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

Infographic Design

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Entries in design (464)

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. 

Monday
Jun082015

The Process of Designing an Infographic

The Process of Designing an Infographic

The Process of Designing an Infographic is an interactive design that outlines my own infographic design process. My data visualization and infographics design company, InfoNewt, uses this process when designing infographics for clients, and I teach this process in my workshops and classes. The team at Visme.co created an interactive infographic version of it using the Visme design platform. Visme.co is a fantastic online design platform for infographics, presentations, reports and more.

Most of my designs follow this 5-step process:

  1. Data Research - Start with the data. What's the insight or story?
  2. Wireframe - Wireframe your story before you start any design work 
  3. Design Concepts - Experiment with design ideas by creating rough concepts that visualize your data in a handful of different ways
  4. Iterate - Choose one design direction or combine a few different ideas from your concepts.
  5. Finalize - The final step is to finalize your design with the appropriate Copyright or Creative Commons license, and export the final design to a few different file formats as necessary. 

One of the advantages of using Visme as the platform to design your infographic is that you can create interactive elements in your design. In this case, you can see the original interactive version on the Visme site, that includes additional information when you mouse over each process step. This is built in Javascript, and anyone can share the interactive version by using the embed code on their own website.

You can embed the interactive infographic on your own site by using this HTML code:

 

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

Friday
May012015

Food Poisoning Outbreaks Digested

Food Poisoning Outbreaks Digested infographic

The Food Poisoning Outbreaks Digested infographic is the static graphic winner for the Food Poisoning challenge put on by Kantar Information is Beautiful Awards. Designed by Andrew Park, the infographic ranks the number of food outbreaks within different categories like specific cuisine or the toxin/pathogen. 

Using a Sankey diagram, the visualisation charts the percentage breakdown for food poisoning outbreaks by national cuisine, food type, pathogen/toxin and contributing factor where the cuisine type was known.

The diagram concludes with the “most lethal combination”, highlighting the top factors that led to an outbreak.

I thought it would add context to frame the Sankey diagram in a human body, as though it was being eaten and spreading through the body like a disease.

I really like this approach to a Sankey Diagram that breaks the original total into four different categories of data.

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!