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.

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Entries in spending (77)


How Much Should You Spend on Sales & Marketing?

 The Corporate Marketing and Sales Spend Landscape infographic

The Corporate Marketing and Sales Spend Landscape is an infographic about publicly traded companies and how much revenue they spend on sales & marketing. The general rule of thumb, based off of a 2014 Gartner Research study, is that a company should invest 10% of their revenue into marketing. However, a 2014 CMO survey, published by the American Marketing Association and Duke University, came to find that the 10% rule isn't true for all types of companies.

This infographic from Vital is a representation of those findings and shows how much each business style actually spends on marketing. 

Determining the affect of marketing on a company’s growth is not black and white. There are many factors that combine to create a successful and growing business. However, without marketing and sales a company gets very little, if any, promotion or exposure, meaning the chances of growth are slim to none. This is a well-known fact among marketers, evident in the amount of dollars successful corporations allocate towards sales and marketing every year. In 2014, Microsoft, Cisco, Quest Diagnostics, Intel, Salesforce, Constant Contact, LinkedIn, Marketo, Bottomline Technologies, Marin Software, IDEXX Laboratories, Tempur Sealy, Tableau and Twitter among many more all had marketing and sales budgets that were greater than 14% of revenue, some spending as much as 50%! All of these companies also grew year-over-year.

So, how does a company determine how much of their budget to spend on marketing? We decided to look at a handful of some of the most successful large and mid-sized companies across a range of industries to find out how much they allocate for marketing and what they get in return.

Read more at https://vtldesign.com

The order the companies are listed is confusing. There's doesn't seem to be any reasoning behind the sequence. It's not marketing spend dollars or percentage, or total revenue, or revenue growth YOY or even alphabetical.

It's not clear that the orange number shown for each company is the marketing spend dollars, not total revenue. The orange color-coordination with the doughnut chart implies that, but it should be more obvious.

I also think they meant to imply a connection between marketing spend and revenue growth, but that connection is not obvious in the infographic. The revenue growth in gray text-only looks like an afterthought.

Great source citations in the footer. They should also include a copyright statement and the URL link directly to the infographic landing page so readers can find the original full-size version.

This is also a good example of the Fair Use of trademarked logos to report comparisons between the various companies.

Found on Marketing Profs


Women and Fashion In the Digital Age

Women and Fashion: In the Digital Age infographic

The Women and Fashion In the Digital Age infographic from Digital Surgeons breaks down how much a women spends on each item. This infographic also creates categories for each woman based on her style sense. 

A household CPO (Chief Purchasing Officer), women dictate trends across fashion and media. Let’s take a look at where she’s spending her time & money.

Good data and simple graphics that add context to the numbers.  Love the icons and silhouettes and the minimal color palette.  Simple character illustrations like these keep the focus on the data, and not the illustrations.  However, there are two major infographic design lessons that can be learned form this design.

First, shading portions of odd shapes is always tricky, so in this design the shaded shopping bags and bottles don’t actually match the data.  The reader’s eye sees the area of the colored shapes, and this is usually straightforward when working with basic shapes like rectangles and circles.  However, even with simple circles, the designer can’t just calculate the height of shaded regions like a bar chart.  That only works with rectangles, because the area is directly proportional to the height.  The math to calculate the correct area of a circle segment requires a little more math from geometry.  There’s no clear formula to calculate the area of a wine bottle or a shopping bag, so the designer had to take their best guess.

Second, big fonts are not data visualizations!  I hate to see values on an infographic that aren’t visualized.  They provide no context for the readers, and are perceived as less important than the numbers that are visualized.  The job of a good infographic is to make information easier to understand, not just to share information.  Even simple bars under each component of a woman’s outfit in the first section would have helps make the data meaningful to the audience.

You won’t find a link to this infographic on the Digital Surgeons home page, so the infographic image file itself should include the URL back to the landing page in text.  That way readers that see this infographic on other sites can make their way back to the original, full-size version.  Many sites that post infographics, don’t link back to the original like I do.  Don’t make it hard for your audience to find your infographic!

Thanks to Peter for sending in the link!


Where Does the Money Go?

Where Does the Money Go? infographic

Where Does the Money Go? from LifeHacker breaks down the average spending habits of U.S. consumers.

The graphic above breaks down how the average US household spends their paycheck, according to the US Department of Labor. As you can see, housing, transportation, and food are the biggest costs. Because they take so much out of our paychecks, it makes sense to concentrate on reducing spending in these areas.

Designed as a infographic piece of a larger article, the design does a good job of focusing on one data visualization.  It also has minimal text because the additional details are all included in the text of the article.

Because the graphic can be shared separately from the article, the infographic should include a mention of the article, LifeHacker’s logo, and the URL back to the original.


Tracking Customers for Retail Profiling

Tracking Customers for Retail Profiling infographic

Is tracking customers purchases creepy? Decide for yourself! The You are Not Special, but Your Purchases are infographic from Camcode.com talks about profiling customers based on their purchases and then giving them a coupon that is relevant to them. Other companies like Dominos tracks when people buy pizza the most and discovered it was when it rains. So they base their campaigns on local weather patterns.

Did you know that major brands profile you based on what you buy? Retailers like Target and Domino’s Pizza gather and store this data via barcode technology, and they use it to determine everything from how best to market to you, which coupons you’re most likely to use based on your life stage, and what you might buy based on previous purchasing habits. Yes, they get all this from scanning a barcode! It’s what’s known as predictive technology, and major retailers use it to create database-driven consumer profiles to not only boost sales, but also to create more personalized buying experiences.

We decided to take a closer look at predictive technology and its role in consumer profiling. We did some digging and put together this infographic called, “You are Not Special, but Your Purchases are.”

I like how this design walks the reader through a easy to understand story about retail profiling.


  1. What is Retail Profiling?
  2. How does it benefit both consumers and retailers?
  3. What do customers find disturbing about tracking?
  4. Real-life case studies


Some of the dark red on red colored visualizations are hard to read, and the footer should include a copyright statement.  The brand URL back to Camcode.com is included, but there should also be a URL to the infographic landing page so readers can find the original high-resolution version. 

Thanks to Ashley for sending in the link!


The Value of Retail-Integrated eCommerce

The Value of Retail-Integrated eCommerce

What can Retail-Integrated eCommerce do for your brand? is a new infographic based on a research study from Shopatron.  

Retail-integrated eCommerce is a business model that allows branded manufacturers to sell directly to consumers and pass those orders to their retailers for delivery to the customer. According to March 2012 surveys answered by over 200 branded manufacturers and 1,300 retailers, retail-integrated eCommerce benefits branded manufacturers in the following ways.

This is obviously a design for a niche audience, but I can tell you from past experience that Branded eCommerce is a HUGE challenge.  A company makes products for the end user; however, their immediate customers are usually retail stores.  As soon as a product company starts trying to sell their products on their own website (cutting out the retail store), they suddenly become a competitor to all of the existing retail store customers.  The idea of Retail-Integrated eCommerce is a potential solution.

The statistics at the bottom of the infographic that explain this challenge (not visualized) are so important, I think they should have been visualized and highlighted at the top of the design.  This is the background information that makes the rest of the infographic relevant.

In 2012, 70% of retailers said they would reduce buying from brands that sell online directly to consumers, with 9% saying they would cease buying from that brand altogether.

This is a good design that doesn’t try to throw too much information at the reader.  Most of the important data points are clearly visualized with short descriptions.  The orange color scheme clearly identify the design with the Shopatron brand.

You can also download the PDF version here.


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!


The Money Chart

The Money Chart from Randall Munroe’s webcomic xkcd.com is a huge poster showing the scope and scale of money flowing all over the world.  In a great move for transparency, the entire list of over 200 sources is also online.

You can view it through the online, zoomable viewer OR get the super high-resolution image file!  The 36”x24” printed poster version will be available starting in December for $15.00.

This is the poster version of comic #980, which is a guide to money. It started as a project to understand taxes and government spending, and turned into a rather extensive research project. With upwards of 200 sources and 150,000 tiny boxes, it’s best appreciated in poster form. The 36”x24” high-quality poster print allows you to stand back and, all at once, take in the entire world economy.

Each square represents one unit of the specific section it’s in.  One dollar, One million dollars, One trillion dollars, etc.  To provide some scale, each section is then visualized to scale in the next higher section.  Here’s the transition from dollars to thousands.

Found on Infosthetics, ChartPorn and FlowingData


Crazy for Black Friday Deals


In honor of our upcoming shopping holiday, Crazy for Black Friday Deals from BradsDeals takes a look at some of the stats behind Black Friday (day after Thanksgiving) shoppers.

BradsDeals created a Crazy for Black Friday Deals infographic to illustrate historical Black Friday figures as well as the shopping trends and predictions for this year’s holiday.

If you live in Minnesota, congratulations, you live in the most Black Friday crazy state in the country. And while Black Friday fans in major cities like New York, Los Angeles and Chicago may be more likely to cruise Black Friday deals on their smart phones than shoppers in smaller towns, the Dallas suburb of Carrollton blows everyone out of the water with 60% of Black Friday searches happening on mobile devices. WOW.

I live near Carrollton, but I wouldn’t consider it a particularly tech-savvy area.  Apparently, they’re good with mobile shopping…who knew?

Of course, I get tons of Black Friday infographics submitted to the site, but I really liked the design of this one.  The information is visualized in a clear, easy-to-understand design. The visuals are simple and relate to the data.  Maps for cities, calendar for days shppers make plans, doughnut diagrams for percentages and silhouettes of top products.

On the other hand, there doesn’t seem to be a cohesive story to this infographic.  It’s a collection of disconnected data points about top cities, mobile trends, top products and when shoppers make plans.  Also, the design is missing a list of the data sources, the URL for readers to find the original posting, a copyright or creative commons claim and recognition of the designer.  Why should we trust any of these statistics?

Thanks to Amanda for sending in the link!


Global Hotel Price Changes

A new infographic from Hotels.com showing some of the Global Hotel Price Changes from 2010 to 2011.

The research revealed that:

  • New York was the favourite travel destination for UK travellers in the first six months of the year despite the average hotel price in the city hitting £160, according to the latest Hotels.com Hotel Price Index™ (HPI®).
  • The 6% rise followed strong demand from domestic travellers and a surge of overseas visitors cashing in on the appreciation of their currencies against the US Dollar.
  • The Big Apple was one of six US cities in the top 20 list with Las Vegas, San Francisco, Los Angeles, Orlando and Miami also featuring as the Pound held its own.

I like the design experiment with the Polar Area Diagram (Nightingale Rose Diagram), but the colored sections relating to two different axis are a little hard to understand.  I really like the monument silouettes for each destination.  Very similar to an earlier design InfoNewt did for them about the Hotel Price Index.

The infographic is missing some form of copyright license and the URL to make it easier to find the original infographic.

Thanks to Sarah for sending in the link!


Broken Appliances: Repair or Replace?


PartSelect.com brings us a cool, interactive infographic that helps customers evaluate what to do with their Broken Appliances: Repair or Replace?  Obviously a design from an appliance parts retailer showing customers why they should buy repair parts instead of replacing their appliances, but it’s really good information and doesn’t feel like a hard sell.  It is actually very valuable information for consumers.

We created this diagnostic infographic to troubleshoot some of the common problems that affect household appliances. Clicking on the pulsing dots shows each common issue and the parts required to correct the problem. Many people replace an entire appliance, which is neither cost-effective nor environmentally responsible. We displayed the average cost of replacing the appliance as well as the cost of the parts required to fix the problem (and a scale of the difficulty of the repair).

I really like the design that places the replacement parts radially around the applicances.  The color coding for cost and difficulty also works well, but it would have been better without the legend (“Legends are Evil”).  Without the 1-2-3 as the text in the arc, it could have easily said Easy-Difficult-Very Difficult in the arcs.

Apparently the length of the arcs doesn’t have any meaning, although it looks like it should.  They are just designed long enough to fit the text and the images.

Figure 1 - Layering of the symptoms animation

In addition, PartSelect posted a lengthy, thorough post about the interactive infographic development process they went through.  This is fantastic!  While I may not agree with all of the decisions they made along the way, this type of transparency and under-the-hood information is what helps build credibility and trust with customers.

The Interactive Infographic Process

The process now looks like:

  1. Project Manager decides to make an infographic with some data.
  2. Project Manager brings on board a Programmer and Designer.
  3. Project Manager must decide on the balance of technology vs audience, based on discussions with the team.
  4. Designer fleshes out some rough concepts.
  5. The team meets to discuss; each has specific input:
    1. Project Manager: vision and potential target audiences.
    2. Designer: design concepts and how to make it clean.
    3. Programmer: what is possible. Ideas based on what the technology can do which PM and designer may not be aware of.
  6. Designer creates fleshed out design.
  7. Team meets again and iterates over designs until everybody happy.
  8. Programmer puts together technical spec on how it will be built, which will influence deliverables from designer.
  9. Designer sends across deliverables decided by programmer.
  10. Programmer builds the first functional version.
  11. Team meets and probably iterates and refines design in same process.

Thanks to Stephen for sending in the link!