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Randy Krum infographic designerRandy Krum
President of InfoNewt.
Data Visualization and Infographic Design

Infographic Design

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Caffeine Poster

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Entries in design (454)

Friday
May142010

The Insipid World of Infographics (infographic)

The Insipid World of Infographics is a very funny parody infographic making fun of the wave of infographics that have been popular on the web lately.  From Will Lybrand at willlybrand.com.

I’ve recently spent a lot of time reviewing a bunch of infographics on the internet. As a result, I thought I should contribute to the new trend with my own infographic. It’s chock-full of good information, legitimate and factual sources, and amazing but revealing charts.

Found on VizWorld and Visual Loop

Thursday
May132010

Visualizing "Drive", an illustrated presentation by Dan Pink

Great job by the RSA (The Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufactures and Commerce) to visualize and illustrate this presentation given by Dan Pink, author of Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us.

This is definitely walking the fine line between illustration and infographics, but I thought it was worthy to share.  I think the presentation is much more engaging with the visuals.  I wish I knew who the designer was so I could give him credit.

More illustrated videos are available on the RSA Videos page.

 

If anyone is interested in buying Dan’s book, this link will help support Cool Infographics.

Tuesday
May112010

Frog Design Envisions Your Future in 2020

At the end of 2009, Forbes magazine asked a team from Frog Design to Envision the Future, but only a future a short time ahead of us in 2020.  Augmented reality played a big part in what the team at Frog came up with, but I think infographics played an even bigger part.

At the end of last year, Forbes magazine asked frog to help them envision the future in 2020.  The day-long event led to an extensive online feature: “Your Life in 2020,” a collection of illustrated concepts and videos that envision the future of ubiquitous computing. In that future,  your computer is not only incorporated into every aspect of your life but is a part of you.

I love that they included the Whuffie, a personal score system developed by Cory Doctorow.

The term “whuffie,” by the way, is a word coined by author Cory Doctorow in his book Down And Out In the Magic Kingdom. It refers to the measurement of respect or karma a person gains or looses in their lives. In Doctorow’s future, humans have implants in their brains that visually project their whuffie, which has replaced money as currency.

Found on VizWorld and DesignMind, the Frog Design blog

Monday
May032010

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!
Friday
Apr302010

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

Tuesday
Apr272010

10 Tips for (journalists) Designing Infographics

This article was originally published on “Digital Newsgathering”, a class blog for Journalism 226 at San Francisco State University, Instructor: Staci Baird.  I wrote this post as a guest author, and with permission I am republishing it here.

 

Assuming you’re not working for a media corporation with huge graphics and statistics departments at your disposal, you may want to create some infographics for your own articles.  With today’s flood of information, infographics allow readers to quickly digest and understand complex data.  A good infographic will not only inform readers, but will also create interest and convince people to read your article similar to how good headlines and photos attract readers.  In contrast, both boring and overly complex graphics will quickly convince readers to ignore your article.

Here are 10 tips for designing better infographics (click the images to go to their original sites):

 

1) Be Concise: Design your infographic to convey one idea really well.  You’re not writing a scientific research paper, so don’t expect your reader to dig into a lot of detail.  This doesn’t mean you should only visualize one number, but your entire graphic should support one of the major points from the article.  You can include additional facts or information to make the infographic stand on its own, but don’t lose sight of the point you want to get across.

This example is an infographic poster I created about the caffeine content in drinks.  At this size, you can easily tell which drinks have more or less caffeine, and if you decide to view the higher-resolution image you can dig deeper into the details and additional information that’s included in the poster.

The Caffeine Poster, by Randy Krum

 

2) Be Visual:  Design your infographic with your final for viewing size in mind.  A number of articles online require the viewers to click on a text link to view the graphics that accompany an article, and I believe this is a huge mistake.  Design your graphics to be viewed in-line with your article.  There’s nothing wrong with allowing viewers to click the image to see a high-resolution version, but they should be able to understand the image when viewed with the article.  A side benefit is that a viewable image also allows for readers to share the image by itself on social media sites easily.

Google PageRank Explained, by Elliance

 

3) Be Smarter:  Build your data and explanation right into the infographic, and don’t make your readers have to work hard to understand what they’re seeing.  Your infographic shouldn’t need a legend to be understandable, and there’s no reason to ask your readers to keep moving their eyes back and forth between the chart and the legend to understand the graphic.  Treat your readers as intelligent and make your graphic look professional by including the relevant descriptions and numbers in the infographic.

Who Participates Online?, by Arno Ghelfi for Wired Magazine

 

4) Be Transparent:  Infographics can be used to lead readers to the wrong conclusions.  Always cite your data sources and allow readers to dig deeper into the data if they have the desire.  Some of the best articles include easy access to the source data with links to a spreadsheet for readers to view on their own.

BBC Budget, by David McCandless

See the visual. Explore the data.

 

5) Be Different:  If you can avoid it, don’t use a bar chart, a line chart or a pie chart.  This infographic of visualization styles is a great resource to help determine a good visual to use for your data.  The different styles are grouped together by the type do data they are trying to communicate and in the interactive version, an example is shown as you mouse over each style.

Periodic Table of Visualization, by Visual-Literacy.org

 

6) Be Accurate: Remember your geometry and visualize differences using area.  When trying to convey the scale of your data, many graphics use different sized shapes or images to show amounts relative to each other.  The reader’s eye sees the total area of the image as indicative of scale, not just the height of the image. 

For example, if you’re using circles to show one number is 3 times larger than another, the area of the circle must be in proportion to the values being represented.  If you make the mistake of making the diameter of the circle 3 times larger, the area is actually 9 times larger.

Circle Areas, by Randy Krum

The infographic below breaks down the number of FedEx trucks using the area of the circles in a mind map style image.  This could have been a simple bar chart, but it’s much more visually appealing as a bubble mind map.

The Fedex Universe, by Robin Richards for MeetTheBoss.tv

NOTE: One common exception to this is a standard bar chart.  No matter how wide the bars are, the height is the only dimension that conveys meaning.

 

7) Be Attractive: Include visuals:  Illustrations and photos included in the infographic make a big difference.  Even though this example is a bar chart, the inclusion of the company logos make it quicker and easier for the reader to understand.

What Does Your Email Provider Say About You?, by CreditKarma.com

 

8) Be Varied:  Find a good visual style that’s right for the data you’re trying to share.  If your data is about countries, plot it on a world map not a bar chart that lists countries.  Also, don’t be afraid to mix visualization styles together in one infographic.  

This example infographic by Emily Schwartzman about the aftermath of the earthquake in Haiti won a design contest from GOOD Magazine, and mixes map data with a stacked bar and colored boxes for percentages.  This is also a great example of viewing size.  You can see and understand the visuals, but the actual numbers are available if you view the high-resolution version.

Haiti Earthquake Infographic, by Emily Schwartzman

 

9) Be Gracious:  Work on the assumption that your infographic may be viewed or shared without the article you originally designed it for.  Make sure that the final graphic includes the following pieces:

  • Copyright, to be explicit about any rights and terms of use
  • Source data, so anyone can check your facts
  • Designer’s name, always give credit to the artist/illustrator/programmer/designer
  • Original image/article address, so anyone who sees the image can find your original article

 

10) Be Creative:  Use whatever tools you have available to create your infographic.  Of course, the tools you use will depend on what you are trying to visualize.  Many infographics can be created using simple applications like a vector drawing program (like OmniGraffle or Microsoft Visio), a charting program (like Microsoft Office or Apple iWork) or an image editing program (like Adobe Photoshop).

Here are some visual tools available on the Internet: 

Thursday
Apr152010

The Feltron Annual Report 2009 and an Online Class April 29th

I’m not sure how it slipped off the radar, but I haven’t posted a link to the Feltron Annual Report 2009 here on the blog yet.  Nicholas Feltron has done infographics for Time, CNN, Wired, New York Times, Fast Company and more, but probably his most popular infographics are his annual reports.  The print version of the Feltron Annual Report 2009 is available for pre-order for $30 from the Feltron Store.

Mike Aruz interviewed Nicholas Feltron when the 2009 Annual Report was released on mikearauz.com

The reason this came up today is that Nicholas is going to be the host of Live DesignCast: Nicholas Felton, A Master Class on Information Design.  This is an online class from PRINT Magazine on April 29, 2010 at 4pm EST.  The class costs $69 and is one hour long.

Our current information age has produced an inevitable crush of complicated data to sort through. Thankfully, there is a rising group of designers who present all this data in a way that we can understand and use. And for the last several years, no one has done it better than Nicholas Felton. 

In this Master Class, Felton explains how detailed data leads to better stories, offers a few guidelines for displaying complicated data sets, and challenges you to use all five senses through the process. 

In this Master Class DesignCast, you’ll learn: 

• How to visualize large data sets
• How to go from an initial question to gathering, comparison, and display 
• How to use sensors, whether hardware or software, to gather data
• How data helps satisfy curiosity, provides insight, and entertains
• How better data leads to better stories

Tuesday
Apr132010

An Infographic Evolution of the Bra

This two-panel infographic on the Evolution of the Modern Bra was designed by Suzi Slavik for an assignment in her information graphics class at Ohio State University.

The first panel is devoted to social influences, industry leaders, and shifts in fashionable silhouettes. The second panel discusses historical milestones, significant fabrics used, and the bra fitting procedure.

The assignment was to choose any sequence, cycle, or evolution and represent it graphically. The information was to be presented in two separate panels that were related but could also function independently of one another.

Thanks to Matt for the link!

Monday
Apr122010

Diving the Depths - a really deep infographic

I love how this infographic, Diving the Depths, defies the standard paper or poster size to get it’s message across.  I’m really not a fan of the recent trend towards really tall infographics without purpose, but here the tall banner style actually conveys meaning.  Infographic designed by Big Oak Studios.

Found on Infographics Showcase, a great site that also highlights some of the best infographics from the web.

Thanks to Shell for the link!

Friday
Apr092010

An Infographic About Making an Infographic...

An infographic from Brandon Oxendine showing how his time is divided between activities when working on designing an infographic.  Brandon, try spending more time drooling…

You can see more on Brandon’s blog.