Thursday, October 23, 2014

The Best Infographics of 2014

Existential Calculator


Over at Brain Pickings they are featuring a few examples from the newly released, Best Infographics of 2014.
Why study infographics? Do you want to decide whether or not to take a job? Use the Existential Calculator (see graphic). "It organizes the spectrum of possible work outcomes—from pleasurable to spiritually degrading, from well-paying to debt-enhancing, from exciting to 'meh'—and shows where the reader is likely to land, based on what they tell it about the potential job.'" (Kelli Andersom)
 Some of the other graphics to linger over are the fears of a cat wandering through San Francisco (LOL, some of those fears resemble my own).

Brain Pickings' post mentions one of my favorite creators and chart busters, Edward Tufte, noting that:

"Tufte and others have long spoken to the importance of minimalism in information design. But it proved to be more important as design was translated onto the web, where attention spans are measured in seconds and the next graphic is but a mouse-click or hand-swipe away. More isn’t always better: no more in information design than in poetry, or painting, or product design. A superfluous axis on a chart, an extra dimension of information, can distract from the focal point just as much as an extraneous word in a sonnet or an unnecessary button on a tablet. It can reduce the signal-to-noise ratio and leave the viewer less well informed.
Successful examples of information design can sometimes be highly intricate, but these cases usually involve a layered approach. The most essential elements of the graphic — the most essential parts of the story — jump out immediately."
If you think about it - reading a visual can be a far easier way to take in a lot of information in an instant. Think about a graph that shows literacy percentages by state. Would you rather read through sentence after sentence of numbers, or look at a bar graph that immediately conveys the idea of which states need to do more reading.

What kind of informational graphs do you like? Can you remember a graph that made you go hmmmmm?

5 comments:

  1. I see infographics - a lot, I should add, and I'm pretty sick of seeing them to be honest. It's something that becomes unavoidable when you're looking at various resume' examples - especially those by graphic designers. It starts to tread into territory that is abused by newer designers thinking they're making something edgy or new. The reality is their cluttering and working against the very nature of being a graphic designer. Part of being a designer is creating exciting visuals and layouts, but within a logical sphere that doesn't hinder the audience's ability to decipher information from it. Long story short, infographics are cool, but do not abuse their purpose. As a designer, don't clutter your resume' with them; keep it short and sweet while showing what you bring to the table as a designer.

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  2. I'm a visual person, so I do enjoy seeing infomercials, and I especially like ones that show the scale of something, especially if large numbers are involved. My favorite example is not an image, but also takes huge numbers (Greece's debt) and portrays them in a way that makes them easier to understand:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kjdrsmom9fQ
    I do think that sometimes authors rely too heavily on them and think that they should let their infomercial "speak" instead of providing their own analysis.

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  3. What attracted many infographic designers, the brands that is it does not limit the mode of presentation. You can use images, video clips and also websites with special effects. For viewers, they love infographic because it has few words but full content of information, rich illustrations and beautifully. However, to be able to make a good infographic achieve the standards, pretty enough and easy to understand, it is not simple.
    Infographic have a lot of topics, from the very science, to the theme very normal. I like infographic about the foods, it make me hungrier. I have never create a infographic before, but I will try.

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  4. Well I personally never even knew this is what an infographic was. I can say that I am visual if someone is explaining something I like to see it in front of my face. Screw the numbers and words just show me a diagram or picture to explain it to me. I like when I go onto my bank account and it graphs what areas I seem to be spending more in, and I love this. Because when I looks at my bank statements I am like oh okay I knew or kind of figured that I was spending more in this area. Yet when it is in a graph it gives me a better understanding that I should spend my money in more important places rather than entertainment.

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  5. Being more of a visual person, I've always liked infographics. I like picking out the elements of design and the fact that I can understand a major concept after only a few seconds of observation - but, of course, these are inforgraphics when they're done well. When they're not so great, I lose interest fast, but that's the thing with inforgraphics; I had to create a few myself, and it's not as easy as I first thought going in. All in all, I figured out that while I enjoy looking at graphs, I don't enjoy creating them as much.

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