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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 seconds : a short time to make a BIG impact!
2014/John Wiley/Indianapolis

Measuring in around 18.5 cm x 23 cm, with 348 shiny quality pages, this seemed a less daunting presentation of an area I need to swat up on fairly quickly. On my initial quick flick through it revealed a good balance of text and diagrams/illustrations, and relevant key areas caught my eye, such as:

* 'The whole point of...
Published 7 months ago by A Customer of AMAZON-UK

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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not hugely interesting read
I'm really interested in Infographics and see them used to great effect on a lot of business/IT sites. I see this as more of a reference book as I know you can very quickly find more material online.

It presented information on what is and isn't an infographic but to be honest, the book bored me. When it got to the section about what tools to use I took some...
Published 7 months ago by AM


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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars 5 seconds : a short time to make a BIG impact!, 6 Jan 2014
This review is from: Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design (Paperback)
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2014/John Wiley/Indianapolis

Measuring in around 18.5 cm x 23 cm, with 348 shiny quality pages, this seemed a less daunting presentation of an area I need to swat up on fairly quickly. On my initial quick flick through it revealed a good balance of text and diagrams/illustrations, and relevant key areas caught my eye, such as:

* 'The whole point of designing an infographic is to make complex information easier to understand and interesting to an audience.....'
* 'Big fonts are NOT data visualizations......'
* 'Nobody wants to read a text article that has been converted into a JPG image file and called an infographic.....'
* 'Eliminate Chart Legends....'
* 'Be data transparent...'...'An infographic design that is upfront about is data sources is instantly perceived to be more credible.....'
* 'The size of a petabyte'

and ...this gem of a topic which never fails to astonish me and divides colleagues in presentations:

* 'The value of a Pie Chart MUST add up to 100%.......'

Randy goes on to say:
* 'Designers overuse pie charts because they are easy to create and mistakenly apply them to data sets that are not proportions of a whole......'

OMG! - I couldn't agree more - this is the book for me!

Inside the paperback covers, the book is split into sections, usefully highlighted by a different coloured mock tab on the right hand page for easy referencing:

1. The Science of Infographics (pg 1-55)
2. Online Infographics (pg 56-111)
3. Infographics and SEO(Search Engine Optimization)(pg 112-171)
4. Infographics Resumés (pg 113-231)
5. Internal Confidential Infographics (pg 232-273)
6. Designing Infographics (pg 274-303)
7. Design Resources (pg 304-338)
8. Index (pg 339-348)

The back cover aims:

* Discover what makes infographics work
* Structure information into a simple 3-part story (p27)
* Clarify the design process and follow infographic design rules
* Implement an infographic launch strategy to maximise SEO value
* Design a personal infographic resumé to market yourself

Each chapter opens with a double page spread with an impressionable and relevant quote on the left, e.g.:

'Design matters. But design is not about decoration or about ornamentation. Design is about making communication as easy and clear for the viewer as possible.'
(Garr Reynolds, Presentation Zen'), ahead of Chapter 6, the main chapter for me at this time.

Relevant online references and links are given at the close of the chapter, after the conclusion, entitled : 'Final Thoughts'.

Other useful points I have picked up, so far, are relating to Copyright (pg 108) and simple but self-explanatory things to always bear in mind, such as:

* 'The 5-second Rule' stresses that despite its appearance, cool or otherwise, most readers will still only read an infographic for a few seconds so that is the limited amount of time you have to really hit!
* The 'Tell One Story Really Well' guide equally says it all - 'Don't try to tell a bunch of small stories'.

Contrary to my initial thoughts on having to explore infographics, I am finding this to be a very informative read. It is easy to dip in and out of, as time allows, which is always a good sign in a 'text book' (IMO).
As a beginner, I openly admit that there are areas e.g. 'Embed Code', which are (currently) outside my remit. On the slightly negative side, for me anyway, some of the figures are a little on the daunting side and have quite small text at times, but, overall this is proving to be a 'cool' book on gaining a general overview of Infographics and what they can do (or not do) for you.

'Good infographic designers can bring together storytelling, data visualization, graphic design, online strategy and legal understanding together to make a successful infographic.'
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4.0 out of 5 stars Introduction to Infographics, 3 July 2014
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This review is from: Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design (Paperback)
This book has some little gems within its pages. It’s perhaps best used as a reference for what you can do with infographics with sound advice. It does not get down to the nitty gritty of using tools to create infographics but points you in the right direction. To actually create infographics you are going to have to learn some other program or programs such as illustrator or an online website. It will also not teach you about databases from which data is extracted to produce such visual information. It’s a fairly easy read with many pages filled with nice graphics which means the text is limited.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars How to get the look of information, 5 Jan 2014
By 
Robin Benson - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design (Paperback)
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Infographics is the new cool thing in publishing. Put the word into Amazon search and you'll come up with more than two hundred titles, either tech books (like this one) or mainstream books using infographics as the theme: The infographics history of the world; The infographics book of the human body. Maybe we can expect The Infographics Cookbook later this year.

Most of the titles though are of the tech sort and I think Randy Krum's book is as good as any for a broad overview of infographics. The seven chapters present a ton of information in an easily accessible writing style. Predictably the text leans towards online visual presentation rather than print and one of the strengths of the book are the extensive weblinks (plus a brief commentary about each) at the end of the chapters, for all kinds of templates, graphics and tools used for creating designs.

I found chapter four on infographic CVs particularly interesting. This seems to be a coming trend though I found the samples shown anything but concise. Pages 178 shows a conventional typed CV and on the opposite page the same information interpreted as a colourful graphic. This visual was hardly the sort of thing any HR manager would be able to absorb quickly. Fortunately several companies (like LinkedIn) are exploring ways of presenting professional details in a standard visual format.

I think it's worth saying that this is not a book about the specifics of graphic design and typography in infographics, it steps back from that to present a broader view of the subject and like many books about a visual subject takes rather too many words to explain something where a picture and caption would have worked better. I think it really would have helped the reader if the illustrations throughout the pages used good and bad examples and deep captions to explain the differences. The several dozen illustrations in the book only point out positive aspects and not what to avoid.

The book's product is typical for a tech book: largish type, wide margins for captions and credits, a reasonable matt art for the colour graphics. There is an index and book list with only eight titles and surprisingly it doesn't include the enormous, 480 page Information Graphics from Taschen. The recently published Around the World: The Atlas for Today is a fascinating book entirely based on infographics.

Randy Krum's book is the ideal guide if you are starting out in infographics.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not hugely interesting read, 16 Jan 2014
By 
AM (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design (Paperback)
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I'm really interested in Infographics and see them used to great effect on a lot of business/IT sites. I see this as more of a reference book as I know you can very quickly find more material online.

It presented information on what is and isn't an infographic but to be honest, the book bored me. When it got to the section about what tools to use I took some notice (because unless you are a graphic designer then you need some assistance) but I had literally been on the suggested websites only days before in search of tools to help me create infographics.

In short, same yourself time and go on the web.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A primer for making your graphics count, 12 Jan 2014
By 
Peter (United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design (Paperback)
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
There are a couple of books I've previously read about the visual presentation of information. One - whose name I sadly cannot remember - was about presenting information in the best possible form to convey information in as many dimensions as possible. For example, a map of Napoleon's advance across Europe to Moscow and his subsequent retreat used line-thickness in proportion to the number of troops left in the army, so that the size of the army was an additional dimension of information presented in the same graphic. The other book was Information is Beautiful. It concentrates on memorable images of information, presented (in so far as it has any words) from a viewer's perspective. Many of the images are indeed memorable, and it's a book well worth reading.

This book, Cool Infographics, takes a designer's - and chiefly a web-designer's - perspective on graphics that convey information. What you do as a web-designer is informed always by improving your footfall. And that's largely about creating graphics that are fun, that often convey relatively trivial information and that are likely to be shared in social media, which drives further visits to your site. So it's not only about conveying information.

Although there are plenty of examples, Cool Infographics is more about pointing aspiring creators of infographics in the right direction than about showcasing infographics. There's some useful stuff about how to correctly proportion filled circles to show relative quantitative data, and there's plenty of advice on how to make sure your copyright and website information stay with your graphic when it gets shared by other internet users. There's also a sizeable chapter on creating an infographic C.V. - it's probably best to do this only if your primary role is as a graphic designer! The list of software tools at the end is a selection rather than comprehensive.

It's a good starting point for someone with good graphic skills who wants to get the best out of their ability, and to start raking in the hits from the search engines. There's no doubt at all that visual information is a vital part of the internet experience. This book is a primer for making your graphics count out there on the big old World-Wide Web.
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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An extremely detailed book on designing infographics, 4 Dec 2013
This review is from: Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design (Paperback)
Infographics pose a lot of questions, and Randy is all too aware of these.

Cool Infographics is a book that answers these questions in an easy to understand and thorough way. It makes sense of all the information surrounding data, visualisation and design. But most importantly, it successfully differentiates what an infographic actually is. If you're new to infographics, this book is a must.

In the introduction, Randy touches on important aspects that are often overlooked when understanding what makes a good infographic. From figuring out why we like to make sense of the world, to showing how infographics have come to fulfil this. The book begins as it means to go on. It explains, in meticulous detail, what must be considered when designing an infographic (optimum sizes, SEO and even copyright issues). This is all complimented by some great visual examples too, packed with resources and tips.

Nothing is left unturned and I think this would be very valuable information for those not only new to infographics but also to those that consider themselves experienced. If you're a company that's looking to get an infographic made then Cool Infographics is a great place to start for understanding even the thought that goes into the best infographics.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting thoughts on this fast-developing area, 17 Feb 2014
By 
Richard Murphy (Winchester, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design (Paperback)
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The world is now full of data and the challenge is how to communicate information in a meaningful way. His definition of infographics is: “a larger graphic design that combines data visualisations, illustrations, text and images together into a format that tells a complete story”. They are made “to inform, entertain or persuade an audience”.

It is not just about pretty graphs. The impact comes from the way people react to clearly presented information. The book is filled with well-chosen examples of quality infographics, and he steps through how they are affective and some of the pitfalls they have avoided.

He is sensitive to the criticism that many infographics we see are factually inaccurate or poorly constructed, and had good practical suggestions for how to address issues as you construct your own.

For me Chapter 4 Infographic Resumes was the most interesting, as it was not a concept I had come across before. Standing out from the crowd in the jobs market is always a challenge and he does an excellent job of making the case for using infographics in your resume. What is stressed here, and elsewhere in the book, is the importance of planning and designing it well. Ill-though through resumes created from internet free templates are likely to count against you. However the examples shown clearly (for me) showed the power of the approach.

The later chapters focused on the practicalities, with lots of useful links and tips.

Overall, an interesting overview of this developing area.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Colourful, cool and interesting, 1 Feb 2014
By 
Another Weasley (Scotland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design (Paperback)
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Infographics may look like a pretty picture at first glance but within them there is a wealth of information. This book explains how to use infographics to display, present and communicate data in and interesting yet useful way!

The author writes in a clear and understandable manner and uses good examples to illustrate his points. This book has actually made me think about how I try to communicate results and what mistakes I have been making in displaying data - and I don't even use infographics! There are links to online examples and discusses software you can use to make your own. It is very interesting to see the thought process behind these graphics and the amount of information you can communicate with one!

Highly recommended for anyone interested in this subject.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Real infographics explained, 29 Jan 2014
By 
NeilC (Windsor, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design (Paperback)
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It has always infuriated me in recent years that many people equate a clear chart / graph (such as those in The Economist) with an infographic. They're not. Infographic are rich graphical experiences combining multiple sources of data and representations around a common theme. This comprehensive book does a great job of dispelling some of they myths, setting out the history and purpose of infographics. It's clear and authoritative, giving great examples and some handy tips on how to create your own infographics (though in no way is it a how to guide). If you're interested in the subject it is a good read.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good insight into the power of infographics, 26 Jan 2014
By 
I don't have a pen name "the_metro_area" (West London) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Cool Infographics: Effective Communication with Data Visualization and Design (Paperback)
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I work in a job that requires frequent analysis of huge data sets and wanted to get an insight into how I could present data in a better and more memorable fashion. This book gives some excellent ideas and context for presenting data more effectively to your audience. Of particular interest to me were chapters 6 and 7 which provide design techniques and resources to use which will take you away from the usual chart suite in excel etc. For the price, this book could be a small price to pay to make you stand out from your peers in data presentation.
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