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

Infographics Design | Presentations
Consulting | Data Visualizations

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Caffeine Poster

The Caffeine Poster infographic

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Visual Storytelling: The Big Trend for SXSW 2016

It’s only August, but voting is already underway for the March 2016 South By Southwest (SxSW) Interactive conference. Long thought of as the breeding ground for new ideas and creative technologies, we can gleam industry insights from the SXSW Interactive Festival. This year, I decided not to wait until the conference to delve into the veritable buffet of groundbreaking panels vying for festival space. This year’s PanelPicker interface received more than 4,000 proposals, which is an all-time record!

While a quick search of infographics yields only 11 results, a mere TWO actually have the word “Infographics” in the title. The industry discourse has shifted away from “how-to” models to “how to do it right.” Infographics have become a key format of the larger conversation: Visual Storytelling.

A quick search for “Visual Storytelling” yields over 200 talks in PanelPicker, along with hundreds more for “data visualization” and “visual content”.  Infographics are now used as one of many effective tools in the Marketer’s toolbox, and an accepted part of the larger conversation happening in the content marketing industry.

Visual storytelling is vital to content marketing success. The following types of visual content are at the forefront of the proposals for next year’s SXSW Interactive Festival.

1.    Animated GIFs

Source: Animagraffs by Jacob O'Neal

The social media world has been slow to adopt GIFs, with Facebook only just embracing the truncated clips this year. The average human attention span in 2015 is 8.25 seconds, so these bite-sized animations are the perfect for telling a complete story in a short amount of time. The motion in the image also captures attention on an already crowded news feed.

Check out these GIF-centric presentations, “Why GIFs are turning into the New Emojis on Mobile” and “Visual Storytelling - GIFs, Graphs, and Napoleon.

2.    Visual Presentations

Slideshare and other presentation-style platforms provide a visual and interactive way to share lots of information. With millions of visitors per month, Slideshare is an easy way to have your presentations seen by a large audience.

Perfect your visual presentations with “Sucking Less When Presenting Creative” and “The Power of Poise: Chi for Pitch and Presentation.”     


3.     Real-time storytelling

Real-time storytelling has increased in popularity with the rise of live feed social platforms like Periscope and Meerkat. The ease of execution and the sheer scope of the audience made these two platforms instantly successful. While Meerkat took the prize for most buzzed app at last year’s SXSW, Periscope has the weight of Twitter behind it and has become the more successful of the two.

Use these two tools to live broadcast your events, host a Q&A, or even share professional tips to a larger audience. Perfect your live-streaming with the “Live Streaming Killed Cable TV Star” and “Igniting Creativity with Periscope” PanelPicker proposals.

Twitter Periscope

Source: AdWeek


4.    Infographics

I couldn’t get through my list without mentioning infographics. Still one of the best ways to convey complex information in a shareable and visually appealing format, infographics should be worked into your content marketing strategy. While they are no longer the only way to tell a visual story, they remain a marketing industry staple.

Round out your visual storytelling prowess with great infographics. Learn how to rock your next infographic with my own proposal, “7 Deadly Sins of Infographics Design and How to Fix Them.

The Process of Designing an Infographic


Source: Visme 

Buzzword or not, visual storytelling is something we’ve all been doing since we first snapped a picture with a polaroid camera, we’re just getting better at it. Judging by PanelPicker entries alone, the 2016 SXSW Interactive Festival will be another great year for the content marketing industry.


The Most Detailed Maps from the Midterm Elections

The Most Detailed Maps from the Midterm Elections North Carolina infographic

The team at the NYTimes has published these fantastic Most Detailed Maps from the Midterm Elections.

Why are we so confident these are the most detailed maps you’ll ever see from the 2014 Senate elections? Precincts are the smallest level of geography for publicly-reported election results. There were more than 175,000 precincts in the United States in 2012, fifty times the number of counties. The maps here show precinct-level results, where available, from some of the closest Senate races.

Maps exclude early votes in counties that do not report them by precinct. Some precinct boundaries are approximate.

I would call these Pop-Up Infographics, where the map is static, but additional details are shown in a pop-up frame when you hover over each voting precinct.

The Most Detailed Maps from the Midterm Elections Louisiana Infographic

Found on Flowing Data, and thanks to Mike Wirth for posting on Facebook!


America's New Minority

America's New Minority infographic

The demographics of America are changing, and America’s New Minority from 59 Liberty shows us how far we have come and predicts the next 40 years.  

With the country’s changing demographics, whites will drop under 50% of the population in the 2040s. Every Republican Presidential candidate since 1968 has won the white vote, but with the population shift can the GOP compete?

This graphic simply presents the data of a changing electorate. We went through numerous iterations attempting to find something appealing that presented the data accurately.

We worked with Projects by Chi/Donahoe on concepts, Ripetungi on design, and Hustle Labs for PR support.

For direct access to the data used, please view the spreadsheet here.

I really like how simple and strong the message is with this design.  The data will be surprising to many people, so it should be popular with social sharing.

I LOVE that they include a link to the raw data in a Google Docs spreadsheet for anyone to get their hands on the raw numbers from the data sources.  The link is in the additional text on the infographic landing page.  It would be more effective if the URL of the infographic landing page and the Google Docs spreadsheet were both included in the infographic so they would be readily available to readers who see the infographic posted on other sites.

They also share some of the early drafts and other versions of the design they considered on the infographic landing page.  You can see a couple here, but there are more on the page at 59 liberty.

America's New Minority infographic

America's New Minority infographic