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

Looking for help creating your own infographics?  Randy’s infographic and data visualziation design company:

InfoNewt Infographic Design

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Wednesday
Sep262012

How Much Does SEO Cost?

How Much Does SEO Cost? infographic

How Much Does SEO Cost? is generally a mystery in the online marketing world.  The range is certainly big, from under $50/month up to the unbelievable price of over $250,000/month!  This informative infographic shares the results of custom research from SEOmoz, and was designed by AYTM.

How much does SEO cost? How much time do you have to discuss the various models and prices out there! However, a new survey sheds some light on the subject.

Over 500 people and companies who offer search engine optimization services were asked about how their models. Turns out, it’s most common to charge $100 to $150 per hour, in the US. But by-the-hour consulting is only one of four nearly co-equal ways of charging.

Also popular is project-based pricing, where the average price is between $2,500 to $5,000, in the US. That’s also the same average price for those who buy on a monthly retainer basis. Fixed prices on a contract basis is also a popular way that SEO is sold, but no averages were provided.

The survey was conducted by SEOmoz and compiled into the infographic below by AYTM:

From a design standpoint, there are a lot of things I like about this infographic.  

The consistent columns for regions of the world make the layout very easy to follow.  The data is also organized nicely by starting with basic demographic data to provide a foundation to the reader before getting into “The Main Event” - the main research results.

The data visualizations are fairly simple, and very easy for the reader to understand.  I also like the variety of data visualization methods; no one wants to see all bar charts.  The color scheme is also simple, which visually implies a certain level of authority.  By taking complex data and designing simple visualizations, the design shows the readers that SEOmoz has a clear understanding of the content.

The actual values are not included in the design, which is disappointing.  Since this was custom primary research, I have no way to validate the data visualizations without seeing the data, and that reduces the credibility of the entire design.  From a sharing perspective, it’s hard to quote interesting statistics in a text Tweet or Facebook post without having the numbers to work with.

Legends are Evil!  My biggest complaint is their use of legends in a few sections.  In those charts, the colors are visually hard to differentiate, and the reader has to work very hard to understand which pie slice or bar goes with each color.  This is only a problem in the Agency Type and Common Client Types sections.  The rest do a good job of connecting the data labels directly to the visualization.

The footer should include some type of copyright statement, and the URL for readers to find the original infographic landing page.

Found on Visual Loop

Thursday
Sep062012

White House Infographic: Extending Middle Class Tax Cuts

Extending Middle Class Tax Cuts Infographic

Here is a new infographic from the White House illustrating why Obama’s plan to Extend Middle Class Tax Cuts is the right thing to do. The infographic points out the pro’s for why it should be passed and what will happen if it isn’t passed.  I’m certainly not pushing a political bias, but I thought it would helpful to take a close look at some issues with the design.

From the White House:

Unless the the House of Representatives takes action before January 1, 2013, a typical middle-class family of four will see their taxes go up by $2,200 in the coming year.

President Obama is fighting to prevent that from happening. He is pushing lawmakers to get this done.

What we should do right now is give middle-class families and small business owners a guarantee that their taxes will not go up next year,” he said. “When families have the security of knowing that their taxes won’t go up they’re more likely to spend, and more likely to grow the economy. When small business owners have certainty on taxes and can plan ahead they’re more likely to hire and create new jobs. And that benefits all of us.” – President Obama

 

A few thoughts:

  • I like the progress bar design to visually show the current status of the issue.
  • Overall, the text is very small.  Even  when viewing the full-size resolution version on the landing page, some of the text is hard to read.
  • Sources are only listed for one statistic the Reducing the Federal Deficit section.  Where does the rest of the data come from, and why should we believe it?
  • Visualizing the stats in the first section would have been very helpful to put the numbers into context.  They should show the reader that 114 Million Middle-Class Families is a certain percentage of the total number of families in the U.S.
  • Nice use of red color to show the opposing proposal.  From a design standpoint, red = bad/negative so this visually shows the opposing plan with a subconscious negative bias.
  • The visualization of 100 people icons is correct, but would be easier for the reader to understand if it was organized in rows of 10.  Our number system is Base-10, so that’s how readers understand data.
  • Again, the rows of 15 small office buildings are hard for the reader to understand.  They should be rows of 10 to be immediately understandable.
  • The U.S. map should be display the values as a heat map.  States with higher values would have full color, and states with lower values would have lighter shades of the same color in accordance to the values.  Don’t make the reader read all of the text values and hunt to figure out the higher and lower values.  You don’t want to make your readers work that hard, when you can visualize it easily for them.
  • The “Learn more…” statement at the end is a good call-to-action at the end of the infographic, but they should also include the URL of the infographic landing page so people can find the original.

The White House has been experimenting with infographics for about a year now.  You can see my thoughts about two previous examples of The Obama Energy Agenda and The Resurgence of the American Automobile.

What do you think about the design?  What do you like, or would have done differently?

Found on the White House webpage

Thursday
Aug232012

The Rising Cost of Higher Education

The Rising Cost of Higher Education infographic

The Rising Cost of Higher Education from SchoolTutoring Academy does a good job visually showing the reader how quickly the price of college educations have risen.

Attending a college or university represents a significant investment for families. Tuition fees have continued to rise which has made it increasingly difficult for families to accurately budget and save. This problem is exacerbated for low and middle-income families where tuition fees as a percentage of median family income has increased significantly. Learn how affordable tutoring can help your child.

The design gets to the point immediately.  If the reader only looks at the top portion of the infographic (without scrolling down) they still walk away understanding the key message of how dramatically college costs have risen as a percentage of the median family income.  However, I don’t see any indication that the values have been adjusted for inflation or not.

I also like the concentric doughnut graphs that are used with consistent colors to show the same 8-year comparison for different income level families.  The line chart comparison of annual costs is also clear and easy to understand.

The lower portion of the design becomes too text heavy, and begins to show data values in text without visualizing them.  This is where the design will start to lose readers by trying to convey too much text information.  What is the icon in the description of Private Loans?

The bottom of the design is missing a copyright (or Creative Commons) license and should also include the URL to the infographic landing page where readers can find the original, high-resolution version.

Friday
Aug172012

The Awesome Tower of Beer!

Roth IRA The Awesome Tower of Beer infographic

 

The High Life in a new infographic from RothIRA.com that visualizes the awesome tower of beer you could buy if you were to save just $1 per day starting at age 25.

Getting older has its benefits—how about all the beer you can drink? All it takes is a dollar a day (and a really, really large fridge).

Want to learn more about a Roth IRA?

Designed by InfoNewt (my company), this design follows the strategy of telling one story really well.  There are hundreds of charts online showing the power of compound interest and why people should invest early for retirement.  We took a different approach to put the power of those savings into terms that young adults are more likely to relate to…BEER!

Thanks to the team at RothIRA.com for being great to work with!

Thursday
Aug022012

Find the Best Airline Fees

Find the Best Airline Fees infographic

Traveling is a pleasure that we don’t want to give up, but costs keep rising! Find the Best Airline For You infographic from Nerd Wallet lets you know which airline to travel on depending on your traveling habits to keep the costs down!

U.S. airlines continue to increase fees - more fees and higher fees.  However, there are no standards or regulations when it comes to airline fees so travelers don’t know what to expect.  Fee prices range widely by airline, and there is little transparency on the terms of each fee.  For example, some fees are charged based on how stops are made, while others are billed as flat fees.  Some fees have a base rate but increase from the time of booking to boarding the plane.  
As a result, cost comparison is extremely difficult, especially when travelers are evaluating multiple airlines.  To make matters worse, fees are not properly disclosed – they are hidden within multiple layers on airlines’ websites and shrouded by vague wording.  NerdWallet gathered the data and analyzed each fee across all major U.S. airlines.  To help travelers save money, we defined several traveler profiles and calculated fees on a comparable basis to determine which airline is best (and worst) for each type of traveler.

There are a handful of things I like about this one.  

  • The main thing is that throughout all of the Lowest/Highest comparisons, the scale of the bar charts is kept consistent.  This allows the reader to easier understand how much money is related to each travel fee.
  • The green-red (good-bad) color scheme is instantly understandable to the reader.
  • The icons (all in blue) are easy to understand.  By keeping them all a consistent solid blue color, they are kept simple and don’t create a bunch of “visual noise” that would distract the reader.
  • Sources are listed at the bottom
  • The direct URL to the original infographic is included at the bottom so readers can find the high-resolution original no matter where they find it posted on the Internet.

I would suggest using the airline logos, even in a solid color, to make it easier for the readers to pick out the airlines they recognize.

Thanks to Annie for sending in the link!

Wednesday
Aug012012

VISA London Economic Outlook

VISA London Economic Outlook infographic

VISA was smart and jumped on the London band wagon.  Designed by Bright Blue Day, the VISA London Economic Outlook infographic from Visa Europe shows a summary of the Olympics impact report.

The London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games will deliver an £804m consumer spending injection for the UK this summer and an economic legacy worth £5.33bn by 2015, according to Visa’s report, “Realising a Golden Opportunity: Visa Europe’s London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games Expenditure and Economic Impact Report”.

The report looks at the consumer expenditure and economic output related to the Games and its distribution across the country. It is based on Visa’s unique insight into consumer spending in the UK and spending data from previous Games and major sporting events.

We have also produced a unique infographic providing an easily-digested visual summary of the report’s findings.

This is a great use of an infographic as an executive summary of a much larger report.  This builds awareness, interest and traffic to a report that VISA Europe obviously spent a lot of money to sponsor.

A few thoughts about the infographic design:

  • The call-out circles surrounding the map of the UK should be sized to match their values.
  • The doughnut charts don’t work for the Distribution of Economic Activity.  The percentages are too close together, so all of the doughnuts look almost the same.  I think a pair of bars for each location, but keeping the scale consistent across all locations would have worked much better.
  • I love the icons for the business sectors
  • The color scheme is fantastic!  Simple, directly tied to VISA and makes the overall design bold without being gaudy.
  • The monument silhouettes from London are easily recognizable, and work nicely in the background without drawing too much attention.
  • The bottom should have a clear copyright, and the direct URL link to the original infographic landing page.

They also created a short infographic video based on the static infographic:

 

The infographic is available as a high-resolution JPG image file or a high-resolution PDF.

The designer at Bright Blue Day was Ollie Flippence.  Great job Ollie!  Thanks for sending in the link!

Tuesday
Jul242012

How Banks Make Money From Home Loans

How Banks Make Money From Home Loans infographic

How Banks Make Money From Home Loans is explained right here in this infographic from Tomorrow Finance. We are even given the outstanding figure of $13.4 trillion of outstanding mortgage debt.

What the Frac?

How banks make money from home loans.

Fractional Reserve Banking refers to a banking system which requires the commercial banks to keep only a portion of the money deposited with them as reserves. The bank pays interest on all deposits made by its customers and uses the deposited money to make new loans.

This design does a good job of showing the audience the scale of the amount of money involved.  Each $100 stack of bills is carefully used to visualize the amount of money being used in the explanation, and it makes a bigger impact by making it visual.

The sources are carefully documented and all of the visualizations appear to match the numerical values.  At the bottom should be some type of copyright or Creative Commons statement, and the text URL back to the original infographic to help readers find the high-resolution version when they see posts of this on other sites.

The designer here did a really good job of telling a simple, focused story in the the infographic that is quick and easy for readers to understand.

Monday
Jun042012

Eat at the Best British Restaurants for Less Than You Think

Eat at the Best British Restaurants for Less Than You Think

If you ever find yourself in the UK, this will be a very helpful infographic! The Michelin Star Lunches infographic from thetrainline.com keeps your belly, taste buds, and wallet happy!

For passionate foodies, Michelin star food is one of the finer things in life. However, for many of us, such top quality dining may feel out of reach price-wise. In fact, a day out to enjoy the finest dining (maybe taking the train and enjoying a guilt-free glass of wine or 2) could be as affordable as £15 for two courses at the two star gastro pub, the Hand & Flowers in Marlow. Even fine dining in London is affordable with 3 courses at Arbutus, Soho for just £17.95.

Look at our handy guide to all the Michelin starred restaurants in the UK above - shown in order of their most affordable set lunches.

This is a fantastic, informational, reference infographic to help you find outstanding food at reasonable prices…as long as you go for lunch instead of dinner.  Color-coded by region of the country, and organized in ascending price range, this design tells one story really well.

Seriously, if you travel or live in the UK, I would keep a copy of this infographic on your phone just so you could easily lookup these highly rated restaurants near you.

Thanks to Luke for sending in the link!

Friday
Mar302012

Guide to the Final Four Ticket Pricing

Timely for the Final Four on Saturday, the SeatGeek to the Final Four infographic takes a fun look at the expenses related to anyone headed to New Orleans to watch the Final Four games in person.

The infographic stands on its own nicely without any description, and I really like the design.  Of course they used a basketball court wood flooring as the background, and carefully didn’t use any official Final Four logos from the NCAA.  Even the jerseys are helpful illustrations and avoid using any official school logos. 

I like most of the data visualizations.  The line charts are simple, and the map is easy to read with clear driving paths.  The Flying vs. Driving comparisons are also very easy to understand, but should have been visualized.

The design makes one big mistake!  Only a couple data sources are mentioned at all (Kayak.com and Hipmunk.com), so we are left to wonder if the rest of the data is accurate. Did the rest of the data come from the SeatGeek servers?  Where did the historical ticket prices come from?

The ticket price chart title indicates that they only charted the actual face value of the tickets, but they probably should have been adjusted for inflation.  The doughnut charts for ticket sales by state and by city are hard for the viewer to compare, and I think it was a poor choice of visualization method.  Aren’t these supposed to add up to 100%? 

The visuals are very heavily weighted at the top of the design layout, and it’s disappointing that the information becomes mostly text at the bottom.  My guess is that the designer was running out of time.  The Total Spent values and the spending comparisons also should have been visualized.  As an infographic designer, you should never make fake visualizations either (like showing 40 Hurricanes from Pat O’Brien’s next to the actual value of 125).

It’s interesting that they didn’t include the URL to the find the original infographic at the bottom, it’s really an ad URL to their Final Four page of ticket sales.  I would have recommended including both URLs.  There’s nothing wrong with the link to the sales page, but you should also include the infographic URL.  There should also be a copyright statement at the bottom as well.

Thanks to Ryan for sending in the link!

Tuesday
Feb282012

Payroll and Tax Deductions

 

The Payroll and Tax Deductions infographic from Paycor takes an unbelievably dry topic and makes it interesting by visually walking someone through their paycheck.  The design allows them to understand all of the different things that may come out prior to the final amount that makes it to their bank account. 

Most American workers aren’t aware of the factors that determine how much is deducted from their paychecks, yet it’s important to have that understanding so you can speak up about any errors. Read more about the details of payroll and tax deductions in this infographic.

So what exactly is that payroll software deducting from your paycheck? Typical deductions include federal income tax, OASDI, Medicare tax, disability and state income tax. Your tax bracket will range from 10% to 35% depending on your amount of taxable income. Medicare tax rates will be different depending on whether you work for a company or are self-employed.

At the state level, individual states handle taxes differently, with seven states charging all residents a flat tax rate and nine other states not collecting any income taxes at all. 

I think this is a fantastic use of an infographic to explain a really confusing and boring topic.  The visual design makes it much easier to understand and the character illustration help lighten up the topic to make it more approachable by readers.

I do think the visualizations using the stacks of cash are weak.  They show a size comparison between deduction amounts, but don’t visualize their specific value well.  There is also still more text than I would like in the design, but with this topic you do have to be clear and precise because the tax laws are so complicated.

At the bottom, the design is missing the URL for the original landing page, a copyright statement and any credit to the designer.

Thanks to Matt for sending in the link!