Every Picture Tells a Story

October 1, 2013

Those who know me know I don’t like music.

Music of any kind hits my brain as noise and hurts my head.

But I like lyrics and one lyric that comes to mind for this blog post is from the “Almost Famous” soundtrack and the Rod Stewart tune, “Every Picture Tells a Story.” In this case, the picture I’m referring to means infographics and the story is the tale told by the data behind the design.

Infographics blend design and data and create a metaphor through the use of spacial relationships, the manipulation of shape and color and the application of typography and line. There are whole coffee table books dedicated to the subject.

I have a few favorites. This one uses census data of high school graduation rates, college graduation rates and household income. The creators assigned one of the 4-color printing process colors to each data set and then gradated the color to depict the depth of accomplishment. The results are displayed on a map of the U.S. with the darkest colors representing the best educated/wealthiest and the lightest representing the opposite. Brilliant.

map

Here is another great one. This is an infographic resume. In lieu of the run on sentences, bullet points and buzz words, Zhi Liang, an interactive designer and developer, created a visual picture of skillsets and achievements.  Spectacular.

Infographic Resume

Infographic Resume

This one shows the carbon emissions of various nations and cleverly positions each country’s contribution (depicted by size of bubble) to construct a mosaic shaped like a footprint – a carbon footprint. Get it?

Country  of Origin Carbon Footprint Infographic

Country of Origin Carbon Footprint Infographic

And best of all, check out this website.  It is literally an infographic on infographics. Here you will discover the science behind the phenomenon, what draws us in, captures our attention, and makes this stuff sharable. Both entertaining and very well done.

Screen Shot 2013-09-30 at 5.03.46 PM

As the infographic boom continues, I will be collecting more favorites and hope to have more to share soon.  Until then, send me your favorites and keep the them coming.