Ready-made Infographics

Ubiquitous Infographics

It seems as if infographics are everywhere now. Increasingly, the visual presentation of data is borrowing heavily from the fields of graphic art, advertising design and even cartography in an attempt to have maximum impact on the viewer, as well as to map complex relationships between data sets. Infographics are so ubiquitous and popular now that there are even infographics on infographics – below is one of my favorites and here is a link to more.

One of the implications of the current popularity of infographics is that they have become a standard and expected part of any business or marketing presentation.  The problem is that not everyone has the ability or the resources to create his or her own infographics.  And that’s were the library comes into the picture.   At the FIT Library, we always try to subscribe to the sorts of services that are actually used in industry, and it just so happens that one of our marketing databases provides users with ready-made infographics. How cool is that?

Mintel – Infographic Overviews

Mintel is a highly regarded market intelligence service that we have subscribed to for a number of years. Recently, Mintel has added infographics to both their product and market segmentation reports.

If a report has an infographic associated with it, it can be found directly under opening summary paragraph of the report and is usually the third PDF document presented for download.

Mintel’s infographics are eye-catching and colorful (if a bit formulaic) and will definitely make any presentation shine.

In the coming weeks I will be featuring other business and marketing databases that offer data visualizations.  In particular, I have an article in works that explores Passport GMID‘s visual resources, including their Datagraphics, which usually take the form of maps and interactive Visual Apps on industries and consumer attitudes.

Also in the works will be articles about free online tools for DIY infographics created from raw data.

Fashion Bloggers


Here’s some interesting reading for anyone interested in the influence or information needs of fashion bloggers.  The first of these was a collaborative effort by one of our own at the FIT Library, Nicole LaMoreaux.

For more information on fashion blogging and its influence on apparel merchandising, you might want to check out the IFB website:


How Do I Look?

Where and how should research begin?

The classic advice doled out by many librarians, including myself, is to begin with a broad overview like an encyclopedia article, work your way up to books and journal articles, and finish it with data, personal observation and/or evidence – essentially making your way backward through the information cycle from tertiary to primary sources information.

Click to see Research/Information Cycle Prezi by H. Lane

While this approach works really well in a lot of cases, the research required of someone working on a creative, visual or design related project is completely different all together.   It seems to me, that it is often largely about inspiration, as well as about the testing of methods, materials and techniques.  In many ways it has a lot in common with the work of scientists in labs, as designers similarly must call on their powers of observation, knowledge of materials, and ability to interpret results.  We have many examples in our collection at the FIT Library of sketchbooks, scrapbooks or notebooks that designers, photographers and other creatives have used for this process. I hope to feature some of these in future in blog entries.

However, there is another book – a completely different type of book – that I want to highlight in today’s entry. I discovered it by accident in early August when I decided to browse the titles on the New Book Shelf on the 5th Floor.  This unassuming, tidy little paperback manual (see cover image to the left) pulled me in as soon as I began flipping through the pages.  What struck me right away was how well designed and structured the book was — full of images and eminently readable at the same time.  Better yet it addressed one of my favorite topics: research.

Sourcing Ideas by Josephine Steed and Frances Stevenson provides clear outlines and paths that textile and surface design students can follow. It offers useful case studies and compelling visuals, and it explores a variety of methods for primary and secondary research in textile development. To sum things up, it is a friendly, inviting gem of book that is both beautiful and utilitarian.  (Click sample images to view larger).

It turns out that over the past few years the FIT Library has purchased a number books from AVA Publishing that all do a beautiful job of mapping the research process for students.  So long as they keep producing titles like Sourcing Ideas, I am sure we will keep purchasing them.