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 scale (139)

Monday
Jul262010

How Does Diet Soda Cause Weight Gain? [infographic video]

Another great use of infographics, illustrations and visual examples used in a video to better communicate a message.  How Does Diet Soda Cause Weight Gain? is a video from Wellness-Works.net.  I wish they would credit the artist so we knew who made the video for them.

An informative, fun video about the importance of your food’s pH and its impact on your health.

Wednesday
Jun162010

The Shocking Disparities of Labor Cost (infographic)

 

From Fixr.com, The Shocking Disparities of Labor Cost visualizes how long it takes to earn the annual U.S. Minimum Wage from countries around the world.

My only criticism is that the change in area of the triangles doesn’t match the increase in time for the different countries.  The scale of the visuals doesn’t match the numbers.

Thanks to Andres for sending in the link!

Tuesday
Jun152010

Walt DisneyWorld's Huge Footprint

From Dana Fasano at the Orlando Sentinel comes Walt DisneyWorld’s Huge Footprint.  This area map showing how little of the land that Disney owns near Orlando has actually been developed.

Of Disney World’s more than 30,000 acres, less than one-fourth has been developed.  Another fourth has been set aside as a wilderness preserve.

Found on Six Revisions

Wednesday
Jun092010

Our Amazing Planet: Top to Bottom infographic

 

Designed by Karl Tate, Our Amazing Planet: Top to Bottom is a cool infographic that looks at the scale of things from the upper atmosphere to the deepest ocean depths.

 

 

The infographic is HUGE (14,677 pixels tall), and that keeps it accurate to the scale.  It’s unreadable when the entire infographic is viewed on the screen, and that adds to the readers grasp of how big this scale really is.

 

 

It’s also timely with recent events, showing the depth of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig spill, and drilling depth.  You can view the entire image on OurAmazingPlanet.com.

 

Wednesday
Apr282010

Jess Bachman Interview (Death & Taxes 2011 Poster Giveaway!!)  #deathandtaxes

Last week, Jess Bachman (@mibi) from WallStats.com released the new 2011 Death & Taxes poster.  I caught up with Jess (by email) to ask some questions about his huge infographic undertaking.  The high-resolution image of the poster is available now online, and the printed version will start shipping on May 7th.  You can pre-order for $24, and the shipping cost is only $0.75 TODAY (April 28th)

WIN a copy of the poster!  Jess has been kind enough to offer a free poster to a reader of Cool Infographics.  To be eligible, you must tweet (or retweet) a link to this post on Twitter before May 7th, and include the #deathandtaxes hashtag.  I included the hashtag in the post title, so any retweets will be automatically eligible.  NOTE: you must also be following me on Twitter (@rtkrum) so that I can send you a DM if you have won!

Death and Taxes” is a large representational graph and poster of the federal budget. It contains over 500 programs and departments and almost every program that receives over 200 million dollars annually. The data is straight from the president’s 2011 budget request and will be debated, amended, and approved by Congress to begin the fiscal year. All of the item circles are proportional in size to their funding levels for visual comparison and the percentage change from both 2010 and 2001 is included so you can spot trends.

The detail in this poster is stunning, and in this small shot you can see how the total budget request breaks out. Only the “Military/Nat. Security Discretionary” and “Non-Military/Nat. Security Discretionary” portions of the budget request details are displayed in the poster.

 

Jess was also nice enough to answer a few interview questions I sent him:

Cool Infographics: What software applications do you use for the Death & Taxes posters?

Jess Bachman: The only applications I use are Photoshop and Excel.  Excel is where I in put all the data and it crunches the numbers, adjusts for inflation and calculates diameters.  Photoshop is where I put it all together and the PSD file occasionally exceeds 1 gig so it can be a beast to work with.  Saving takes about 5 minutes.

Cool Infographics: What’s your design process?

Jess Bachman: Normally I start from scratch and layout the images and make them fit; however, this year the budget didn’t change all that much, likely being from the same President, so I was able to keep the 2010 format and change the size of circles.  Of course some things had to be added and removed.  So this year I saved myself about 3 weeks of work just getting right into it, but the design process is grueling.  it’s small tasks, repeated 500 times.

Cool Infographics: What’s the most interesting thing you learned from the data?

Jess Bachman: I can definitely see the differences in Presidents from Bush to Obama.  Lots of reductions on the military side this year and the whole security climate as a whole isn’t as fiscally robust as it was a few years ago.  Much more progressive funding with Obama too.  Every year Bush would cut climate change research, now its back, along with other green tech.  For some reason, public proadcasting gets the hack saw every year no matter who’s in office.

Cool Infographics: Where are some of your favorite places that have the Death & Taxes poster on display?

Jess Bachman: Well it’s always good to see it on display in schools and classrooms.  But I really enjoy hearing from military members who have in their offices or even in station.  I have sent several to Afghanistan.  Critics often say the poster is anti-military, but the military is quite receptive to it, even the former Dept. of Defense Comptroller, Tina Jonas, loved the poster.  Some people from the Dept of Energy’s Oak Ridge Lab displayed the poster on their 30’ Everest computer screen… that was cool too.

Cool Infographics: What’s the hardest part when developing the poster?

Jess Bachman: The hardest part is just getting through all the rote data processing and mindless photoshopping.  The research side is quite fun, and going through the military budgets is a trip with all their classified and hi-tech programs. However, copying and pasting 5,000 times really takes a toll on my creativity and motivation.

Cool Infographics: You said you do a lot of copy & paste work, in what format do you get the data?

Jess Bachman: Some of the government data is in Excel already, but there is no context so I am dubious about working solely with their data sets.  Mostly I pull the numbers from the actual printed budget, which is in PDF form.  So I end up copying and pasting the program name and its funding level for 3 years into Excel, then I copy and paste the program name, funding level, and percentages back into photoshop as a text layer.  Rinse and repeat 500 times.  Many people ask if there was an automated way to create the poster each year and I wish there was, but the confines of the paper make size and fit a manual process.

Cool Infographics: Where do you have them printed, what are the printing specs and why?

Jess Bachman: I get my posters printed from a company called PrintPelican in Florida.  There really are no cheaper prices out there but I opt for a thicker cut of paper than usual.  I get 100# gloss cover which is a few shades from a business card in thickness.  To be honest, they have screwed up my order a few times over the years but we have always managed to work it out.  I usually print runs of 1000-2500 and always 24” x 36”.

Cool Infographics: How do you handle all of the printing and shipping of the posters?  Do you tube them yourself?

Jess Bachman: I used to do it all myself.  I had a 400lb brick of posters next to my bed, and 12 giant boxes of tubes all over the house, and I would roll pack and ship them all.  Now I use two shippers who do fulfillment of the orders for me.  For a while I would send them the orders and addresses weekly but I have offloaded that duty as well.  I think the self shipping method is a good lesson in customer service and its good to know your product inside and out, but after while my time became more valuable than stuffing tubes could afford.

Cool Infographics: You’ve used a few different online zoomable image services in the last few years, what have you learned?

Jess Bachman: There are lots of zooming options out there and new ones seem to pop up all the time.   I used Zoomify until it felt too clunky and slow, then Zoomorama which I really loved for its performance and options.  This year I experimented with an self hosted open source app called Open Zoom and it certainly was a slick and great user experience, unfortunately the demands it placed on my server from huge inflows of traffic proved too much, taking down the whole site.  So I had to switch to my backup, which was Closr.it, and let them deal with server demands.  Closr.it has been very attentive to my needs and I have found that most developers will work with me to tailor a custom solution if I ask.  The zooming apps keep getting better so I expect to keep changing apps as long as the space keeps innovating.

Cool Infographics: You mentioned the 30’ display, have you printed it out in larger sizes?

Jess Bachman: No, I have not printed it out any larger.  The file being Photoshop, and the images being mostly rastered do not allow quality printing beyond the poster size.  The file is 300 dpi so I could get away with a slightly larger size, but oversize printing is expensive and who wants a poster that big anyways. 

Cool Infographics: Where do the images come from?

Jess Bachman: Most of the military images come from defenseLINK, which is a great repository for hi-res military photos.  Other images come from stock photography sites for the most part.  It does help that most government logos are round.  I suppose it’s just an old school way of doing things, government seals and all.  The design aesthetic amongst government logos is really all over the map though, and its quite interesting.  Some look like that are from the 1700’s, and some from the 2700’s.

 There was one correction to the online version that Jess has posted:

So I totally had the wrong data for NASA on the visual. Here is the corrected image, which reflects what you have been reading in the news. Science up, space down. I fixed it before it was printed, don’t worry.

You can view the image, buy the poster and more at the new site DeathandTaxesPoster.com.

SPECIAL: If you pre-order the poster TODAY (April 28th) shipping is only $0.75!

Tuesday
Apr272010

The Color of Twitter

I really like The Color of Twitter from InfoChimps.org that plots the background colors used by all 40 million of the Twitter.com users.  I do think the infographic would be better if they had actually extended out the default light blue color instead of just noting that it extends 4.8x longer.  They also don’t account for background images that cover the background color, which would account for a large number of people not changing their colors.

As part of the release of a number of new, free Twitter data sets, Infochimps created the following beautiful infographic showing just what color Twitter really is.

The data for the infographic comes from the just-launched Histograms dataset that aggregates anonymous data about Twitter users such as how many users have x number of friends or followers, or how many users are in x location. The company also released new data sets (paid) about stock tickers, hashtags and URLs on Twitter.

Found on Mashable.com

Wednesday
Apr142010

How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online?

From David McCandless at Information is Beautiful, is a great infographic about How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online?  This is a fantastic topic for an infographic because the information is so confusing and difficult to find.  I also really like the comparison of how many songs an artist needs to sell to equal the U.S. monthly minimum wage.

This image is based on an excellent post at The Cynical Musician called The Paradise That Should Have Been about pitiful digital royalties. (Thanks to Neilon for pointing that out). I’ve taken his calculations and added a few more.

As ever, this was incredibly difficult to research. Industry figures are hard to get hold of. Some are even secret. Last.Fm’s royalty and payment system is beyond comprehension. (If you can explain it to me, please get in touch)

Found on both Information is Beautiful and Social Media Graphics

 

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!

Monday
Apr052010

100 Characters of Pixar infographic

100 Characters of Pixar is a cool scale infographic showing the relative heights and sizes of the characters from the Pixar movies and shorts.  I found a couple of errors, but the idea and execution are great.  I’ve read before that a great character can be recognized in silhouette, and this is a great tribute to the guys at Pixar.

Found on Flickr, the image is designed by Juan Pablo Bravo

Monday
Mar152010

The FedEx Universe

Revised Infographic

Robin Richards (ripetungi) created this infographic about the FedEx Universe for MeetTheBoss.com.  The version above is slightly modified to correct the size of some of the bubbles, add some mind-map style connection lines and add some photo images.

 

Created for MeetTheBoss.tv, it is a celebration of Fedex as a company and its size.  Working thought creating this, I was amazed at the huge numbers involved in running a global company and getting packages around the earth.  This is what I have tried to show.

I have updated this infographic.  I received some great feedback from Randy Krum over at Coolinfographics.com (Great Site) and on reflection decided that it could be improved with greater use of the bubble mind map graphics.  So that is what I have done.  Also added some more eye candy with images inside of the main bubble totals. Let me know what any thoughts on the old vs the new.

 

You can see the original version below, and Robin has posted some comment about creating it on his blog, ripetungi.com.  There’s a lesson here for infographic designers everywhere; the viewer sees the area of objects as representative of scale.  So in the original version, the diameter of the bubbles changed with the value, but in the corrected version, the area of the bubbles changes.  When the diameter increased by 2x, that meant that the area increased by 3.5x and the bubbles didn’t accurately represent the values.

Also worth noting that Robin created this infographic in ONE day.  Great work under tight timelines!


Original Version