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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NEXT EVENT: September 23, 2015

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Fanboys: A Visual Field Guide

From PCWorld.com, the Visual Field Guide to Fanboys is a humorous look at techie fanboys of all types.

What is a fanboy? Here’s one definition from the Urban Dictionary: “A passionate fan of various elements of geek culture (e.g. sci-fi, comics, Star Wars, video games, anime, hobbits, Magic the Gathering, etc.), but who lets his passion override social graces.”

For each one we give you 14 key attributes, such as what sort of clothing they wear, what they drink, what they drive, what turns them on, and what enrages them. We give you just enough to differentiate between species quickly and accurately.

Link found on Chemicalism


The State of the Internet [infographic]


The State of the Internet is an infographic by Focus.com that shows mostly demographic information about who is on the Internet today.  I really like the “100 Circles” style to show percentages; it’s a far cry better than pie charts or bar charts.  The data is gathered from multiple sources, so it’s nice to see one infographic that shows it all.

Here we take a look at exactly who is using the Internet the most, how they are using it and how much the amount of usage is increasing. At a glance, we can see that there are the same number of men and women who use the Internet. However, their age, educational background and level of income may influence how much time they spend online.


A HubSpotter's Guide to the (Social Media) Galaxy

I love this humorous Star Trek parody take on how to man your Marketing crew to be prepared to explore the (social media) galaxy!  From HubSpot.com, A HubSpotter’s Guide to the Galaxy is an infographic designed by our friend Mike Wirth.

Sometimes marketing seems like a cosmic adventure through social media, the blogosphere and other new, unknown regions of the internet!  Here’s how HubSpot imagines businesses traversing through the galaxy to meet new beings, engage with them and exchange new ideas!

Mike, where’s the holodeck so we can interact with infographics???




The Music Industry and Online Piracy, infographic by the numbers

Music And Piracy Infographic by =curseofthemoon on deviantART

Great infographic by D. Israel Peralta, The Music Industry & Online Piracy by The Numbers does a good job at examining at the different ways that online music has impacted the music industry.

You can see more of Israel’s work on DeviantArt.  A high-resolution version is also available.

Link found on Chemicalism


Design For America Contest Deadline

The May 15th deadline for the Sunlight Labs’ Design For America contest is quickly approaching!  With $40,000 in prize money available, there’s still time to enter the Data Visualization category (or Process Transparency or Redesigning The Government).
The submission deadline for the Design for America competition is rapidly approaching. Designs are due by May 15th and the winners announced on May 27th. With a grand total of $40,000 in prize money on the line, we would like to invite designers from every corner of the globe to participate. We can’t wait to see the great ideas people have for redesigning government, visualizing data and explaining government processes.

Our team at the Sunlight Foundation put together this video to give a little context about the competition. In addition, our own Ali Felski, one of Design for America’s judges, did a nice write up of competition where she talks about the need for designers to come together to, “overwhelm the government with good design.”

Government information can be so boring and obtuse. Reams of data on spreadsheets and hundreds, even thousands of pages of legalese can unintentionally obscure the real, and beautiful meaning of public information.
Thanks to Brad for reminding me and sending the link!

Create Your Own Personal Infograph


Answer nine questions and ionz will create your own Personal Infograph, showing how you compare to everyone else who has also answered the questions.  You can then personalize your infograph by changing the colors, adding a personal message, change the layout, change the background color and add a picture.  Then you can save the image as your wallpaper.

So far, over 35,000 people have created their own infograph wallpaper.

Thanks to Simon Hinchco (@x_chemicalism_x) on Twitter for the link


Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics (about TEDTalks)

Very funny video from TEDActive, by Sebastian Wernicke that analyses the best and worst of TEDTalks using statistics and word analysis.

In a brilliantly tongue-in-cheek analysis, Sebastian Wernicke turns the tools of statistical analysis on TEDTalks, to come up with a metric for creating “the optimum TEDTalk” based on user ratings. How do you rate it? “Jaw-dropping”? “Unconvincing”? Or just plain “Funny”?

Found on ILoveCharts.tumblr.com


What Font Do I Use? - a Typeface Decision Flowchart

Graphic designer Julian Hansen created this cool typeface decision flowchart, So You Need A Typeface, as part of a school project.  The high-resolution version is available to view online, but you can also pre-order the poster version here for $22.  It should start shipping on May 2nd.

So you need a typeface is an alternative way on how to choose fonts (or just be inspired) for a specific project, not just by browsing through the pages of FontBook. The list is (very loosely) based on the top 50 of the “Die 100 besten schriften”.

Of course, the part all of you want to see is the infographic branch…

Found on FlowingData.com


Recalled Baby Products infographic

The team at HugaMonkey.com has created this neat timeline of Baby Product Recalls in 2009 and 2010.  The timeline is the main feature, but they also broke down the recalls by injury and product type in the bar charts below.

Thanks Matt for the link!


Jess Bachman Interview (Death & Taxes 2011 Poster Giveaway!!)  #deathandtaxes

Last week, Jess Bachman (@mibi) from WallStats.com released the new 2011 Death & Taxes poster.  I caught up with Jess (by email) to ask some questions about his huge infographic undertaking.  The high-resolution image of the poster is available now online, and the printed version will start shipping on May 7th.  You can pre-order for $24, and the shipping cost is only $0.75 TODAY (April 28th)

WIN a copy of the poster!  Jess has been kind enough to offer a free poster to a reader of Cool Infographics.  To be eligible, you must tweet (or retweet) a link to this post on Twitter before May 7th, and include the #deathandtaxes hashtag.  I included the hashtag in the post title, so any retweets will be automatically eligible.  NOTE: you must also be following me on Twitter (@rtkrum) so that I can send you a DM if you have won!

Death and Taxes” is a large representational graph and poster of the federal budget. It contains over 500 programs and departments and almost every program that receives over 200 million dollars annually. The data is straight from the president’s 2011 budget request and will be debated, amended, and approved by Congress to begin the fiscal year. All of the item circles are proportional in size to their funding levels for visual comparison and the percentage change from both 2010 and 2001 is included so you can spot trends.

The detail in this poster is stunning, and in this small shot you can see how the total budget request breaks out. Only the “Military/Nat. Security Discretionary” and “Non-Military/Nat. Security Discretionary” portions of the budget request details are displayed in the poster.


Jess was also nice enough to answer a few interview questions I sent him:

Cool Infographics: What software applications do you use for the Death & Taxes posters?

Jess Bachman: The only applications I use are Photoshop and Excel.  Excel is where I in put all the data and it crunches the numbers, adjusts for inflation and calculates diameters.  Photoshop is where I put it all together and the PSD file occasionally exceeds 1 gig so it can be a beast to work with.  Saving takes about 5 minutes.

Cool Infographics: What’s your design process?

Jess Bachman: Normally I start from scratch and layout the images and make them fit; however, this year the budget didn’t change all that much, likely being from the same President, so I was able to keep the 2010 format and change the size of circles.  Of course some things had to be added and removed.  So this year I saved myself about 3 weeks of work just getting right into it, but the design process is grueling.  it’s small tasks, repeated 500 times.

Cool Infographics: What’s the most interesting thing you learned from the data?

Jess Bachman: I can definitely see the differences in Presidents from Bush to Obama.  Lots of reductions on the military side this year and the whole security climate as a whole isn’t as fiscally robust as it was a few years ago.  Much more progressive funding with Obama too.  Every year Bush would cut climate change research, now its back, along with other green tech.  For some reason, public proadcasting gets the hack saw every year no matter who’s in office.

Cool Infographics: Where are some of your favorite places that have the Death & Taxes poster on display?

Jess Bachman: Well it’s always good to see it on display in schools and classrooms.  But I really enjoy hearing from military members who have in their offices or even in station.  I have sent several to Afghanistan.  Critics often say the poster is anti-military, but the military is quite receptive to it, even the former Dept. of Defense Comptroller, Tina Jonas, loved the poster.  Some people from the Dept of Energy’s Oak Ridge Lab displayed the poster on their 30’ Everest computer screen… that was cool too.

Cool Infographics: What’s the hardest part when developing the poster?

Jess Bachman: The hardest part is just getting through all the rote data processing and mindless photoshopping.  The research side is quite fun, and going through the military budgets is a trip with all their classified and hi-tech programs. However, copying and pasting 5,000 times really takes a toll on my creativity and motivation.

Cool Infographics: You said you do a lot of copy & paste work, in what format do you get the data?

Jess Bachman: Some of the government data is in Excel already, but there is no context so I am dubious about working solely with their data sets.  Mostly I pull the numbers from the actual printed budget, which is in PDF form.  So I end up copying and pasting the program name and its funding level for 3 years into Excel, then I copy and paste the program name, funding level, and percentages back into photoshop as a text layer.  Rinse and repeat 500 times.  Many people ask if there was an automated way to create the poster each year and I wish there was, but the confines of the paper make size and fit a manual process.

Cool Infographics: Where do you have them printed, what are the printing specs and why?

Jess Bachman: I get my posters printed from a company called PrintPelican in Florida.  There really are no cheaper prices out there but I opt for a thicker cut of paper than usual.  I get 100# gloss cover which is a few shades from a business card in thickness.  To be honest, they have screwed up my order a few times over the years but we have always managed to work it out.  I usually print runs of 1000-2500 and always 24” x 36”.

Cool Infographics: How do you handle all of the printing and shipping of the posters?  Do you tube them yourself?

Jess Bachman: I used to do it all myself.  I had a 400lb brick of posters next to my bed, and 12 giant boxes of tubes all over the house, and I would roll pack and ship them all.  Now I use two shippers who do fulfillment of the orders for me.  For a while I would send them the orders and addresses weekly but I have offloaded that duty as well.  I think the self shipping method is a good lesson in customer service and its good to know your product inside and out, but after while my time became more valuable than stuffing tubes could afford.

Cool Infographics: You’ve used a few different online zoomable image services in the last few years, what have you learned?

Jess Bachman: There are lots of zooming options out there and new ones seem to pop up all the time.   I used Zoomify until it felt too clunky and slow, then Zoomorama which I really loved for its performance and options.  This year I experimented with an self hosted open source app called Open Zoom and it certainly was a slick and great user experience, unfortunately the demands it placed on my server from huge inflows of traffic proved too much, taking down the whole site.  So I had to switch to my backup, which was Closr.it, and let them deal with server demands.  Closr.it has been very attentive to my needs and I have found that most developers will work with me to tailor a custom solution if I ask.  The zooming apps keep getting better so I expect to keep changing apps as long as the space keeps innovating.

Cool Infographics: You mentioned the 30’ display, have you printed it out in larger sizes?

Jess Bachman: No, I have not printed it out any larger.  The file being Photoshop, and the images being mostly rastered do not allow quality printing beyond the poster size.  The file is 300 dpi so I could get away with a slightly larger size, but oversize printing is expensive and who wants a poster that big anyways. 

Cool Infographics: Where do the images come from?

Jess Bachman: Most of the military images come from defenseLINK, which is a great repository for hi-res military photos.  Other images come from stock photography sites for the most part.  It does help that most government logos are round.  I suppose it’s just an old school way of doing things, government seals and all.  The design aesthetic amongst government logos is really all over the map though, and its quite interesting.  Some look like that are from the 1700’s, and some from the 2700’s.

 There was one correction to the online version that Jess has posted:

So I totally had the wrong data for NASA on the visual. Here is the corrected image, which reflects what you have been reading in the news. Science up, space down. I fixed it before it was printed, don’t worry.

You can view the image, buy the poster and more at the new site DeathandTaxesPoster.com.

SPECIAL: If you pre-order the poster TODAY (April 28th) shipping is only $0.75!