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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Caffeine Poster

The Caffeine Poster infographic

Google Insights

Friday
Oct312014

How to Make Your Shed Zombie Proof

How to Make Your Shed Zombie Proof infographic

How to Make Your Shed Zombie Proof from What Shed? is a fun, sharable infographic that ties their business (garden sheds) to the current obsession with zombies and Halloween!

Zombies seem to have become ever more popular in recent years, despite the fact that they are almost entirely fictional (unless you’re one of the small group of people that actually really believe they are real).

Anyway as its coming up to Halloween we thought we would do a small guide to help you protect yourself just in case you happen to be part of a Zombie Apocalypse this Halloween.

Good example of telling one story well in an infographic, and making the topic relevant to your business. There’s nothing wrong with choosing a fun topic, but it’s important to tie it back to your industry.

The footer should include the URL back to the infographic landing page so readers can find the original.

Thanks to David for sending in the link!

Monday
Oct272014

Winnipeg Jets Beat Arizona Coyotes Infographic

Winnipeg Jets Beat Arizona Coyotes Infographic

Jets Down Arizona 6-2 infographic from the Winnipeg Jets (Jets.NHL) gives an infographic summary of the October 9, 2014 NHL game between the Jets and the Coyotes. Sports statistics are ripe for data visualization and infographics, but are so rarely used.

The design does a great job of using a few simple visualizations to communicate data about the game. They don’t just show the score, but visualize when the goals were made by using the numbers of the scoring players shown in each period. Other visualizations cover statistics like Face-off results and Goal Tending percentages.

I don’t understand the visualization for the Giveaways. I get that the filled area is supposed to represent the number, but the’re shown in a shape I don’t recognize. Is that a car door? There’s no way the designer accurately calculated the area shown of that odd shape to get the visualization right.

Thanks to Reid Parker for posting the link!

Wednesday
Oct222014

2014 Higher Education Technology Landscape

2014 Higher Education Technology Landscape infographic

The 2014 Higher Education Technology Landscape infographic from EDUVENTURES is the effort to make sense of the higher education technology landscape for the decision-makers who are tasked with determining new ways to provide better learning outcomes, building and maintaining a modern technology infrastructure, and rationalizing investment decisions.

Leaders in higher education face mounting pressure to deliver and account for better learning outcomes, embrace digital disruption, and replace aging and ineffective infrastructure with newer, cloud-based solutions. To take advantage of this opportunity, new and established vendors have flooded the education technology market, making it one of the most dynamic segments of the high-tech landscape.

It’s estimated that colleges and universities will spend between $20B and $25B this year on technology and services, enabling institutions to support faculty, and administration, as well as effectively market, recruit, enroll, instruct, engage, and prepare students and alums. The solutions span many categories, including enrollment management specialists, adaptive learning platforms, retention solutions, online program managers, social engagement networks, crowdsourcing applications, software-defined networks, big data platforms, and enterprise resource planning (ERP).  The market is vast, confusing, and ill-defined. We hear from our clients regularly that while they want to take advantage of these new tools and solutions, they are perplexed by the ever-growing number of categories and technology vendors, and struggle with how to best to evaluate them.

To meet this growing need among our clients, Eduventures has initiated a new research focus to provide on-going analysis of the technology market to support higher education decision-makers. Our goal is to make the market more understandable, evaluate the strengths and weaknesses of technology and service offerings, and help leaders make informed decisions when selecting and implementing solutions that meet their unique institutional and learner needs.

Eduventures has developed a taxonomy to make sense of this technology landscape as a foundation for on-going research and analysis on this dynamic market:

  • A student lifecycle framework for understanding the overall market and segments
  • An initial categorization of hundreds of vendors serving the market

We have identified over 50 categories and hundreds of providers that market and sell technology and services to post-secondary institutions, which demonstrates how daunting this market can be for higher education leaders. Even with this preliminary analysis, we recognize that there are additional categories and companies to that can be added—our intention is to respond dynamically as new companies emerge and to update this landscape as it continues to mature, converge and evolve.

Complexity is the key message of this design. A lot of work went into identifying and categorizing all of these different services, but the message is clear that it’s a difficult job to setup the technology services any higher educational institution needs.

Any infographic design is going to be shared on it’s own, without the accompanying article, so designers should always include the URL address back to the original in the infographic image. Most people that share infographics don’t include the link back to the infographic landing page, and including that as text in the image file will help your readers find their way back to the full-size, original version you posted.

Thanks to Heather for posting on Linkedin

Tuesday
Oct212014

Where Do Designer Dogs Come From?

Where Do Designer Dogs Come From? infographic

Where do Cocker Bassets come from? The answer is from a Cocker Spaniel and a Basset Hound! Where Do Designer Dogs Come From? infographic from Time explains the breeding patterns behind the multiple breeds of dogs.

Morkies. Cockapoos. Chiweenies. These dogs may not have serious names, but they’re a serious business. Known as ‘hybrid’ or ‘designer’ dogs, these canines are bred with a purpose – to optimize the best qualities of each parent.

Unlike some mixed breeds, designer dogs are generally born from two purebred parents. Depending on the qualities of the offspring, one puppy can be like having two dogs in one. Labradoodles, for instance, were first bred from labradors (which are common guide dogs) and poodles (with a low-shed coat) to be hypoallergenic service dogs. Puggles – a cross between a pug and a beagle – usually have a muzzle of a beagle, which can eliminate breathing problems often associated with the short-nosed pug.

Not all hybrids are desirable. Designer-dog critics says genetic experimentations are exacerbating the problem of puppy mills. For instance, when a puggle inherits a short snout from a pug and the hunting instincts from the beagle, it may not have a respiratory system that’s equipped to handle all the exercise it needs. These unwanted dogs often end up in shelters.

Despite the controversy, designer breeds have made a mark on the $60 billion pet market by commanding high prices that often exceed their purebred counterparts. And so long as the market continues to demand them, cavachons, pekeapoos and schnoodles are here to stay.

Bright, colorful network connections between breeds makes for a good infographic. curved, winding connections draw in readers to follow their favorite breeds.

The circle sizes have no meaning, just sized to fit the text within, which is misleading.  Disappointingly, the stats they do have are not visualized at all. The URL to the infographic landing page should be included in the footer so readers can find the full-size original version when they find this posted on other sites that don’t include a link.

Thanks to Sue for sending in the link!

Monday
Oct202014

DFW Data Visualization & Infographics Meetup Group

DFW Data Visualization & Infographics Meetup Group

Announcing the launch of the local DFW Data Visualization & Infographics Group through Meetup.com. The group is free to join, and I’m partnering with SMU CAPE to provide us with a location to meet in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. If you’re in the area, please join and share the group with your friends and coworkers!  We strive to be a group of visualizers that includes a mix of marketers, entrepreneurs, managers, researchers, teachers, scientists and of course designers. Anyone that deals with presenting or communicating data.

I’m also looking for potential speakers and future event ideas, so let me know if you, or anyone you know, would be interested in engaging with this group. I would love to schedule a full range of beginner to advanced topics covering data visualization, data communication, infographics, data analysis, charts and graphs, presenting data, visual marketing, infographic resumes, content marketing and more!

Our first event will be November 12th in the SMU CAPE building (Continuing and Professional Education). I’ll give a presentation sharing many Innovative Ways Companies are Using Infographics, and the group will have an open discussion about the kinds of speakers, topics and events that we would like to see from this group in the future.

We are also looking for interested partner companies to help sponsor the group by providing refreshments, event locations or funding for future group events and speakers.

If you love the idea, but aren’t in the DFW area, check out these other great DataViz Meetup Groups across the country:

Also, check out The Universe of Data Visualization Meetups infographic which a great visualization design by Voilà Information Design in Montréal, Canada to find many more active groups.

The Universe of Data Visualization Meetups infographic

 

Wednesday
Oct152014

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel infographic

When we talk about outer space, we have a tendency to use comparisons that are not necessarily true, but still represent large distances. However, If the Moon Were 1 Pixel infographic created by Josh Worth uses pixels to accurately measure out the solar system. Explore the full interactive design here!

If the Moon Were Only 1 Pixel infographic

Picture from mic.com

I was talking about the planets with my 5-year-old daughter the other day. I was trying to explain how taking a summer vacation to Mars in the future will be a much bigger undertaking than a trip to Palm Springs (though equally as hot). I kept trying to describe the distance using metaphors like “if the earth was the size of a golf ball, then Mars would be across the soccer field” etc., but I realized I didn’t really know much about these distances, besides the fact that they were really large and hard to understand. Pictures in books, planetarium models, even telescopes are pretty misleading when it comes to judging just how big the universe can be. Are we doing ourselves a disservice by ignoring all the emptiness?

So I thought I would see if a computer screen could help make a map of a solar system that’s a bit more accurate (while teaching myself a few things about javascript, SVGs and viewports along the way).

Not that pixels are any better at representing scale than golfballs, but they’re our main way of interpreting most information these days, so why not the solar system?

I love this animated scale representation of the solar system. Just to fit on the same page, we usually see all of the planets close together in posters and text books. But in the long run, we lose grasp of how much empty space is truly around us.

Found on Mic.com

Tuesday
Oct142014

20th Century Death

20th Century Death infographic

20th Century Death infographic from Information is Beautiful, visualizes the main causes of death during the 20th century by grouping each cause into general categories and then branching off more specifically.

Visualizing the major causes of death in the 20th Century.

Originally a 6m x 2m commission by the Wellcome Collection as a companion piece to the London exhibition: ‘Death: A Self-Portrait – The Richard Harris Collection’ (Nov 2012).

Appropriate choice of color scheme since red has a negative association like death, and red, orange, and yellow are an analogous color scheme due to their proximity on the color wheel. I would have loved to see more graphic pictures like the ones used in the infectious disease group and the animal subgroup.

I think this is a great application of a bubble chart. The audience isn’t trying to make specific value comparisons, but instead should get a general feel for the large differences in the causes of death.

I love that David McCandless and his team has made his data transparent and available to anyone. The data values are posted in a public Google Spreadsheet available at http://bit.ly/20thdeath

Found on Information is Beautiful

Friday
Oct102014

5 Great Online Tools for Creating Infographics

Professional infographic designers rely primarily on a core vector graphics software program to create their infographics designs. The main advantage is that all the icons, charts, images, illustrations, and data visualizations are treated as separate objects that can be easily moved, resized, overlapped, and rotated. No matter where you create the individual design elements, the final infographic design is usually put together in a vector graphics program.

Creating infographics using online tools has never been easier. In the last few years a number of online tools have emerged that allow anyone to create great visual content.  Whether you are working on a project for work, personal use, or social media, each new project starts with a template. With the dimensions laid out for you, you can focus your attention on quickly creating effective designs. Search, drag, and publish - it can be that simple.

These new tools are vector graphics applications that run in your browser as a replacement for using an expensive professional desktop application like Adobe Illustrator to put your infographic design together.  Each one offers different tools, image libraries, charts, fonts and templates as a starting point.  None of these have the full capabilities of a professional desktop application, but you probably don’t need that much power to create a simple infographic.

In this article, we take a quick look at 5 of the best online tools for creating infographics: Visme, Canva, Easel.ly, Piktochart, and Infogr.am. All of these tools are evolving quickly, and this is just a snapshot of their current capabilities.

 

Visme screenshot

1) Visme (visme.co)

Visme allows you to create interactive presentations, infographics and other engaging content. With tons of templates, and huge library of free shapes & icons to choose from, Visme has you creating awesome visual content right away.

The templates are set up simply and beautifully. If you wanted, you could just edit the placeholder text, insert your own, and publish your infographic.

One of the greatest aspects of this service is changing percentages within the charts. All you have to do is click on the graphic you would like to change, enter a new number, and the chart changes to reflect the new information automatically. Saving you hours of frustration trying to do it on your own.

Pros:

  • Creates infographics, presentation, animations, ad banners, and custom layouts.

  • Insert and edit chart objects directly by changing the data values.

  • Large library of icons and images.

  • Embed YouTube videos directly into designs.

  • Special pricing for students & teachers.

Cons:

  • The basic free version is limited.

    • Only 3 projects.

    • Must include the Visme logo.

    • Limited access to charts and infograph widgets.

  • JPG download is still in Beta, with a few bugs.

Price: Basic version is free with pricing plans available

 

Canva screenshot

2) Canva (canva.com)

Canva just celebrated their 1-year anniversary last month, and has made a big splash in the online design space.  Your experience kicks off with a great “23 Second Guide to Beautiful Design,” where they walk you through a brief introduction to their design program.

After finishing the brief tutorial, you can start a new design. Canva is filled with options, whether you are working on a project for work, personal, or social media. Each new project comes with a template for the project you choose to work on. With the dimensions done for you, you can focus your attention on creating beautiful designs in seconds.

Pros

  • Excellent (and short) intro tutorial to get you started, and many more on advanced concepts.

  • Templates for social media, blogs, presentations, posters, business cards, invitations, and more.

  • Easy and intuitive to use.

  • Large library of images to choose from.

Cons

  • No editable chart objects. You need to import your own data visualizations as images.

  • Have to pay for different image assets individually, instead of a monthly subscription.

Price: Free, but you have to pay for Pro quality design assets individually

 

Easelly screenshot

3) Easel.ly (www.easel.ly)

Easel.ly is a great program, but lacks some of the guidance, and features, that come standard in other programs.

Easel.ly lacks a “How-To” introduction section to their program, and just kind of throws you into the design process right away. Their focus seems to be primarily based on infographic design. Whereas other programs offer a plethora of design project options.

If you’re just looking to design an infographic, this program will work well. If you want more variety, you’ll have to utilize one of the other programs in this list.

Pros:

  • Free.

  • Very basic design layouts and assets.

  • New charts feature allows some basic editable charts in your design.

  • Easy downloads for JPG and PDF versions.

Cons:

  • Not a very large selection of themes, called “Vhemes”.

  • Small library of image assets. You’ll want to upload your own images and icons.

Price: Free

 

Piktochart screenshot

4) Piktochart (piktochart.com)

Piktochart is one of the best looking programs on this list. All the information you need to get started is provided in their tour.

Their program is easy to use, and offers tons of freedom in building and editing your infographic using their simple graphic tools. They have categorized icons, resizable canvas, design-driven charts, and interactive maps to utilize.  

Their intuitive user interface is where Piktochart truly excels. All the tools you need to create are laid out intelligently, making your new job as a “designer” so much easier.

One of the coolest aspects of this program is that they show how versatile infographics are for different projects. Whether you’re creating for a classroom, office, website, or social media setting - Piktochart gives you the heads up on how to use infographics effectively.

Pros:

  • Themes and templates are of high design quality.

  • Intuitive. Allows you to edit anything and everything with ease.

  • Create infographics, reports, banners and presentations.

  • Embed videos from Youtube and Vimeo in your design.

Cons:

  • Limited selection of free templates. Higher quality templates are available with a Pro account.

  • $29 per month is a high subscription price compared to the others.

Price: Start for free with pricing packages available

 

Infogram screenshot

5) Infogr.am (infogr.am)

Infogr.am has got the best charts. For illustrating data, there are more than 30 different types of charts to choose from. Anything from bubble charts and tree maps to simple pie charts.

Editing data can be easily done in Infogr.am’s built-in spreadsheet, or you can import your own XLS, XLXS and CSV files.  Once your infographic has been edited and beautifully designed, you can save it to your computer as a PNG or PDF file with a paid subscription.

Pros:

  • Ability to create and edit great charts by changing data

  • Built-in Spreadsheet. Can also import your XLS, XLXS and CSV files

  • Widest variety of available chart types

  • Educational and Non-profit pricing plans available

  • Embed videos from Youtube and Vimeo in your design.

Cons:

  • Only creates infographics and charts

  • Small selection of infographic templates

  • No image library, you must upload your own image assets

  • Download options require paid subscription

  • The White Label subscription service is the most expensive options of the group

Price: Basic version is free with pricing plans available

 

Which design sites have you tried? Which tools are your favorites? Post in the comments.

Monday
Oct062014

The Scary Truth About Your Passwords: An Analysis of the Gmail Leak

The Scary Truth About Your Passwords: An Analysis of the Gmail Leak infographic

Passwords can be troublesome to remember, so we tend to make them short and easy. The Scary Truth About Your Passwords: An Analysis of the Gmail Leak infographic from LastPass shows us that we are not alone in our password struggle. The number one most used password is 123456!  

A detailed analysis of last week’s leak of 5 million Gmail logins reveals some alarming statistics. The infographic takes a look at the reality of our bad password practices, highlighting the ongoing use of weak, dictionary-based passwords that are leaving us vulnerable. If you’re not using a password manager, now’s the time to download LastPass and get started today!

This is some great data, and I highly suggest everyone to use password manager like LastPass or 1Password. You need to use strong passwords, and you should have a different password for every site. Turn on 2-factor identification on any sites that support it!

The pie chart visualization in the “Your Passwords Are Too Short” section is messed up. Pie charts MUST add up to 100%! The values from the color key only add up to 88.74%, and they’re shown in a different order than the colors around the pie chart. The values in the color key are sorted by ascending number of characters, and the pie chart slices are sorted in descending order of value. The additional doughnut chart surrounding the pie chart, and the separate 92.96% statistic both confuse the section even more.

I appreciate the simple call-to-action “Learn more at LastPass.com” at the bottom, instead of a hard sales pitch to buy the app.  However, the URL should take readers to the original infographic landing page on the LastPass site.

Thanks to Eric for sending in the link!

Friday
Oct032014

The Graphic Continuum

The Graphic Continuum data visualization poster

The Graphics Continuum is a new poster of data visualization styles and methods from Job Schwabish and Severino Ribecca. Available as a printed poster for $25 on Mimeo.

The Graphics Continuum shows several ways that data can be illustrated individually or combined to show relationships. Use of various shapes, chart types, and colors can help identify patterns, tell stories, and reveal relationships between sets and types of data. Bar charts, or histograms, for examples, can illustrate a distribution of data over time, but they also can show categorical or geographic differences. Scatterplots can illustrate data from a single instance or for a period, but they also can be used to identify a distribution around a mean.

This set of charts does not constitute an exhaustive list, nor do the connections represent every possible pathway for linking data and ideas. Instead, the Graphic Continuum identifies some presentation methods, and it illustrates some of the connections that can bind different representations together. The six groups do not define all possibilities: Many other useful overlapping data types and visualization techniques are possible.

This chart can guide graphic choices, but your imagination can lead the way to other effective ways to present data.

The Graphic Continuum data visualization poster closeup 1

I’ve seen a few other attempts to gather and categorize data visualization techniques, and I really like this poster. One of the biggest challenges for people is to break out of the Big Three chart styles: bar charts, line charts, and pie charts. It doesn’t matter if they’re designing an infographic or a PowerPoint presentation, I am often asked to help clients find new ways to visualize their data.

The Graphic Continuum data visualization poster closeup 3

Jon Schwabish has posted a great article on Visual.ly about the development process and includes images of some other arrangements they attempted during the design process.