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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Entries in design (430)

Tuesday
Apr282015

Avengers Comic Book Cover Colors Data Visualization

Avengers Comic Book Cover Colors Data Visualization

Jon Keegan at the Wall Street Journal has created a fascinating interactive data visualization of the last 50 Years of ‘Avengers’ Comic Book Covers Through Color

When Marvel’s “Avengers: Age of Ultron” opens in theaters next month, a familiar set of iconic colors will be splashed across movie screens world-wide: The gamma ray-induced green of the Hulk, Iron Man’s red and gold armor, and Captain America’s red, white and blue uniform.

How the Avengers look today differs significantly from their appearance in classic comic-book versions, thanks to advancements in technology and a shift to a more cinematic aesthetic. As Marvel’s characters started to appear in big-budget superhero films such as “X-Men” in 2000, the darker, muted colors of the movies began to creep into the look of the comics. Explore this shift in color palettes and browse more than 50 years of “Avengers” cover artwork below. Read more about this shift in color.

Each cover illustration is broken down into its own color band that displays the amount of each color used.

The data visualization is a fantastic display of how the color use has changed over the last 50 years. The left column has the full waterfall of colors, and the center column displays the color breakdown of each specific color. You can see each cover illustration by hovering over any specific color band.

Here’s the whole 50+ years in the full color waterfall. I can see the overall trend has moved to darker colors and more black in the cover illustrations.

 

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
Mar202015

The Top Color Trends of 2014

The Top Color Trends of 2014 infographic

Shutterstock has analyzed it’s collection of 40 million images to track color trends through the years. The newest infographic release, The Top Color Trends of 2014  explores the trend change from 2013 to 2014, as well as identifies the most popular colors in the countries that are Shutterstock’s top markets.

Earlier this year, we brought you Shutterstock’s annual Design Trends infographic, and now we’re following up with some facts and figures that are all about color. Using data from our collection of 40 million images and our 400 million all-time downloads, we analyzed which popular colors are set to dominate design in the coming months.

We know how important color is to design — that’s why we created two innovative color search tools, Palette and Spectrum. Color impacts everything: web and graphic design, fashion fads, even home decor. Some of the trends we saw this year, like a change from natural palettes to gray tones, reflected similar trends seen on Fashion Week runways and in home design. Others were influenced by global events like the World Cup, the continued rise of social media, and Pantone’s Color of the Year, Radiant Orchid. 

Check out the infographic below to discover which colors are en vogue around the world, then scroll on to see which images we used to create it, and to explore six colorful image collections inspired by the 2014 Color Trends infographic.

In the Trending Colors section, the infographic chooses to use a photograph dominated by a specific color, then trimmed the edges of the photograph to represent a timeline of the downloads of that color throughout the year. The lines may also predict where the color trends may be heading for next year.

The use of hex color numbers in the Top Color by County section provides a precise color definition. By doing this, the viewer can accurately pinpoint which shade of “purple” that is popular and use it. The colors use values are diverse enough that the circle sizes are different enough for the reader to see the differences.

Found on Shutterstock

Wednesday
Feb252015

Five Innovative Ways Companies Are Using Infographics to Share Data

The popularity of turning data into visuals has skyrocketed in recent years. Especially the keyword “infographic,” as evidenced through Google Trends. This has sent capable marketers scrambling for a competent team of: designers, copywriters, and producers to create new and exciting content. While charts and graphs are nothing new, the way they are displayed visually (and the stories they can tell), is expanding into uncharted waters.

via: Google Trends - “Infographic”

Infographics and data visualizations were once the playthings of academics. Beautiful displays of information were created and tucked away in their ivory towers of academia. Those days are now long over, and the power of data combined with visual information has been passed on to the masses.

For a while, it seemed nearly everyone under the sun was creating infographics. This resulted in an over-saturation of infographics online, with marketers cranking them out as fast as possible. Complete with often poor designs, and misleading data.

While this over-saturation did hurt the online marketing reputation of infographics slightly, their growth in online popularity did not. This online exposure and awareness of infographics has driven a significant increase in the use of infographics inside companies as well.

To help clear the air, check out these six examples below for how companies are coming up with innovative ways to use infographics.  

 

1. Hotels.com: PR Infographics

Traveling and flying to new cities can be equal parts exciting and terrifying. This infographic from Hotels.com, provides travelers with valuable insights they should know before arriving in major cities around the world. This infographic is great because it gives their customers valuable information (and saves a bit of decision-making time) to make their transition from the sky to the city that much smoother.

Another great thing about these infographics is that they are specifically targeting the press with their proprietary internal data. This builds their credibility by sharing their expertise and valuable insight into the hotel industry. They’re not just telling the press, they’re showing them the data visually as well.

 

 

2. Wine Folly: Food and Wine Pairing

This infographic from Wine Folly looks at all the different taste profiles, such as sweet and sour, to create the perfect food and wine pairings. The great thing about this infographic is its online life span - which can easily last for many years. Twenty years from now, the information will still be the same, and the design will still be relevant to readers.

Online lifespan can make a huge difference to the ongoing SEO value of any infographic, and should be an integral part of the topic selection process.

 

3. SumAll: The Internet is a Zoo - The Ideal Length of Everything Online

This infographic from SumAll looks at something we all struggle with: our attention spans. How many characters long should a Facebook post be? What is the ideal subject line length? How many words should a blog post be so that it actually gets read? All the answers to your burning questions are here in one place. 

What makes this graphic so good is that these observations apply to all social media audiences, no matter what industry they come from. It’s a valuable topic for marketers in any industry.

 

4. Warby Parker Annual Report

The annual report is getting a strong makeover thanks to innovative companies like Warby Parker. The annual report used to be a non-event. Everyone made an annual report, and they all basically looked and felt the same; i.e. lots of words, mixed in with some charts and graphs. Warby Parker really hit the mark with their 2013 Annual Report

In an article on Business Insider, they explain how Warby Parker’s previous two annual reports fit into it’s quirky brand, but the 2013 annual report is it’s most ambitious. It may seem like it has plenty of meaningless information, but it’s a smart business move. Because amidst all of the meaningless information, you begin to realize that it’s not actually an annual report at all, but a giant advertisement intended to become viral. This resulted in some of their biggest sales days.

Seeing as how every business loves talking about itself on social media, it’s surprising it has taken this long for the annual report to become relevant again.

 

5. MHPM Corporate Sustainability Report

This infographic from MHPM examines the creation of a sustainably built environment, project by project. More and more, sustainability matters to clients, employees and the communities they all live and work in. With the right practices in place, a sustainable building is worth more (and costs less to operate) than traditional buildings, helping to make them an attractive choice versus competitors.

This new application of infographics lets MHPH tell their own story in a visually appealing way. By providing the numbers behind their commitment to keeping their projects green, MHPM has not only helped prove their own claim that Sustainability is Free™, but they also share how they can help their customers.

As we have seen over recent years, infographics have continued to grow in popularity. Giving rise to a new Internet, continually heading in the direction of displaying more advanced, and beautiful ways to visualize information. What are some other creative uses of infographics you have seen lately?

Sunday
Feb222015

Cool Infographics Course at SMU

Cool Infographics Course at SMU

Infographics & Data Visualization Design

April 7-May 19, 2015 | 6am-9pm Tuesday Evenings | SMU CAPE Dallas Campus | $495

$50 off discount code for Cool Infographics readers: VIP50

I will be teaching a new course at the SMU Dallas Campus this spring as part of the CAPE program (Continuing and Professional Education). In this course, working professionals will become familiar with the exciting and expanding field of data visualization and infographics. By attending this course you will start to develop your own portfolio and learn:

  • The art and science of data visualization and infographics
  • The data visualization and infographics design process
  • Data analytics and basic statistics for the designer
  • Different chart types, dashboards and graphing options
  • How to use the various software and online tools readily available and when to use them
  • Strategies for publishing and promoting infographics online
  • Understanding IP, trademark and copyright issues and how they relate to infographics
  • And more…

Please share with anyone in the Dallas area, or join the class yourself. Enrollment is very limited, so register quickly!

Click Here to learn more: bit.ly/SMU-DataViz


Also check out the DFW Data Visualization & Infographics Meetup group with monthly speakers and events in the Dallas-Fort Worth area!

Monday
Feb162015

Easy Longboard Buyer's Guide

Easy Longboard Buyers Guide infographic

If you are new to the longboard scene, or just need a little help learning exactly what you need, the Easy Longboard Buyers Guide infographic from Longboard Reviews could be a life saver. This cheat sheet tells you the differences between the board styles, wheel sizes, wheel hardness, and deck length.

Thinking of buying a longboard? Use this easy-to-follow guide to discover exactly which is the best type of longboard for the riding style you enjoy.

Need to know what trucks, deck or wheels to buy? This guide will help you with that too.

If you are new to longboarding then all the different types of decks, trucks, wheels and bearings can be quite daunting. It seems like there is a minefield of choices out there. Do I want hard wheels or soft wheels? A concave deck or a drop-through deck?

Accidentally buy a slalom board for cruising and you’ll be in trouble!

In my guide (on the left hand side) I have made it really easy for you. Simply decide which type of riding style you want to do and I’ll show you exactly what type of board to buy.

Once you have done that, head over to my reviews page and discover which is the best longboard on sale at the moment for your needs.

This is a really good side-by-side comparison style design. The mix of actual photo images with the illustrations to visualize the data works very well, and adds a lot of credibility to the design.

The URL in the footer, should be the link to the infographic landing page so readers can find the original full-size version. The infographic is nowhere to be found on the front page, which would make readers frustrated by trying to search the site.

Thanks to Jon for sending in the link!

Thursday
Feb122015

Who's Going to Malofiej 23?

Malofiej 23 conference workshop speakers

The Malofiej 23 Workshop days will be March 15-18, 2015, and the Infographics World Summit conference will be March 18-20, 2015. Malofiej 23 will be held this year in Pamplona, Spain by the Spanish Chapter of the Society for New Design (SNDE). The line up of speakers looks amazing! I’ll be giving a talk, but I can’t wait to hear some of these other fantastic speakers!

Here’s the link to download the conference program PDF:

Malofiej 23 conference workshop program

This year I have will have the honor of both speaking during the conference, and acting as a judge for the Malofiej Awards. I’m putting together a new presentation titled “The Seven Deadly Sins of Infographics Design” that I will present during the conference portion.

If you have plans to attend the workshop or conference, let me know and we can arrange to meetup.

Wednesday
Feb042015

The Evolution of Spawn

The Evolution of Spawn infographic

The Evolution of Spawn infographic is a fantastic design. Not fan art, this official infographic was designed by Todd McFarlane, Creator of Spawn and Co-Founder and President of Image Comics!

From Todd’s Facebook post:

THE EVOLUTION OF Spawn!!!!!

With Spawn issue #250 coming up at the end of the month…. I thought it would be COOL to put together all the different costumes Spawn has had over the years.

And if you’re doing the math, that’s 24 YEARS. TWENTY-FOUR!!!!!!!! It’s cool to look back and see how things have changed since 1992….it’s hard to believe we’re already coming up on our #250th issue.

Thanks for all your support over the years!!! I’ll be doing a giveaway with these, soon.

TODD

P.S.- There have been a few requests for a downloadable poster (and higher res)… You should be able to download the poster from this link: https://flic.kr/p/qKcR9q

Found on GeekTyrant

Tuesday
Feb032015

The 6 Principles of Design

The 6 Principles of Design infographic

The 6 Principles of Design is an elegant design that visually shows the readers many of the ways design can visually communicate information. Designed by FOLO, a firm in Ahmedabad, India.  

This infographic visualises the six guiding principles of Unity/Harmony, Balance, Hierarchy, Scale/Proportion, Dominance/Emphasis, Similarity & Contrast. How one applies these principles determines how successful a design may be.

Simple colors, minimal text and white space work together to tell a clear story.

Took me a while to find the original design. The footer should include the URL directly to the infographic landing page to make it easier for readers to find the original. Most people that share infographics, don’t include the link back to the original. They just share the image file.

Thanks to Peter Sena for pinning on Pinterest!

Tuesday
Jan202015

The Key to Infographic Marketing: The Psychology of the Picture Superiority Effect

In Ancient times, Cicero considered memory training to not just be a method, but a form of art. He felt strongly that training your memory was one of the most valuable things you could do to improve your capabilities as a speaker, and a citizen.  Even in ancient times, Cicero knew that remembering images was superior to remembering text alone.

People remember pictures better than words, especially over longer periods of time. This phenomenon as we know it today, is called the Picture Superiority Effect*. It refers to the notion that concepts that are learned by viewing pictures are more easily and frequently recalled than are concepts that are learned by reading their written word form counterparts.

What had been known to the Ancients throughout the centuries, has been quantified scientifically in our modern times. In my book, I included this quote from John Medina’s Brain Rules, to help explain the value of the Picture Superiority Effect. However, to make it visual I created this simple data visualization to help readers remember the power of visual information.

“Based on research into the Picture Superiority Effect, when we read text alone, we are likely to remember only 10 percent of the information 3 days later. If that information is presented to us as text combined with a relevant image, we are likely to remember 65 percent of the information 3 days later.” - John Medina, Brain Rules, 2008

Cool Infographics Picture Superiority Effect

via: coolinfographics.com/book

Advertisers have known this for years. Whether it’s been a simple application like the Yellow Pages (ads with pictures got more business) or giant billboards in New York’s Times Square. To see a real world example of how the Picture Superiority Effect works, check out this excellent coverage area map ad campaign from Verizon:

Verizon Coverage Map Infographic Ad

These maps show Verizon’s 4G LTE network coverage area, compared to the coverage area of their competitors. If you were only to get the text version, imagine how much of this paragraph explaining their coverage area you would remember 3 days after reading it:

“Among the four major wireless carriers, only Verizon’s 4G network is 100% 4G LTE the gold standard of wireless technology. Available in over 500 cities, Verizon 4G LTE covers almost 97% of the U.S. population. Experience the speed and power in more places.”

Now, take a look at the maps again. How much easier it is to see how the four major wireless carriers stack up against each other? It’s obvious Verizon covers the most area. Verizon takes it a step further, and has a link to a PDF highlighting their coverage in Alaska and an interactive map to view different parts of the country. All complete with map visualizations, of course.

However, there is another very important aspect of the Picture Superiority Effect that must be understood: It’s not just any image. It needs to be an image relevant to the content, which reinforces the message from your data. This works across all mediums of advertising, and of course, infographics.

In infographic design, the Picture Superiority Effect is extended to include charts, graphs, and data visualizations. Infographic designers use data visualizations and illustrations as the visual component of a design to trigger the Picture Superiority Effect, which can have incredible success getting the audience to remember the information presented.

Here is an great example from Dan Roam, author of the book, The Back of the Napkin, Solving Problems and Selling Ideas With Pictures, of how using images and text can help a designer understand which type of visualization is appropriate to use when communicating different types of information. Easy to understand, easy to remember.

Dan Roam Back of the Napkin <6><6> Rule

via: DanRoam.com

Infographics work so well because using text and images together helps people to retain the information. Remember, if it’s just words, people will only remember 10% of the information they read. But, if you combine the text with a relevant image, they are likely remember 65% of the information! While others may choose to work harder by crafting a perfectly written article or advertisement, it would be a smarter choice to use text and relevant images together.

Remember to “Make It Visual” if you want your audience to remember the information about your company’s products or services. You don’t have to be a professional designer either. You can make your content visual using a wide range of tools like the Adobe Creative Cloud suite, Microsoft PowerPoint, OmniGraffle, or online design tools like Visme.co or Tableau Public.

 

Sources:
*Nelson, D.L., Reed, U.S., & Walling, J.R. (1976). Pictorial superiority effect. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning & Memory, 2, 523-528.