Investing goals

December 8, 2013 § Leave a comment


Editors and designers of quarterly investor newsletters face the daunting challenge of putting a fresh take on familiar messages. This chart from T Rowe Price offers a new way of looking at asset allocation over time. It tackles the idea with a free-form visualization. Note how the chart hinges on a zero base for when you plan to spend your money and fans out to the left and right to depict years before and after the goal. The chart depicts asset allocations but lets the key handle the sub-asset categories. It’s easy to read and it tells you a lot.


Shark attacks

October 7, 2012 § 1 Comment

shark attacks

Shark attacks loom large in our imaginations even though the chance of being killed by a shark is infinitesimally small. Our obsession with shark statistics provides fodder for compelling charts, such as the classic infographic by the Ft. Lauderdale Sun-Sentinal shown above or the more sparse, image-driven chart below.

Visual journalists most frequently go to the International Shark Attack File at the Florida Museum of Natural history for shark-attack data. The site posts an annual report that includes trends by location and circumstance.
Here are some examples of terrifying details charted in the report.

Another source, the similarly named Shark Attack File, provides less analysis but greater detail on each shark-attack report.
Here’s an example from the National Post of how you can use these stats. The Post’s team created an icon for each recorded attack over the past 100 years.

Halloween statistics

October 27, 2011 § Leave a comment

halloween costume statistics graphic
Each year the National Retail Federation releases a survey on how much Americans plan to spend on Halloween, how they plan to celebrate and what costume they will wear. They survey offers a chance to create some interesting charts. Above is an example from The Wall Street Journal. Below is a graphic from the Columbia Missourian (
Halloween infographic from Columbia Missourian

Visual conceit

October 9, 2011 § Leave a comment

Adonis Durado, the design director of the Times of Oman has employs what he calls “visual conceit” to drive his pages. For a presentation on visual conceipt, go here:

Arab-Latin mashup

September 5, 2011 § Leave a comment

A crazy mashup of Middle-Eastern and Latin styles has emerged from the infographics coming out of the Emirates. Peruvian designer Luis Chumpitaz, at the Arab Media group, lies at the heart of this trend. Check out his portfolio:

SSND online design winners

April 21, 2011 § Leave a comment

The Student Society for News Design announced its awards for online design April 19. Syracuse and Missouri had strong showings. (Above is the splash page from Syracuse student David Miller’s piece, “Jerry’s Cabin.”

Among the winners:


Web sites:

Economic history

March 8, 2011 § Leave a comment

angus maddison world gdp

When China officially became the world’s second-largest economy last month, the Wall Street Journal ran this chart, which shows the world economy way back to 1820. Before seeing this data, I hadn’t imagined you could show Gross Domestic Product figures so far into the past. That’s because I hadn’t discovered the work of late economist Angus Maddison, a world scholar of quantitative macroeconomic history and the go-to source for historical GDP figures. His statistics stretch to 1 AD and are presented in purchasing power parity, a GDP calculation that adjusts for differences in wages and prices among economies.

Following is a link to his data:

And to the University of Groningen page dedicated to him:

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