Feature: Cool Infographics (The Book)
At the tail end of 2013, we received a review copy of Cool Infographics, the data visualisation book from Randy Krum (proprietor of the very popular infographic site ‘Cool Infographics’). As a regular reader of (and contributor to) the website I was eager to see how the book approached the ever-popular topic of infographic design and dissemination.
Given the post-and-review nature of the Cool Infographics site – which by the way I would thoroughly recommend checking out if you’re not familiar – you’d be forgiven for expecting a similar framework to the book. However, I was pleasantly surprised to find a publication of far greater substance and depth; Cool Infographics is far more than a disparate collection of high quality infographics and popular visualisations, instead taking the reader through the world of infographics in a clear, coherent and intelligent manner. From concept development and storytelling, through the design and editing process right through to effective promotion and distribution, Randy Krum guides the reader through the entire data visualisation journey and offers key insights into how to effectively communication with your audience through a visual medium.
That’s not to say that the book doesn’t contain an array of superb examples of infographic design and effective data visualisation – every chapter is littered with fantastic designs and some of the most popular infographics from the last couple of years. But rather than allowing these beautiful graphics to do most of the leg-work in terms of entertaining and engaging the reader, Krum uses them to highlight key elements of effective visual storytelling, illustrating each and every point with a real-life example.
It would have been very easy for the author of this title to release a ‘best of’ collection of infographics, entertaining the reader and capitalising on the sizeable readership of his infographic platform. Instead, Randy Krum has produced a book that is entertaining, engaging and genuinely informative, whether you’re a data visualisation pro or new to the ever-growing world of infographics.
I would thoroughly recommend picking up a copy of this book and taking the time to read it cover-to-cover, particularly if you’re looking to capitalise on visual communication for your business or profession. You’ll undoubtedly learn a significant amount about the data visualisation industry and will learn what it takes to effectively engage with your audience using data visualisation and bespoke infographics.