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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The 2012 Feltron Annual Report

The 2012 Feltron Annual Report

The 2012 Feltron Annual Report is a report by information designer Nicholas Felton whose numbers were gathered with a custom-built iPhone app called Reporter. At random intervals each day the app sent reminders to complete a survey. The results of these questions were saved alongside background measurements to form the basis of this document. You can see the examples of the report at Feltron.com and buy it at the shop.

An extensive write up can be found on Fast Co Design:

Today, you probably know Nicholas Felton best for his most widely seen work, Facebook’s Timeline. But since 2005, he’s been working on a cult-favorite project all his own, the annual Feltron Report. The 2012 version is out now for $28.

As always, the report is a meticulously documented year in review of everything he’s done, presented in a series of rich infographics that push the boundaries on personal data quantification. With a glance, you’ll learn some of Felton’s most intimate details. Each day, he consumes coffee around 10:40am and booze around 8:38pm. He spends about 4x as much time with his girlfriend as his mother. And on June 20, he shot a Glock 22.



Found at http://feltron.com


Methods to Sell My House in the UK

Methods to Sell My House in the UK is an infographic from YouSellQuick.co.uk that looks at the different ways to sell a house and the financial implications.

When looking to sell your home you may not realise that there are a variety of different options available. Not all are as favourable as others and there are different pros and cons for each. Such as how long will it take to sell my home and what amount of cash can I receive. Should I sell my house at an auction or would it be better to use an on-line property buyer?

I like the diagrams that explain the different processes, but the pie charts have really been used poorly in this design.  I think I nderstand what they were trying to explain, but it won’t be obvious to most readers.  Many readers will think they got the pie chart data wrong because the percentages shown don’t add up to 100%.

Thanks to Mark for sending in the link!



How Startup Funding Works

How Startup Funding Works infographic

How Startup Funding Works from Funders and Founders co-founder Anna Vital does a great job of visualizing the split of equity at different stages of a company’s life.

A hypothetical startup will get about $15,000 from family and friends, about $200,000 from an angel investor three months later, and about $2 Million from a VC another six months later. If all goes well. See how funding works in this infographic:

Is dilution bad? No, because your pie is getting bigger with each investment. But, yes, dilution is bad, because you are losing control of your company. So what should you do? Take investment only when it is necessary. Only take money from people you respect. (There are other ways, like buying shares back from employees or the public, but that is further down the road.)

This is a great design that uses pie charts correctly and effectively!  This is in contrast to the many designs that use pie charts inappropriately.  This is a great example of a visual explanation that uses a combination of data visualization, illustration and text to tell a clear story.

The color coding is also effective, but for some reason they didn’t color the co-founder icon character green to match his portion of the pies.  The URL link to the original infographic landing page is also missing in the footer, so it makes it hard for readers to find the full-size original version when they see it posted on other sites.  People aren’t always good about creating links back to the original, so the URL should be included in the infographic image file itself.


Most Reliable Cars

Most Reliable Cars infographic

Are you looking for a new car? The Most Reliable Cars infographic from MoneySupermarket rates how reliable the manufacturers are as well as specific car models. The lower the score, the more reliable the car is. If your current car isn’t on the list. Maybe it is time to get a new one.

It is never a pleasant experience to find yourself stranded next to a broken down vehicle at the side of the road, particularly during the winter. Breakdown cover can help to reduce the pain somewhat, but it is still worth making sure that you pick the most reliable car available.

MoneySupermarket.com has therefore teamed up with Warranty Direct to put together the following lists which highlight the most reliable cars on the road. This is decided upon by taking into account overall reliability and the average cost of repairs for these manufacturers and models – coming up with an overall Reliability Index (RI) score. Just for reference- the average RI is 100, and the lower the score the better.

We’ve broken this down by both car make and by individual vehicle models to come up with a definitive list which could prove invaluable to you during the car buying process.

This is a really good use of bar charts.  The company logos or car photos and the relevant data is built directly into the chart so there is no need for a chart legend.  Very easy to read and understand.

Thanks to Mark for sending in the link!


Connecting The Dots

Connecting The Dots infographic Habitat for Humanity

Connecting the Dots is a mind map design from Habitat for Humanity.  It was published in the May 2013 edition of their own magazine, Habitat World, and made available online as a PDF download.

Learn more about how Habitat builds homes, communities and hope.

I really like the combination of the Venn diagram in the center and the mind map nodes that extend outward.  The sizes of the circles doesn’t have any meaning, just sized to fit the text.  This is a really good way for Habitat for Humanity to tell their story with a visual explanation.



The United States of Energy

The United States of Energy infographic poster

The United States of Energy from Saxum, is a huge project to map domestic energy sources.  

Finally… After almost 50 years of dependence on foreign sources to meet our growing energy needs, our country is finally in a position to begin reversing the trend. Through advances in drilling technology, discoveries of new oil and natural gas reserves and swift progress in the renewables sector, the United States is setting a course for energy self-sufficiency.

What began as a simple graphic showcasing America’s energy riches quickly grew into a two-sided, folded map concept displaying thousands of individual data points.

The #USofEnergy map visualizes our country’s energy potential by charting current sources of energy production and identifying future resources and known deposits. Energy resources surveyed include: natural gas, oil, coal, nuclear, hydroelectric, wind, geothermal, solar and biomass.

This is actually designed as two landscape posters as the front and back, but when put together, they make one very detailed portrait orientation poster.  I love the main U.S. map that is the primary focus, and the designers took on the challenge to visualize the many different energy sources as represented with the overlapping colors.  You’ll notice that the smaller area coverage shapes are always on top, so the small circles aren’t completely hidden by the larger area shapes.  I would have attempted making the colored areas slightly transparent to let the underlying shapes show through, and removing the text names of all the states might have helped to reduce the visual noise.

My power contract for InfoNewt here in Texas is 100% Wind Power, but I had no idea that Texas is the national leader in wind power production!

I’m not sure what to call them, but I like the paired 180° doughnut charts showing how the sectors and sources of energy have changed from 1949-2011.  However, I don’t like the chart legends that makes them hard for the reader to figure out what each color represents.  Legends are evil!  It would have been nice for the nine types of energy to be shown with icons (along with the color-coding), and the icons or text could have been shown along with the larger 2011 doughnut segments.

The statistics shown at the bottom are shown as just text numbers.  In contrast to all of the data visualizations throughout the rest of the design, this makes these numbers seem unimportant to the reader.

Found on Visual.ly


Drowning in Big Data [infographic video]

Infographic video from 2011 by The Economist that uses animated data visualizations to tell the story about growing Big Data.

Digital data will flood the planet—and help us understand it better

Found on Visual Loop


A Delicious Pie Chart for Pi Day!

A Delicious Pie Chart for Pi Day infographic

A fun little Pie Chart for Pi Day from the team at Shutterstock that looks at the search results from their own image library.

In honor of Pi Day (3/14) we took a dive into our library to suss out some Pie Knowledge, and ended up with the above appetizing infographic revealing the flavor breakdown of the 85,748 “pie” search results from our library. Yes, we know that “Pi” equals 3.14159… and not “Pie,” but we couldn’t resist the delicious comparison. Any way you slice it, this is some tasty data, and our mouths water for data here at Shutterstock.

Now I’m hungry…

Thanks to Danny for sending in the link!


3D Printing: How Long Till The Revolution?

I can’t wait!  3D Printing: How Long till the Revolution? from the Farnell/Newark Group and designed by Neo Mammalian Studios takes a stab at predicting the rise of 3D printing.  Seriously, I want the day when I can print out my own coffee cup design, custom LEGO shapes and a new iPhone case!  Download the model, and print!  That flimsy plastic piece from the vacuum broke again?!?  Just print a new one!

3D printing has slowly started to get popular in use in the industry, by the hobbyists and ordinary individuals in their homes. If you can design it, the 3D printer can build it. However, we are still in the early stage of owning and using 3D printer. So, what is the length of time before it will become mainstream like the PC? The infographic will show when will every American own a 3D printer and how it affects the profit of those who are selling consumer objects and more.

The doughnut charts are colorful and unique in that hexagon shape.  The use of Roger’s Diffusion of Innovations line charts is actually very easy to understand.  The comparisons to the PC market and to music sales online are great analogies.

“3D printing is only gonna get more awesome.”

Found on Visual Loop!


NPR Chart Check from the Enhanced State of the Union (SOTU)

On February 12, 2013, President Obama gave his annual State of the Union speech, but this year it was “enhanced” with charts, data visualizations and additional information in a sidebar of the display (full video above).  The team at NPR (@nprapps) published a great review a few days later called Chart Check: Did Obama’s Graphics ‘Enhance’ His Big Speech?  They also included opinions from a couple of the best data visualization experts Stephen Few (PerceptualEdge.com) and Nathan Yau (FlowingData.com)

Chart Check from the Enhanced State of the Union (SOTU)

I will say that I think the use of the charts was very successful and does make the President’s speech more effective.  By their very nature, the charts imply that the President has data behind his message, and that can be a very persuasive, compelling tactic.  You’ll also notice the wide array of chart styles so they are each memorable for different topics in the speech.  We didn’t get 27 bar charts, because the audience wouldn’t have been able to tell them apart after the speech.  We got different data visualizations for different types of data.  Stacked bars, line charts, area charts and grids colored icons.

The key frame from the video (above) is what first caught my eye.  This is the still image shown before you start playing the video.   I was instantly concerned about all of the charts after seeing this one about Deficit Reduction.  It may be because I work with data visualizations every day, but I could see instantly that the chart was wrong.  How can the $500 Billion part of the stacked bar be larger than the $600 Billion part?  That can’t be right!  Seriously, I look at this stuff all the time, and this jumps out at me in a big way.  Welcome to my life.

Here’s the full chart:

One of the biggest risks with data visualizations and infographics is what I call the Risk of Negative Impression.  The idea is that while good visuals can quickly leave a good impression with your audience, if your visualizations are incorrect or flawed, you can leave a bad impression just as quickly and effectively.  The audience thinks, “if they messed up this chart, why should I trust anything else they have to say?”  Then they feel like they have to carefully scrutinize every chart, and you have lost all credibility with your audience.

The NPR piece does a great job of breaking down 14 of the 27 charts from the speech, and even created some corrected charts to show a more realistic real visualization of the data.  I highly recommend you read the whole article on the NPR site.

I’ll mention one more example.  By visualizing data, the designer adds context and bias to the information.  The best designers try to minimize the bias, but even the choices about what data to include in the visualization help frame the audience’s understanding.  One common way to skew perception of the data is to change the scale of one or both of the axes.  A number of slides from the speech don’t start at zero, so the chart exaggerates the changes.  This is a common practice when charting stock values so the audience can see the small changes, but they often make the changes feel much bigger than they actually are.  That was the intent with this chart that only shows the range of values from 400,000 to 550,000.

Stephen Few redesigned this corrected chart for the NPR piece, and I think he nailed it.  By expanding the y-axis to start at 0, he puts the changes over time into a different perspective for the audience.

The White House has published all of the 107 slides as a scribd.com presentation:


White House State of the Union 2013 Enhanced Graphics by The White House

Found on the White House blog