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learning, conceptualizing + communicating data with infographics, visualizations, etc...
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Visual Design: Understanding Color Theory and the Color Wheel

Visual Design: Understanding Color Theory and the Color Wheel | visual data | Scoop.it

Sometimes the toughest step in building a new website or redesign can be the conceptual ones. Selecting a color palette is one of them that can be tough if you don’t have the right tools. So where do you start?


It all comes down to basic color theory and the color wheel. That same tool that teachers used in school really is the basis for how designers plan and use color in almost every project from the simplest web page to expansive brands with multiple sites and campaigns...

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Infographics and Visualizations as Tools For the Mind

Infographics and Visualizations as Tools For the Mind | visual data | Scoop.it
Designing an infographic or a data visualization is an act of engineering. Does this idea sound strange to you? Sometimes it does when I present it in lectures and classes. Many people tend to think that I am indulging in some sort of vague game of metaphors, but I am not. I say it quite literally. I believe that an infographic is a tool in a very similar way that hammers, saws, and screwdrivers are tools: They are instruments we devise and build to extend our capacities beyond their natural limits, to accomplish feats that would be extremely difficult — or even impossible — if tried without their aid. We humans are natural-born cyborgs. We are used to getting raw materials from the environment (whether that’s iron and wood, or information and data) and giving them shapes that are adapted to certain goals or tasks.

Think about it this way: Tools are not always actual objects designed to help us with physical activities. A notebook, whether it is a Moleskine or an Evernote digital document, is a tool that expands our memory. A digital calculator, whether it is an inexpensive machine bought in the nearest Dollar Tree or an app downloaded to your iPhone, frees you from the burden of having to retain and execute many complex mathematical algorithms. Non-physical tools (or sets of tools and practices), such as statistics and the scientific method, evolved to let us gaze beyond what we would normally see, and to overcome our deepest biases and lazy habits of mind. The same is true for great visual displays of information...

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Why “Infographic Thinking” Is The Future, Not A Fad

Why “Infographic Thinking” Is The Future, Not A Fad | visual data | Scoop.it
We get a lot of infographic pitches. Almost all of them suck. Why?

Because while they may well be "information plus graphics," they often lack what designer Francesco Franchi calls "infographic thinking." This isn’t just "how to make some numbers and vector graphics look clever together." It’s a narrative language--it’s "representation plus interpretation to develop an idea," to quote Franchi. He’s the art director of IL (Intelligence in Lifestyle), the monthly magazine of Il Sole 24 ORE, one of Italy’s top financial newspapers, and if you look at his work, you quickly get the sense that he knows what the #*(@ he’s talking about. He lays out his thoughts on "infographic thinking" in this video podcast from Gestalten...

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In Defense of Infographics

In Defense of Infographics | visual data | Scoop.it

Most data isn’t simple. When we hear that Americans donate over $300 billion a year to charity, our minds cannot grasp how much money that is unless we can visualize it. David McCandless lets us see how much money $300 billion is… by making it an infographic and comparing that amount to other amounts...

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Color Theory | Visual.ly

Color Theory | Visual.ly | visual data | Scoop.it

A quick color reference chart for designers...

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The value of data visualization

The value of data visualization | visual data | Scoop.it
David McCandless has the rare ability to make sense out of our world with words and images.

As a data journalist and information designer with a killer sense of humor ("My pet-hate is pie charts. Love pie. Hate pie-charts"), his talk at Social Commerce Summit Europe was a hit. We wanted more, so we put the following interview together. Enjoy!

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Visualizing Databases | Digital Humanities Specialist

Visualizing Databases | Digital Humanities Specialist | visual data | Scoop.it

Summaries and statistics drawn from within the structure of the database are not enough. If there is to be any real grappling with the database as an culturally-embedded construct, then it has to be done in a manner that reveals the data, the model and the population simultaneously.

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luiy's curator insight, March 25, 2013 6:11 AM

I’ve become quite the fan of Gephi, lately, and received a good-natured challenge by one of my colleagues, which went something like, “Why is a everything a network with you, now?”  Obviously, in the case of social network-like phenomena, such as mapping collaboration in the Digital Humanities with the DH@Stanford graph–network theory and network language (whether visual or theoretical) make sense.  Network analytical tools like Gephi are also only a short step away from spatial analytical tools, like ArcGIS, many of which are used to ask questions about geographic networks and not about the kind of continuous data found in topography.

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Can infographics show you the money?

Can infographics show you the money? | visual data | Scoop.it
History teaches that deception is an easy way to get people's attention. Some infographics may accentuate the positive to point us to the truth, but most just create confusion.
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Infographics are Useful –But They Must Evolve « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing

Infographics are Useful –But They Must Evolve « Web Strategy by Jeremiah Owyang | Social Media, Web Marketing | visual data | Scoop.it
Infographics are Useful –But They Must Evolve http://6sen.se/nJZODA...
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Six Design Lessons from the Bauhaus: Masters of the Persuasive Graphic

Six Design Lessons from the Bauhaus: Masters of the Persuasive Graphic | visual data | Scoop.it

The Bauhaus school of art and architecture in early 20th century Germany was the birthplace of a revolution in modern design. Founder Walter Gropius’ form-follows-function philosophy transformed advertising, typography, architecture, people’s living spaces, and the public’s aesthetic expectations in fundamental ways.


The Bauhaus mission — to provide affordable, artistic, utilitarian design for every class of person — was a smashing success. Today, their crisp, geometric style is reflected in successful design everywhere: from billboards to infographics. And it still serves its original purpose: to honor functionality with beauty, to please the eye and capture the mind.


So what can today’s graphic designers learn from the Bauhaus? Let’s go to school!

Lauren Moss's insight:

Graphic design concepts from the Bauhaus that inform visual communication practices: form reflects function, the valuable roles of color and typography, why design should be accessible, and the importance of collaboration...

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The Narrative Eros of the Infographic

The Narrative Eros of the Infographic | visual data | Scoop.it

In 1976, neuroscientist Douglas Nelson definitively described the cognitive potency of the image as the pictorial superiority effect. He and others have shown that our brains are essentially hard-wired for visuals—the very architecture of our visual cortex allows graphics a unique mainline into our consciousness. According to Allan Pavio’s somewhat controversial dual-coding theory, imagery stimulates both verbal and visual representations, whereas language is primarily processed through only the verbal channel. While there has been considerable pushback to Pavio’s theory since its introduction in the 1970s, numerous experiments have shown that imagery activates multiple, powerful neural pathways of memory recall...

It is no surprise, then, that our media are now saturated with such infographics, both on-and off-line, as a host of publications such as The New York Times, Good, The Guardian, Wired, Time, The Economist, The Believer, and The Wall Street Journal all regularly depend on data visualizations to provide their readers with that on-the-spot, quasi-highbrow sociological analysis. As one might expect, the output is decidedly mixed. Faced with a glut of mediocre charts and diagrams, there is now a backlash among designers and journalists against the overuse of meaningless infographics...

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Infographic: What Colors Should You Use?

Infographic: What Colors Should You Use? | visual data | Scoop.it
Infographic: What Colors Should You Use?

‘The Psychology of Color’ explores what colors should and should not be used in interiors, and why certain colors are used in advertising.

According to the infographic, offices should be painted blue, as it is the “most productive color”. Living rooms should be painted lavender, to calm the nerves and offer relaxation. Yellow increases metabolism, and gives you energy.

The infographic also states that the color red: “evokes strong emotion, encourages appetite, passion or intensity”.

Black, white, silver and gold colors are often used for luxury items (Chanel, Prada, Michael Kors)—to enhance the feeling of sophistication...

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What Makes a Good Infographic?

What Makes a Good Infographic? | visual data | Scoop.it

Not even the experts agree. Despite sharing a common goal – to create solutions that meet their respective communication objectives – designers fight over the most basic notion in information design: what does and what doesn’t constitute an infographic?

Among the different approaches to visualization, one design element stands out in dividing the schools of thought: decoration.

Business intelligence expert Stephen Few sums up his disdain for the ornamentation of infographics: “When visualizations are used primarily for artistic purposes, they are not what we call data visualizations or infographics, which are terms that have been in use for a long time with particular meanings.”

Another highly visible figure, David McCandless, has popularized artistic visualizations and introduced data as a storytelling category to a wider audience. He describes his work:

“I love taking all kinds of information – data, numbers, ideas, knowledge – and making them into images. When you visualize information in this way, you can start to see the patterns and connections that matter.”

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There’s Something About Yellow

There’s Something About Yellow | visual data | Scoop.it
Maroon. Chartreuse. Marigold. Cerulean. There are many colors to choose from when designing infographics and data visualizations.

Is there such a thing as the “right” colors or the “wrong” colors to use? I’m not going to tell you that my favorite color is better than yours, but there is something special about the color yellow...

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What Data Visualization Can Learn from Game Design

What Data Visualization Can Learn from Game Design | visual data | Scoop.it
Involvement, motivation and narrative: here's how the key concepts of game design and 3D learning environments can be successfully applied to the field of data visualization.
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Infovis, infographics, and data visualization: Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science

Infovis, infographics, and data visualization: Statistical Modeling, Causal Inference, and Social Science | visual data | Scoop.it

My first goal is to get statisticians and social science researchers to think more about their goals in displaying numerical information. It would be great if infovis could inspire and empower researchers to better visualize their data, models, and inferences.

My second goal is for graphics designers and creators of information visualization tools and infographics to become aware of a statistical perspective in which a graph can not only be evocative of data but can also convey quantitative comparisons. Appreciating new tools is fine, but I think infovis could also benefit from focused criticism and improvement, which might start with refections on the goals of any graph.

My third, modest, goal is for statisticians and graphics designers alike to consider the virtues of multiple displays: maybe an infographic to grab the reader’s attention, followed up by a more conventional dotplot or lineplot to display as much of the data as possible, and maybe then an unusual and innovative plot that might be hard to read but might inspire some out-of-the-box thinking.

One way to get the best of both worlds is to recognize the limitations of our separate approaches. On the web, there’s plenty of space for multiple visualizations of the same data...

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AN Video> Reimagining with Artist Ricardo Cid

AN Video> Reimagining with Artist Ricardo Cid | visual data | Scoop.it

With a background in engineering, artist Ricardo Cid uses visualization to understand and reimagine everything from periodic elements to playing the sax.

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