Do Some Good 2019

For the second year in a row, my colleagues and I participated in the Rise Against Hunger project by packaging dry meals for a family of four. The meals are sent all over the world. The Rise team provides all supplies and equipment, and works with a local coordinator to set up and organize the event. Employees just need to show up with their best effort and a sense of humor.

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Rise Against Hunger Infographic

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Dry ingredients and packaging equipment

We all look forward to this project for a chance to do some good in the world, and a chance for some healthy competition as we work out the most efficient (and fun) way to accomplish out task.

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Pre-packaging step

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Details of meal packet contents

By the end, we’ve packaged our quota of meal packets, and spent a couple of hours catching up on the news for folks in the organization while we do something out of the ordinary. If you haven’t had the opportunity to practice doing some good yet this year, I encourage you to look for an opportunity in the next couple of weeks!

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Meal packets are packaged and ready to go

Infographics with a Purpose

I’m still delving into infographics, and studying the best ways to convey different kinds of information in an infographic. Magazines have been using infographics for years to convey statistical information in a lively and interesting way. The National Geographic magazine is a master of this. Infographics are also becoming common place on the web for the same reason.

I’m now looking into ways to use infographics to convey technical information to my readers at work, using the article “The 100 Best Infographics” from http://www.creativebloq.com/. Turns out there are several infographic subsets, each with a particular focus.

Data Visualization

This subset has to do with the visual representation of data – especially conveying analysis of large data sets. Data visualization looks for trends and patterns, and looks for ways to depict this in an interesting way to make the information accessible. Take a look at “Battle of the Bonds (Kisses, Cocktail, Kills, Cars & Cash)”. Here, Go Show Plates portrays key statistics in an interesting and exciting way: http://www.gbshowplates.co.uk/battle-of-the-bonds-infographic/.

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Statistics shown in an interesting way

Information Design

This subset has to do with displaying information efficiently and effectively. The format may be flowcharts, timelines, organizational charts, instructional diagrams, and cartography. The goal is to communicate the message as clearly and universally as possible. In this example, Jing Zhang shows how the digital camera in your cell phone works: https://www.behance.net/gallery/Imaginary-Factory/8067551.

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Procedure using graphics and few words

Editorial Infographics

This subset has to do with conveying editorial information. The method has been used for years, traditionally using bars, lines, and pictures to convey information. But new methods are being explored, especially for use on the web. This animated infographic by Jessica Draws for China Blueprint Online presents key statistics, and asks a challenging question to those wanting to do business with China: https://youtu.be/X92RKBE-KVY.

The term “infographics” is a general term, with some subtleties. Data visualization, information design, and editorial graphics are infographic subtypes, for conveying specific types of information.

What are Infographics Anyway?

A few weeks ago I played around with a very simple infographic in the article Creating an Infographic. Infographics convey complex information in interesting and visual ways, and are used for fast communication in our fast-paced world. I found some excellent examples of infographics in the article “The 100 Best Infographics” from www.creativebloq.com. Here are a couple of my favorites.

The Great Big List of Infographic Ideas

Take a look at Number 15 – The Great Big List of Infographic Ideas, resulting from a partnership between Barry Feldman and InfoBrandz. Notice that both graphics and words are key components of the infographic. Words are used, but just enough words to communicate essential ideas, without having to wade through big blocks of text. Also notice that the graphic itself is long and slender – the perfect dimensions for scrolling vertically on a smartphone. The content illustrates how various kinds of information can be conveyed in an info graphic.

See the infographic and learn more in Feldman’s article “Infographics 101: The Big Idea (The Great Big List of Infographic Ideas) ”.

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Timelines – one of many uses for infographics

Thirteen Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics

Number 18—Thirteen Reasons Why Your Brain Craves Infographics, was created by the designers at Neo Mam Studios. It is an infographic about infographics, and describes why infographics are so successful for communicating information. Hint: our brains are hardwired to process visual data quickly.

Notice how well the infographic conveys facts and statistics in interesting ways. It too uses the long and slender format that lends itself to scrolling on various device formats. This infographic even cites it sources, something which should appeal to those of us that like to read the original facts for ourselves.

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Fun fact in defense of infographics vs. words

 And Many More …

That’s just the tip of the iceberg. The whole list is worth studying for great ideas!