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.

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Monday
Jun152015

Infographics Are Evolving into Many Formats

The internet is full of noise, and your job is to break through that wall of information with something that resonates with your target audience. When you are communicating any message, you want to ensure that your audience will understand and remember the valuable takeaways about your products or services. You want your communication to be clear and concise. This is where infographics come in.

Infographics are your opportunity to convey complex ideas and information in a simple and easily digestible manner. Simply put, our brains love visual information. Infographics can make your marketing and advertising stand out in the crowded world of visual content.

As the Internet, our computing devices and out screen sizes continue to evolve and change, infographics need to evolve as well. Moving past the original static images, infographic storytelling with data visualizations and illustrations can now be found in a number of different formats.

Below, are great examples of different ways to leverage the five different types of infographics to make your product or services more memorable.

 

1. Static Infographics - Kitchen Conversion Guide

Static infographics are the most simple and most common infographic format out there. They are usually saved as an image file to be easily distributed and consumed (JPG or PNG format). Static infographics are easily shared using email and social media since there are no moving parts to consider.

The Common Cook’s How-Many Guide to Kitchen Conversations

Source: https://shannon-lattin.squarespace.com/how-many-guide/

This type of infographic is also easily split up into segments in order to focus on one piece at a time. This is ideal for giving presentations or sharing on social media.

 

2. Interactive Infographics - Daily Dose of Water

Interactive infographics are great to utilize when you want people to move beyond simply looking at the information. Ideally your audience should get intimate with the facts you’re presenting by following a specific storyline told through your data. By giving your audience something to interact with, they are engaging more of their attention with the data, and will become more immersed in the information.

For example, this infographic from Good.is and Levi’s walks users through their typical routine and calculates how much water is used for each task. This allows a personalized experience for each person that views the infographic, creating a stronger connection to the information being shared.

Your Daily Dose of Water

Source: http://awesome.good.is/transparency/web/1204/your-daily-dose-of-water/flash.html

 

3. Video Infographics - The Fallen of WWII

Video infographics have been gaining popularity over the years in part for a lot of the same reasons static infographics work: the ease of sharing and the ability to embed it almost anywhere.

In this video infographic that has recently gone viral, the creator uses data visualization to make a powerful statement about the sacrifice soldiers made during World War II. Data visualization is used in such a way to show the stark juxtaposition between the Second World War and more modern conflicts.  Check out this quick motion graphic titled, The Fallen of World War II from Austin-based developer Neil Halloran. His use of sound and motion brings the information to life.

The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo.

 

4. Zooming Infographics - The History of Film

Some infographic topics tackle a large amount of information, and a larger design is required to display all of its information. This infographic from Historyshots is a great example of a zooming infographic:

The History of Film

Source: http://www.historyshots.com/products/history-of-film

The History of Film plots out the most important films of the last 100 years into a beautiful, flowing timeline that visually separates the films into 20 different genres. As can be seen above, if this infographic was just left as a static image, it would be difficult to read everything because it is so detailed and complex. In the web browser, a large design is reduced in size so that the entire design can be viewed all at once on the screen, and the zooming controls are made available to the reader to view the small details clearly.

 

5. Animated Infographics - Flight Videos Deconstructed

Some topics for infographics are best created to feature motion, none more so than one that shows the the flight patterns of an Egyptian Fruit Bat, Dragonfly, Canada Goose, Hawk Moth, and Hummingbird. Flight Videos Deconstructed is an animated infographic about flight patterns within the animal kingdom. Covering five winged animals the and the motion their wings use while taking flight, this animated graphic uses vibrant colors and geometric shapes to convey the beauty and simplicity of flight.

Animated infographics create some motion or change in the design as the reader watches. It might be the bars in a bar chart growing, a color change, or (in the case of these winged animals) an animated character. These are differentiated from the video infographics because these are not video files. These are animated with HTML code or an animated GIF image file format to create the animation but can exist as a stand-alone object on a web page.

 

Flight Videos Deconstructed

Source: http://tabletopwhale.com/2014/09/29/flight-videos-deconstructed.html

 

With so many new and different formats of infographics available to today’s marketers, providing your audience with a story that conveys your message has never been more exciting. Sharing the key takeaways from your product or services can be done in an expertly designed way that appeals to your audience and leaves them wanting more. 

Wednesday
May272015

The Fallen of World War II

The Fallen of World War II from Neil Halloran on Vimeo.

The Fallen of World War II is an animated infographic video by Neil Halloran showing the scale of deaths in the U.S. and other countries involved in the war. He also has an experiemental interactive version at fallen.io

An animated data-driven documentary about war and peace, The Fallen of World War II looks at the human cost of the second world war and sizes up the numbers to other wars in history, including trends in recent conflicts.

Visit fallen.io for more information.

Love this! Very well done animated infographic video.

The stacks of icons shown for each country are 20 across, which is hard for most people to comprehend. We live in a Base-10 society, and showing the icons in rows of 10 would be much easier for audiences to understand.

There are a couple discrepancies as well. For example, the narration mentions that France lost 92,000 in the Battle of France, but the visualization only shows 86,000.

 

Tuesday
May122015

How to Make an Animated GIF Infographic

How to Make an Animated GIF Infographic Part 1

How to Make an Animated GIF Infographic Part 2

Eleanor Lutz has done some amazing design work with her company Tabletop Whale. She is known especially for her work creating animated infographics using animated GIF files. She has posted How to Make An Animated Infographic as a 2-part explanation that lays out her process in Photoshop (as an animated GIF file of course!).

Recently I’ve been getting a lot of emails asking for a tutorial on how to make animations. So this week I put together a quick explanation for anyone who’s interested. I archived it as a link on the menu bar of my website, so it’ll always be easy to find if you need it.

This is just a run-through of my own personal animation workflow, so it’s not a definitive guide or anything. There are plenty of other ways to make animations in Photoshop and other programs.

I’ve never tried making a tutorial about my own work before, so sorry in advance if it’s confusing! Let me know if there’s anything I wrote that didn’t make any sense. I’ll try to fix it if I can (though I probably don’t have room to go into detail about every single Photoshop function I mention).

I’m seeing more infographics as animated GIF image files online. Their advantage is that they are a self-contained image file that’s easy to share. No need for embed code or Javascript for readers to share the animation on other sites or social media.

I met Eleanor recently at the Malofiej Infographics World Summit, where she gave an amazing talk about her animated designs, her process, and even some discussion about when not to use animation. Check out the video interview with Eleanor by Visualoop at the conference:

Also found on VizWorld

Monday
Apr272015

Flight Patterns Deconstructed

Flight Patterns Deconstructed Animated Infographic

Flight Videos Deconstructed is a fantastic animated infographic design by Eleanor Lutz at TabletopWhale. Eleanor is a designer from Seattle and has a Bachelor's in molecular biology from the University of Washington. She used to work in a research lab teaching mosquitoes to fly through mazes.

This week's post isn't entirely scientific, but I thought I'd upload it anyway since it's related to animals and patterns in nature.

When I worked in an insect lab as an undergrad, I helped out with an experiment about mosquito larvae. As part of the process we used a Matlab program to manually input the larva's location during thousands of video frames.

It was a fun experiment, and I wanted to make something similar from Youtube videos. I found slow-motion videos of five flying species, and mapped out specific points on the wings during one wingbeat. I ended up with 15 frames per wingbeat, and I connected every frame using imaginary curves that went through all of the 15 mapped points.

Of course, 15 frames isn't nearly enough for any kind of factual conclusion, so this week's post is just an art exercise. But hopefully you can enjoy this as an artistic pattern based on real life :)

Animated infographics distributed as animated GIF image files are making a resurgence, and I believe it's because they are easier to share online than videos or embed code for javascript animations. They work best when the animation adds valuable context and aids the audience to better understand the information.

The design is also available as a printed poster that shows the flight patterns by breaking out the wing motion into multiple images.

I had the pleasure to meet Eleanor in March at the Malofiej Infographics World Summit in Spain, where her design won a Silver medal in the online design category. The design work she is doing is amazing, and her talk on animated infographics was one of the highlights of the conference.

Friday
Dec132013

100 Years of Rock Visualized

100 Years of Rock Visualized infographic

From Gospel to Grunge: 100 Years Of Rock in Less Than a Minute is an ambitious design project from ConcertHotels.com.  It’s an animated, interactive timeline design that let’s you click on any genre to highlight it’s specific history and play a sample of the appropriate music.

The history of rock music is pretty interesting. Everyone knows that it’s roots lie in genres like Gospel, but what about all the other genres?

How did Cowpunk come about? Or Indie Rock? Or Nu Metal?

These are the sorts of questions we ask ourselves here at Concert Hotels (oh, and other important topics like what we should have for lunch).

Curiosity piqued, we decided to trace the roots of the various rock genres, kinda like ‘Who do you think you are?’ but for rock music, and then visualize it.

We embarked upon what turned into a mammoth research task, the likes of which none of us have undertaken since college. But we stuck with it. We think it was worth the effort.

Ladies and gentlemen, we give you our Rock Time Machine - click here to journey through 100 years of rock in less than a minute.

And there’s more - while we were at it we thought it might be pretty cool to be able to hear a sample of each genre.

So turn your speakers up to 11 (or pop your headphones in if you’re the considerate type) - you never know, you might just find a new music genre to fall in love with.

Although music heritage isn’t an exact science, the color-coded flow arrows are easy to follow throughout the design.  However, they get more complicated at the bottom.  Apparently there hasn’t been any new music since Y2K?

Found on Fast Company

 

Thursday
May302013

Drones Kill - Animated, Interactive Visualization

Drones Kill - Animated, Interactive Visualization

Great data visualization design from Pitch Interactive.  Out of Site, Out of Mind is an animated data visualization of every U.S. drone strike in Pakistan since 2004 and the associated kills reported in the news.  There is also an interactive element is that the readers can hover their pointer over the visualization an more details appear in a popup window.  Visit the original site to see the animation.

Since 2004, the US has been practicing in a new kind of clandestine military operation. The justification for using drones to take out enemy targets is appealing because it removes the risk of losing American military, it’s much cheaper than deploying soldiers, it’s politically much easier to maneuver (i.e. flying a drone within Pakistan vs. sending troops) and it keeps the world in the dark about what is actually happening. It takes the conflict out of sight, out of mind. The success rate is extremely low and the cost on civilian lives and the general well-being of the population is very high. This project helps to bring light on the topic of drones. Not to speak for or against, but to inform and to allow you to see for yourself whether you can support drone usage or not.

The visualization is created in HTML5 and JavaScript. We recommend Chrome for the best viewing experience.

The challenge with gathering the data and how drone attacks are represented in the news is shown by the large OTHER category of victims.  Also, it’s the largest category of victims.  A data visualization like this is a tremendously effective way to bring this issue to light.

The category of victims we call “OTHER” is classified differently depending on the source. The Obama administration classifies any able-bodied male a military combatant unless evidence is brought forward to prove otherwise. This is a very grey area for us. These could be neighbors of a target killed. They may all be militants and a threat. What we do know for sure is that they are targeted without being given any representation or voice to defend themselves.

The visualization was created by Wesley Grubbs, and there is a video interview of him about the data visualziation process by The Huffington Post.

Thanks to Ray for sending in the link!