Category Archives: Information design

Information is beautiful: 30 examples of creative infography

A quick roundup of some recent information design projects seen around the web:

Unfortunately I never had the opportunity to do client work on an infography, but it seems to be one of the most challenging task for a graphic designer. The perfect infography must synthesize complex information in a simple visual representation, which is not easy. The following examples take information architecture to another level by making it beautiful.

Business clichés visual find-it poster

In case you missed it, last month we sent out our 2009/2010 holiday greeting. Actually, it was more “greeting” than “holiday” — and maybe more “beating” than “greeting!” Why? because we went ahead and poked some fun at a lot of those empty business clichés that get thrown around in meetings, emails and corporate conversations.

So go ahead and download it, hang it up by the water cooler, leave it on someone’s desk… ;-)

Later this month we’ll be sending out an interactive PDF with all of the clichés identified and defined. Sign up for our email newsletter if you’d like to get a copy.

Happy new year, everyone!

New project: The Carbon Economy

For the second time in recent months XPLANE has partnered with The Economist to create a compelling video on a topic of global importance. After working together on “Did You Know? 4.0”, The Economist enlisted XPLANE\'s visual communication expertise to develop “The Carbon Economy” about the growing importance of climate change and green technologies and solutions.

“The Carbon Economy” will be shown at The Economist\'s upcoming Carbon Economy Summit on November 17 and 18, 2009 in Washington, D.C. The video is three minutes in length and includes simple visuals and a moving soundtrack to clearly convey the troubled state of global climate change and what steps must be taken to reach a positive outcome. The production was created using Apple\'s Keynote software.

For more information on The Carbon Economy Summit, visit http://carboneconomy.economist.com.

David Allen releases The Ultimate GTD Workflow Map, designed by XPLANE

The David Allen Company: “If you ever feel like you need to get more in control or regain your focus, here is the ultimate guide for getting and staying on your game. The set of productivity best practices which David Allen has researched and synthesized over the last three decades are brought all together into one stunning visual display — the GTD Workflow Map. It’s a rich compilation of the key steps for gathering, clarifying, organizing, and reviewing everything you need to track and manage, as well as an explanation of all of the factors that you must take into account in determining priorities.”

“I spent more than two years crafting and fine-tuning the map, ensuring that it would thoroughly and accurately describe the essential elements of time- and self-management,” says David, “It’s as simple as I could get it, while still embodying the subtleties and complexities that have to be factored in, to make it real and useful. And the visual representation we’ve come up with I think is a highly effective way to make something this meaningful really clear.”

The poster was created by XPLANE, the visual thinking company. Visit www.xplane.com to learn more about how XPLANE clarifies complex business issues through visual collaboration.

Vintage Infographics From the 1930s

Designers everywhere are suddenly drooling over this 70-year-old book. Including me.

Someone needs to get me a paper copy of Willard Cope Brinton’s Graphic Presentation (1939), because it is awesome.

Brinton discusses various forms of graphic presentation in the 524-page book and what works and what doesn’t. There’s also some good stuff in there about how to make your graphs, charts, maps, etc (by hand).

The most interesting part is that many of the graphics — despite having no computers in 1939 — look a lot like what we have today. Albeit, they’re a little rougher because they’re made by hand, but that’s just added flavor.

Did You Know 4.0

XPLANE is happy to present Did You Know 4.0 — another official update to the original “Shift Happens” video. This completely new Fall 2009 version includes facts and stats focusing on the changing media landscape, including convergence and technology, and was developed in partnership with The Economist.

As Garr Reynolds mentions over at Presentation Zen this morning, yes, this project was created with “off-the-shelf slideware” (Keynote and GarageBand, actually, along with Photoshop and Illustrator). Content by XPLANE, The Economist, Karl Fisch, Scott McLeod and Laura Bestler. Design and development by XPLANE.

For more information, or to join the conversation, please visit The Economist’s Media Convergence conference site at mediaconvergence.economist.com, or stop by shifthappens.wikispaces.com for all things Did You Know.

“GOOD” Design


Behind the scenes of GOOD Magazine’s infographics.

We always found that there\'s info lurking behind everything in the world,” says Morgan Clendaniel, deputy editor at GOOD Magazine. “You\'ll read an article, but you won\'t see the data behind it — nor would you want to. Nobody wants to read an Excel file.”

Clendaniel and I are discussing GOOD\'s Transparency section — a regular print and online feature of standalone infographics. The general interest magazine best known for its social consciousness has published infographics on a number of topics, some serious (fuel efficiency between modes of transportation, a map of international legislation on death penalty), others more playful (relative trophy sizes, museum ticket prices).

“The goal is to illustrate these issues in a way that is entertaining, accessible, but also informative,” Clendaniel says.

(Thanks @swissmiss!)

RANDOM WALK: The visualization of randomness

Beautiful:

There is one remarkable thing about randomness: Its existence is neither proved nor disproved it even appears everyday in science and in our everyday lives. Random walk is interesting for people who want to know more about the mystic character of this invisible companion.

RANDOM WALK… presents experiments in mathematics and physics, showing the mysterious interaction of chaos and order in randomness. The project RANDOM WALK simulates randomness in visualizations, which are easy to understand. In this way, it delivers insight into a phenomenon, which has so far remained unexplained.