection of themes, called “Vhemes”.

  • Small library of image assets. You’ll want to upload your own images and icons.

Price: Free

 

Piktochart screenshot

4) Piktochart (piktochart.com)

Piktochart is one of the best looking programs on this list. All the information you need to get started is provided in their tour.

Their program is easy to use, and offers tons of freedom in building and editing your infographic using their simple graphic tools. They have categorized icons, resizable canvas, design-driven charts, and interactive maps to utilize.  

Their intuitive user interface is where Piktochart truly excels. All the tools you need to create are laid out intelligently, making your new job as a “designer” so much easier.

One of the coolest aspects of this program is that they show how versatile infographics are for different projects. Whether you’re creating for a classroom, office, website, or social media setting - Piktochart gives you the heads up on how to use infographics effectively.

Pros:

  • Themes and templates are of high design quality.

  • Intuitive. Allows you to edit anything and everything with ease.

  • Create infographics, reports, banners and presentations.

  • Embed videos from Youtube and Vimeo in your design.

Cons:

  • Limited selection of free templates. Higher quality templates are available with a Pro account.

  • $29 per month is a high subscription price compared to the others.

Price: Start for free with pricing packages available

 

Infogram screenshot

5) Infogr.am (infogr.am)

Infogr.am has got the best charts. For illustrating data, there are more than 30 different types of charts to choose from. Anything from bubble charts and tree maps to simple pie charts.

Editing data can be easily done in Infogr.am’s built-in spreadsheet, or you can import your own XLS, XLXS and CSV files.  Once your infographic has been edited and beautifully designed, you can save it to your computer as a PNG or PDF file with a paid subscription.

Pros:

  • Ability to create and edit great charts by changing data

  • Built-in Spreadsheet. Can also import your XLS, XLXS and CSV files

  • Widest variety of available chart types

  • Educational and Non-profit pricing plans available

  • Embed videos from Youtube and Vimeo in your design.

Cons:

  • Only creates infographics and charts

  • Small selection of infographic templates

  • No image library, you must upload your own image assets

  • Download options require paid subscription

  • The White Label subscription service is the most expensive options of the group

Price: Basic version is free with pricing plans available

 

Which design sites have you tried? Which tools are your favorites? Post in the comments.

Monday
Oct062014

The Scary Truth About Your Passwords: An Analysis of the Gmail Leak

The Scary Truth About Your Passwords: An Analysis of the Gmail Leak infographic

Passwords can be troublesome to remember, so we tend to make them short and easy. The Scary Truth About Your Passwords: An Analysis of the Gmail Leak infographic from LastPass shows us that we are not alone in our password struggle. The number one most used password is 123456!  

A detailed analysis of last week’s leak of 5 million Gmail logins reveals some alarming statistics. The infographic takes a look at the reality of our bad password practices, highlighting the ongoing use of weak, dictionary-based passwords that are leaving us vulnerable. If you’re not using a password manager, now’s the time to download LastPass and get started today!

This is some great data, and I highly suggest everyone to use password manager like LastPass or 1Password. You need to use strong passwords, and you should have a different password for every site. Turn on 2-factor identification on any sites that support it!

The pie chart visualization in the “Your Passwords Are Too Short” section is messed up. Pie charts MUST add up to 100%! The values from the color key only add up to 88.74%, and they’re shown in a different order than the colors around the pie chart. The values in the color key are sorted by ascending number of characters, and the pie chart slices are sorted in descending order of value. The additional doughnut chart surrounding the pie chart, and the separate 92.96% statistic both confuse the section even more.

I appreciate the simple call-to-action “Learn more at LastPass.com” at the bottom, instead of a hard sales pitch to buy the app.  However, the URL should take readers to the original infographic landing page on the LastPass site.

Thanks to Eric for sending in the link!

Friday
Oct032014

The Graphic Continuum

The Graphic Continuum data visualization poster

The Graphic Continuum is a new poster of data visualization styles and methods from Job Schwabish and Severino Ribecca. Available as a printed poster for $25 on Mimeo.

The Graphics Continuum shows several ways that data can be illustrated individually or combined to show relationships. Use of various shapes, chart types, and colors can help identify patterns, tell stories, and reveal relationships between sets and types of data. Bar charts, or histograms, for examples, can illustrate a distribution of data over time, but they also can show categorical or geographic differences. Scatterplots can illustrate data from a single instance or for a period, but they also can be used to identify a distribution around a mean.

This set of charts does not constitute an exhaustive list, nor do the connections represent every possible pathway for linking data and ideas. Instead, the Graphic Continuum identifies some presentation methods, and it illustrates some of the connections that can bind different representations together. The six groups do not define all possibilities: Many other useful overlapping data types and visualization techniques are possible.

This chart can guide graphic choices, but your imagination can lead the way to other effective ways to present data.

The Graphic Continuum data visualization poster closeup 1

I’ve seen a few other attempts to gather and categorize data visualization techniques, and I really like this poster. One of the biggest challenges for people is to break out of the Big Three chart styles: bar charts, line charts, and pie charts. It doesn’t matter if they’re designing an infographic or a PowerPoint presentation, I am often asked to help clients find new ways to visualize their data.

The Graphic Continuum data visualization poster closeup 3

Jon Schwabish has posted a great article on Visual.ly about the development process and includes images of some other arrangements they attempted during the design process.

 

Thursday
Oct022014

Online Sales Trends - Color Matters

Online Sales Trends- Color Matters infographic

Apparently your product’s color could be hindering it’s ability to be sold! Online Sales Trends - Color Matters from Stitch Labs has released an infographic describing the trendiest product colors.

Managing inventory well can be the difference between success and failure. As you look to increase profit, seemingly insignificant manufacturing and purchasing decisions are often overlooked. Using product-level data lets you prevent lost sales and excess inventory by making data-driven decisions.

A good analysis using their own internal sales data gathered from online orders synced in the Stitch system for shopping carts and marketplaces.

The 3D stacks of bills are hard to compare. 3D bar charts always have this problem of reducing the ability for readers to see the specific differences. The footer should include the URL link back to the infographics landing page so readers can find the full-size original version. Most people that share infographics don’t link back to the original, and you shouldn’t make viewers search your site.

Wednesday
Oct012014

Star Wars Commander

Star Wars Commander infographic

The Star Wars Commander infographic created by Disney Interactive highlights the new mobile game of the Star Wars saga. Since it’s launch on August 21st, 5 million players have chosen a side. May the Force be with you!

This morning we received word that The Empire is holding strong in the Galactic Civil War against Rebel Forces in Star Wars: Commander. Five million players globally are now engaged in the epic battle, with Imperial forces gaining ground quickly. Below is an infographic recovered from Bothan spies that details troop deployment and battle statistics (a high-res version of the image can be found here).

Highlights from the intercept include:

  • Five million players have now joined the war (downloaded Star Wars: Commander since its launch on August 21).
  • With more than 57 percent of its players representing the Empire, Russia is one of the strongest Empire strongholds. Other nations that have fallen to the Emperor include Austria, Germany, Finland and the Ukraine.
  • India stands out as a strong member of the Rebel Alliance, as are most countries across South America and Africa.
  • The United States is nearly unanimous in its following of the Dark Side, with the single exception of North Dakota. The force is strong in North Dakota.
  • Half a billion troops have been deployed across both factions.

One of my current favorite games!  I’m a Rebel!

It’s great seeing some major companies like the LucasArts division of Disney starting to use more infographics to promote their properties.  They have all of this data gathered internally about people playing the game, and it’s a great way to share some of these statistics.

The graphics are beautiful, the separation between factions is easy to understand with the color-coding, and the overall design is instantly recognizable as part of the Star Wars brand.

There’s no key to the scale in the Troops Deployed section at the bottom, and it’s not intuitive. I think each character represents roughly 500,000 troops in the first few, but then it gets weird because the Rebel Troopers, Stormtroopers and Banthas don’t make any sense. The Rebel Troopers would have to represent just over 700,000 troops for each icon. Beautiful design, but they got the math wrong so the visualizations don’t all match the data.

Also, the longer rows of characters are indecipherable. We can understand rows of 10 icons, but these varying rows of 7, 12 and even 20 icons across are not easy for readers to grasp.

It was very difficult to track down the original posting (thanks Bex!).  The footer should include the URL link back to the infographic landing page so readers can find the original, full-size version. You also want the infographic to help drive traffic back to your site, and most people that share infographics do NOT link back to the original. Include the link in the infographic so readers can always find their way to your site.

Found on: The Disney Blog

Monday
Sep292014

Chef Hari Ghotra's Key Ingredients Infographics

Chef Hari Ghotra's Key Ingredients Infographics Garlic

The Garlic, MintGinger and Chilli infographics are from Indian Chef Hari Ghotra’s blog. These informational infographics point out the key ingredients that are used in many Indian dishes, and discusses their benefits in a fun, engaging way.

I love the consistent design language and color scheme for each different ingredient.  Seasonality is visualized, but it’s disappointing to see some of the other statistics only shown as text. Big fonts are not data visualizations!

Thanks to Ellie for sending in the link! 

Chef Hari Ghotra's Key Ingredients Infographics Mint

 

Chef Hari Ghotra's Key Ingredients Infographics Ginger

 

Chef Hari Ghotra's Key Ingredients Infographics Chilli

Friday
Sep262014

The Interactive Purriodic Table of Internet Cats

The Interactive Purriodic Table of Internet Cats infographic

The Interactive Purriodic Table of Internet Cats is a fun way to make sure you’re up-to-date on all of the top Internet cat memes!  Just in case that’s something important to you.

Earlier this week, we launched our latest ‘CATSterpiece’: The PURRiodic Table of Internet Cats. The PURRiodic Table is an amazing interactive graphic that serves as a reference point for the internet’s amazing cats.  Within these pages of the interweb, you can find everything you could ever want to know about your favorite feline, all wrapped-up in a baseball card style view (see image of Grumpy Cat below).

The interactive PURRiodic Table allows users to click on an image of any of 50 felines to learn their stories and view their social-media-star stats.  One of our favorite discoveries in putting the PURRiodic Table together was learning that more than half of these cats are rescue cats, which emphasizes the importance of animal adoptions.


Based on data from the Friskies 50: Most Influential Cats, the design obviously builds on the visualization idea of a periodic table.  Grouped by CATegory and ranked using the Friskies data set, each cat is clickable to get more information and all of their social media links.

This is definitely a design built to entertain audiences! The challenge for interactive infographics like this one is s share-ability and Avalaunch Media has done a fantastic job of preprogramming the social media sharing buttons on the infographic landing page to include a static image to include in posts.  

Thanks to Mat for sending in the link!

Wednesday
Sep242014

How To Be a Google Power User

How To Be a Google Power User infographic

Sometimes, no matter how you word your question, Google’s search engine’s results will not come up with what you are looking for. How To Be a Google Power User infographic from Who is Hosting This? tackles the Google search engine problem with a few tips and tricks to help you find the answers to the questions you are seeking.

It’s a familiar frustration for most of us: You type your precise, specific search terms into Google, and expect to find what you need on the first page.

Instead, you’re faced with millions of search results, and the first few links are so off-the-wall unrelated you wonder if you mistyped something.

But your search terms are correct, so why doesn’t Google know what you’re looking for? And how are you supposed to narrow down the millions of irrelevant results?

Luckily, Google has quite a few hidden tips and tricks for searching that will help you quickly find exactly the results you’re looking for.

Just by learning a few formatting and punctuation tricks, you can tell Google how your search terms are related, or exclude certain words or phrases. You can also narrow down your search with criteria like location or pricing, or use Google to search within a single website.

If you’re still not getting the results you need, Google has several other little-known features that can widen your search. Webmasters can easily find images for their websites and blogs with Google Images, and researchers need only visit Google Books or Google Scholar to search through print publications and research papers in any field.

Faster and more accurate searches aren’t the only benefit to becoming a Google power user. Google also has a few hidden functions you can unlock with the right search query, including calculations and conversions, stock quotes and sports scores, and film showings and flight statuses. With the right search, you can get immediate results telling you the current weather and today’s sunrise and sunset times, or quickly look up the definition of a word and get a translation into one of dozens of available languages.

With the time you save as a Google power user, you’ll even be able to fit in a game of Atari Breakout on Google Images. Just follow the steps int he infographic to find out how!

This is a great instructional, how-to infographic design. It’s informative, without making any kind of hard sales pitch for a companies products or services, and that usually leads to more sharing activity.  It would help to have the URL to the original infographic landing page in the footer.

The color scheme is spot-on with Google as the topic, and the sections are easy for readers to follow with minimal text. For example, the design shows you how to use the Search Operators using an example without a lengthy text explanation.

Found on Digital Information World and State of Digital

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/