Recently, I watched The Founder, the true story of how Ray Kroc met Richard and Maurice McDonald and capitalised on their invention of a fast food delivery system by franchising their restaurant and brand.
Richard and Maurice had prepared the groundwork of inventing the totally new and revolutionised fashion of having hot burgers on demand and they had established their brand name of McDonald’s with the powerful symbol of the golden arches. Yet, after Kroc took their brand to the world through franchise he then made the brother’s original store go out of business and took their brand and the name McDonald’s away from them.
Richard and Maurice had a vision that Kroc saw the potential in and took advantage. Kroc does not come out well in the film and if other sources that I have read are true (Fast Food Nation) Kroc made his own success at the expense of many others.
Fortunately, most franchises are an excellent means for hard-working entrepreneurs to grow their own business through the support of an established brand and not what McDonald’s represents.
Credibly have studied the franchise industry and defined the top five successful franchises in the US. Landscaping comes out the top of the league due to it’s low barrier to entry £50k set-up costs and an annual sales average of $200-$500K – those are pretty impressive returns if you do the hard work. And, if you consider Planet Fitness has a set-up cost of almost half a million yet the average sales are $470k per year then landscaping looks even more favourable. But, you have to consider the resale value of the business and competition etc. etc.
A crisp and clean graphic that delivers the information directly and efficiently.
If you want to start a business in the US then move to San Fransisco. According to the Credibly Business Index, at 92% the West Coast city known for cable cars is the most friendly place in the US for small businesses. Its close proximity to Silicon Valley also means that all the supporting businesses to this vast economy can thrive in the shadow of their vast wealth. With an annual revenue of over $70 million for small businesses, it’s a big slice of pie.
What I especially like about this infographic is that the design is graphical and almost Mondrian in its use of horizontal and diagonal lines with accents of blocked colour to draw the eye to the numbers that matter.
The linear design divides the page into clear sections and allows the eye to easily digest the information as it scans down the page – dipping in here-and-there to consume a little more as it wants.
This is a clear example of how a stripped back design that is functional and industrial in its nature is a much better offering than a page crowded with too much unnecessary ‘fluff’. Afterall, good design is about removing elements until only the very essentials are left behind.
Not only a good survey and use of data crunching but well presented too. Elegance and simplicity in design are so unappreciated.
You might consider shelving to be the ‘wallpaper’ of life. Something that you don’t ever think about but where would we be without it? We need the utility but when is it ever at the forefront of your mind?
Warehousing is a ‘wallpaper’ industry. It exists in the background of life not making any noise or fuss or drawing attention to itself. But we need warehousing in our industrial and material world. Storing, stocking, picking, packing, shifting, shelving, moving, lifting.
Niche industries are fascinating and make the best content and infographics in terms of delivering very specific information targeted at a focused target audience. Pieces of content that fall into this category may be skimmed over as little interest but are undervalued for what they deliver to the intended audience.
There are approximately 11,000 commercial warehouses in the United States and 47% of commercial warehouse space is licensed under the United States Warehouse Act. That is a lot of warehousing space and a lot of regulation is needed.
I could imagine that designing a warehouse is not dissimilar to the retro game Tetris. A lot of boxes and bricks that need to fit into a predetermined space in the most efficient way to improve inventory management. At an average of 22 feet height of a warehouse, that’s a lot of Tetris bricks to stack in place.
In the wake of the latest major security breach that happened to the NHS the world is aware of the threats of cyber crime. The Wannacry virus woke the world up to the reality of how dependent we are on computer systems and how vulnerable as a result. Also, how every life can be touched by a cyber crime. Who would have thought that a patient visiting A&E would have their life impacted by cyber crime? As they sat and waited amidst the chaos.
It’s always good timing to launch a piece of content on the back of a high profile news story and this infographic has really nailed their timing. The world is on alert; you have the world’s attention.
It’s a sad fact of life that we are so vulnerable to scammers and that we have to be extra vigilant because some people decided to make a living by taking from others. The saddest fact on this infographic that stands out to me is that in 2013 $84 million was lost to romance scammers. Taking advantage of lonely hearts, that’s on a level with clubbing baby seals to death.
As the infographic says, no business is safe from the threat of a cyber attack. I have experienced attacks and hacks through clients and strive to be as security conscious as possible. But, you are only as strong as your weakest link. It only takes one careless person to click on a spurious link or download an unsafe app. Or, you might just have a hole in your security that is exploited and no one is really to blame. Unfair.
Dirty dishes and cups under the bed, piles of dirty clothes in the corner of the room, toys scattered around the house, homework books left at school – sound familiar? Oh, by-the-way, I have soccer practise today and need my clean kit. You’re kidding me?
Kids and chaos go hand-in-hand. Forget the zen-like space you used to live in before they came along. If you can find the car keys in the morning it’s a miracle.
Kids are not by their nature inclined to say, can I help with that? Let me do the chores tonight. I have everything I need organised for school tomorrow. These mini-mes need help and coaching to become the perfect well-rounded adults we aspire them to be. They’re just kids, they need to learn.
A few tips on how to mentor these little grunge monsters:
Set a daily routine for chores:
Train them to understand that organizaional skills are essential in team sports
If they are more organised they can have more time to play
There is no doubt that technology and specifically the internet has changed the world dramatically over the last twenty years. In the same way that the invention of the printing press preceded the ‘enlightenment’ and changed the way information was distributed; knowledge became accessible by anyone (who could read).
Technology and creativity are parallel to each other existing in a symbiotic relationship that feeds each other and helps each other to grow. The creative thinking that inspired the development and evolution of technology; the technology that enables and realises creative ideas far more efficiently and readily than before.
When I recollect the introduction of the first mass production Macintosh computer and the impact that had on the publishing and design world at the end of the eighties, this changed design layout forever. No more cut and paste and limitations of a Letraset catalogue. I even remember working with Photoshop 1.0 – it used to take about 30 minutes to render a filter, but it opened up so much possibility for photo montage that sparked the ‘deconstruction’ era of work by Dave Carson et al.
And today, the progression in coding opens up even more room for creative expression, with the development of animation and interactivity. The application and seamless integration of technology into the real world with augmented reality. I could go on.
What should an infographic be? Is it data visualisation, is it graphic and illustrative, is it information or is it entertainment? Infographics can cover all of the above and more, but an infographic is a tool to provide relevant information with or without an emotional connection to your audience.
Brands use infographics to connect with the customer and audience; this is a fact. There is such a saturation of information online that cutting through the noise is increasingly difficult, if not impossible. Creating topics that can gain attention, be informative and be entertaining is not easy – having ideas that can work is a tough game. I should know I do this for a living.
Many pieces of content revert to combining two obscure subjects to gain attention, such as what fishing taught me about business or what London fashion week taught me about my relationship, etc. etc. But these are just title with little value and a lot of cliche.
What I do like about What Dog Breed Matches your MBTI Personality infographic, is that it is a startling unusual combination of a headline and makes me stop to say, what? But, it is also based on real factual information. It’s advised that people choose a dog based on their personality and lifestyle, in fact, it’s not just myth that dogs and their owners look alike!
I consider this an insightful twist on a content topic and is one of the better combinations of random title ideas I have seen in a while.
The design focuses on photographs of the dogs, and this works well. I would like to see the text at a bigger size for readability, but generally, this is a well thought out piece of content.
Relevancy to your audience should be the first thing you think of when creating content and specifically for infographics. Your goal should be to create something informative that your audience can learn and benefit from. Repurposing content that would otherwise be confusing, uninspiring or lost within the page.
Any niche which is considered ‘boring’ or ‘dull’ can overcome this by formatting information in a visual manner. Take a body of content that would be dry and tedious to read if it were a wall of text and convert this into a series of illustrations and sections which can be easily skimmed by the eye and information consumed in easy to read bites.
Infographics have become a huge market and the volume of niche content is expanding. I like to see content presented in an illustrative form as it is much easier for the brain to consume whilst being engaging and a more pleasant experience for a user. This is really what matters.
Leading Causes of Workplace Injuries infographic follows the template of taking information, that could be overlooked in a plain article, and have created a graphic that is easy to read, visual and delivers relevant information. Creative Saftey Supply know who their audience are and have delivered a piece of content that would be of interest specifically to them.
The design is broken down into sections, each illustrated by a ‘fun’ figure representative of the section. The main percentage statistic is bold and stands out in the visual hierarchy. The graphic can be visually skimmed and the facts consumed within seconds. The focus of graphical communication is to instantly convey information – and this is what you have.
Combining two random ideas to create a new idea is one form of idea generation. It can produce highly innovative concepts with a fresh way of looking at things. Putting one piece of information into context with another helps the brain to understand the information being presented by comparing it to something a person relates to.
Information within a story that someone can relate to creates an emotional response in a reader. A person with an emotional connection is more likely to trust a brand or use their product – becuase they feel an affinity with it.
Making a connection between running a marathon and home security might at first appear to be a tenuous or bizarre comparison. But, when you stop and think to consider that a burgalry is likely to happen when you are enjoying leisure activity or on holiday then it starts to make more sense. Traveling to compete in a marathon is time away from home and it leaves your home exposed.
So, quirky – yes. But, it does make sense. I have to admire the thought process to generate this idea.
What ADT have cleverly achieved with this piece of content is to focus on a niche demographic – marathon runners – and begin to make an emotional connection by asking the question: is your home safe when you are running your marathon? The strapline: ‘Be active with your life. Be proactive with your home protection.’ affirms the connection.
The design clearly represents the concept with a ‘fun’ illustrative style and delivers key stats and facts about the theme. America is Active infographic is a unique infographic concept with a focus on delivering information about core products.
World Earth Day is on Friday 22nd April. In alignment with this awareness day I have been forwarded an infographic with a subject of ‘saving the air’.
The fact that we now spend so much of our lives indoors (87% apparently) in practically air tight sealed buildings has attributed to a huge increase in breathing problems such as asthma, allergies and general ill health. The superior healing benefits of spending time outdoors, in fresh unpolluted air is nothing new. Even the Victorians were aware of the health restorative benefits of ‘taking the air’ at the coast and was often administered by physicians.
It also used to be that once-upon-a-day that when spring came round the entire contents of a house would be taken outside to be aired and the non fixed carpets would be taken outside and beaten within a inch of their lives. Pre double glazing the gaps in windows and around doors would ensure that a house had considerable draughts and air flowing through constantly. Sadly, in our advanced technological age we have managed to move backwards by trapping ourselves in air tight boxes which harbour chemicals, dust mites, allergens and VOCs. Slowly poisoning ourselves to death.
I may have diverted on an extreme tandem regarding the subject of this infographic so I will come back to the main topic and point which is improving the quality of air in your home and how you can save energy by being efficient with your air conditioning systems.
The Save the Air infographic from Save Your Air, does highlight interesting facts surrounding the quality of air in our homes. As quoted above, the most shocking statistic to take away from this piece of content is the fact that Americans spend 87% of their time indoors. I find this sad because we now have such a disconnect with nature and the earth – presumably the link to World Earth Day – it is no surprise that we have lost our respect for the seasons and the planet.
The design of this infographic is pleasant and very much aligned with the topic. All the information is clearly delivered in a well balanced composition. The simplicity of the graphics is ‘on trend’ and offers a fresh graphic visual.