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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Entries in money (123)

Friday
Jul012011

Client Infographic: Waste in the Texas Energy Market

Waste in the Texas Energy Market from ChooseEnergy.com is a new infographic by InfoNewt and designer Jeremy Yingling.  This one tells the story of how much money is NOT being saved by households that don’t take advantage of lower pricing since Texas has a deregulated electricity market.

As the economy struggles to recover and households continue to cut back on spending, one of the easiest ways to save money might just be in your electric bill. In these tough economic times, consumers realize the importance of watching how every penny is spent. Today we look at the “Waste in the Texas Energy Market” and how pennies can certainly add up quickly to improve consumer finances.

Following the Infographic Release Strategy from InfoNewt, ChooseEnergy also did a great job setting up a dedicated landing page and custom URL for the infographic.  All of their links then drive traffic to this single page.  So the company blog post, Twitter feed and Facebook posts provide additional descriptions and links to this landing page.

While highlighting the fact that the Texas energy market is the 11th largest in the world, the infographic also shows that 48% of the electricity consumed is from residential use.  So what’s the big deal?  On average Texas residents pay about 11.5 cents per kWh for their home electric use when they could be paying 8.5 cents per kWh.   Doesn’t sound like much does it?  Well, those 3 pennies can add up fast and they add up to $3.7 billion for the Texas consumer market.

You can follow ChooseEnergy on Twitter at @texas_electric

Friday
Jun242011

Britain's Changing High Street Businesses

From SimplyBusiness.co.uk comes the Our Changing Highstreet: The Rise and Fall of High Street Shops infographic.

A third of independent High Street shops are now cafes, pubs, restaurants, and takeaways, a major new survey from Simply Business has found.

The survey, which looked at some 75,000 businesses quoted by Simply Business between 2008 and 2010, also found that hairdressers and beauty salons are beginning to thrive – with the former now the most common type of non-hospitality establishment on the High Street.

But retailers have fared worse, with clothes shops and newsagents showing a marked decline during the period.

Unsurprisingly London remains the country’s foodie heaven – with restaurants now making up 11 per cent of the capital’s High Street businesses.

I like the different ways to look at the data, and the connecting lines in the changing ranking visualization are really well done.  I like the ones that connect to additional listings below the visuals, presumably to the actual location on the listing.

I don’t understand some of the ranking change visuals off to the right.  Computer shops fell from #12 to #14 in the list, but the change visual shows “New Entry” instead of Down 2?

Apparently I should go drinking in Wales though!

Thanks to Mark for sending in the link!

Thursday
Jun162011

The Business of Giving

 

The design of The Business of Giving from SocialCast does a good job of walking the reader through a story about companies donating to charities.  However, they could have done more to visualize the scope of donations instead of just including the dollars values in text.

In the Popular Causes section, I would have built the icons right into the pie chart.  They don’t serve much purpose on their own next to the chart.

I love the puzzle piece images used for Partnerships.

Designed by Column Five Media

Tuesday
Jun142011

Microsoft: The Mobile Commerce Revolution

 

The Microsoft TAG team has released a new infographic focused on intelligent shoppers.  Mobile Commerce Revolution: Smartphones & Smarter Shoppers looks at the data behind how we use our smartphones to compare prices, look-up coupons, make purchases with our phones and more.

This is a very busy infographic, with some great data hidden inside.  I like the visuals and the isotype style, but there isn’t a cohesive story or clear path for your eye to follow.  The e-commerce sales growth from 2009 to 2015 is a huge data point and should be much more prominent.

Thanks to Nick for sending in the link!

Tuesday
May242011

U.S. Education vs. The World

U.S. Education vs. The World is a very cool infographic from MAT@USC.  You can imagine this data as a boring series of bar charts in an academic report, but the colorful, visual design here is fantastic.  The winding connecting lines can make it a little difficult for the reader to understand the data, but I think it also draws the reader in like a simple puzzle.

We’ve put together this infographic that compares the United States’ education spend and performance versus eleven countries.  The U.S. is the clear leader in total annual spending, but ranks 9th in Science performance and 10th in Math.

Thanks to Sarah for sending in the link!

Wednesday
May182011

Microsoft Acquisitions Subway Map #infographic

Robin Richards (@ripetungi) recently updated his fantastically detailed subway map of Microsoft Acuisitions and Investments.  Although Robin is the Information Design Director at JESS3, this is one of his personal projects.

Infographic showing the acquisitions and investments of Microsoft, done as a tube map with each coloured line representing a different industry for each acquisition or investment.  Where the stations meet is where the two industries overlap.  The key at the bottom displays information about the location on the map of the station (company) the year of acquisition or investment.

 

This thing is big!  Poster-sized big.  I dropped the link into Zoom.it so it would be easier for you to zoom in closer and see the details.

 

Great job Robin!  I love this project.

Monday
May092011

The Obama Energy Agenda: The White House attempts an #Infographic

 

On Friday, the White House (yes, that White House) released this infographic, The Obama Energy Agenda & Gas Prices.  This is one of the very few “official” infographic designs we’ve seen from the U.S. Government, so I think it deserves a little more critique than normal.  There are some things I like about this one, and some things I don’t.

The Good: 

  • The fact that this was released by the White House, is a really big positive.  I generally praise companies that experiment with infographics to get their messages out, and an official one like this from the government says big things about infographics continuing to grow in relevance in today’s society of information overload.  If you want your information to reach a bunch of people online (especially the younger crowd) then using an infographic is your best bet.
  • Nice layout telling a story.  The best infographics tell a story well, and the progression of topics top-to-bottom tell the story Obama’s team wants to share.  One topic leads into the next.
  • Bold colors.  The dark background stands out nicely in most online news and blog formats, even on the white background color of the White House Blog.  The color gradient matches the new, official White House logo with the blue gradient background you see at the top.  Makes the overall infographic feel very official.
  • Good use of illustrations.  Sometimes, visualizing a point is effectively done with an image or illustration so the reader immediately knows what you’re talking about.  The car with a power cord, the bus, the fuel gauge and the oil wells designed into the separator line near the top.
  • I like the color scheme too.  Some infographics go so crazy with clashing colors it’s hard to read, but the consistent light blue, yellow and white is easy on the eyes.
  • They included a social sharing button at the bottom of the blog posts.  They use a combined social button that expands to show many sharing services.  I generally find that less people actually use combined buttons, but they certainly save screen real estate and there’s a way to share online.  There’s no logo or company name included in this button either, so the White House isn’t endorsing a particular company.
  • I like the line chart.  They removed the y-axis labels and put the data right onto the chart, along with additional comments.  This makes the whole chart easier to understand.

 

The Bad: 

  • NO DATA SOURCES!  Where did the numbers come from?!?  You want readers to engage and debate your story, not challenge your facts.  Citing all of your data sources keeps the conversation on your story.  This design, without sources, almost invites readers to focus on challenging the facts instead of becoming engaged in the conversation about energy.
  • Way too much text!
  • The infographic above is the blog-size version.  The high-resolution version is tough to find because clicking on the image only takes you to the blog-size image.  Separately, in the text of the White House post, you have to click “Download Full Size” to view the higher-resolution version. (Click the image above to view high-resolution)
  • Text too small.  The font is so small in some places, it’s hard to read, and many people won’t find the text link to the high-resolution version.
  • Not many data visualizations.  Big numbers are not visualizations. and there are only three actual data visualizations (line chart, column chart and color filled factory illustrations).  There are so many more numbers included that should have been visualized to give them context!  
    • How does 35.5 mpg from 2012-2016 compare to the last four years?
    • “Over 2 billion barrels of American crude oil produced in 2010.”  Show the last 20 years to provide context.
    • “…would reduce oil consumption of about 750 million barrels through 2010.”  Is that a lot?  Making the text bold makes it feel important, but it doesn’t give the reader any frame of reference.
  • The stacked column chart could be much better.
    • They could have removed the Y-axis labels and the background lines
    • Legends are evil.  In the 2012 column, they could have identified the color-coding of the different sources of renewable energy instead of putting a separate legend under the chart.  Makes the reader work harder to look back-and-forth at a legend.
    • Why isn’t “Solar” the yellow color instead of “Geothermal”?  Yellow…like the sun.
  • The factory visual at the bottom is tough.  For any shape visualizations, it’s the AREA of the shape that conveys meaning, and I think the designer missed it here.  It looks like the green color height matches the data, but not the area of the factory shape.  Readers understand this intuitively, so to most readers the factory showing 2035 data will just look wrong, even if they don’t know why.
  • No designer credit.  Who designed it?
  • No single landing page.  The infographic is actually included in two different blog posts: The President on Jobs & Gas Prices: Read His Remarks, Download the Graphic on May 6th and Weekly Address: Clean Energy to Out-Innovate the Rest of the World on May 7th.
    • This makes tracking more difficult because they would have to look at links and views for both individual blog posts.
    • The infographic is actually the secondary topic to both blog posts, so it’s never truly highlighted as the focus of the blog post.  It’s just included in blog posts about energy topics.

 

Don’t get me wrong.  I LOVE that the White House staff is experimenting with infographics, and I hope they do many more in the future.  They just need some more practice. 

What do you think?

Friday
Apr292011

Regular vs. Royal Wedding Costs

Adaptu brings us the Regular vs. Royal: The Cost of Getting Married infographic.

Roses or tulips? Open bar or cash bar? New gown or alter the one you found online? Do you have room to invite former Prime Minister Tony Blair? The only task more stressful than planning a wedding is financing it, and nothing tops a Royal ceremony.

Keeping the cost in perspective, we wanted to compare the average American wedding budget to the Royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton.

Click on the infographic to learn what the typical couple spends on flowers and ponder what botanical masterpiece cost the Royals $800k.

I was inundated with submissions of royal wedding infographics, and sadly only a few of them were good.  I like the fresh design aspect of this one designed by the team at Periscopic.com (I just added them to the Cool Links page).  The increasing size of the trapezoids stacked into a triangle is interesting.  What I can’t tell by observation is if they did the area calculations correctly.

In a visual comparison of shape sizes used to compare numbers in a data visualization, the area of the shapes is what the reader sees as indicative of the value, and in this infographic, but the width and height of each trapezoid is adjusted to maintain the traingle shape and be true to the values represented.

I applaud the effort to try new shapes and experiment with a fresh way to visualize the comparison between values.

Thanks to Dino for sending in the link!

Tuesday
Apr262011

Real Estate Professionals & Social Media Infographic

 

From Mashable and Postling, the Real Estate Industry + Social Media Use infographic looks at how social media is reshaping how realestate agents communicate with potential buyers.

The real estate industry has seen a number of social media innovations over the past few years. Real estate pros are using social media to provide online property tours, schedule showings and showcase local expertise.

Alexis Lamster, VP of customers at Postling and creator of the infographic below, told us that the company analyzed more than 500 Postling accounts specific to real estate and more than 7,000 small business accounts to extract information on how the real estate industry is using social media.

Although the infographic is made up of mostly pie charts and bar charts, it clearly communicates the information in a clean, easy-to-read format.

Thursday
Apr142011

Eat, Drink and Be Thrifty: #infographic video

New infographic video from Mint.com,  Eat, Drink and Be Thrify uses their data to visualize the statistics behind monthly spending habits.
So how does your spending on food and dining compare to that of your peers? Using aggregate and anonymized data on Food & Dining spending from Mint.com, we created the video above to highlight some of the most interesting trends we found in Mint’s data, from average transaction at a variety of coffee shops, grocery stores and fast food restaurants, to the time of year when Mint users spend the most — or the least — in those categories.