If a picture is a 1,000 words than an online visual is worth a fair bit more.

I love ’em. Infographics. Awesome. Interactive charts. Amazing. Multimedia graphics. Sign me up. The world of digital is teaching all of us to be better designers. In fact, in this post-Instagram purchase world, viable career options exist for graphic designers to be pivotal players on the ground floor of most web start-ups.

Last week, I had the privilege of being on Sheridan College’s year end exhibition and panel of speakers on #illustrationism. As much as I enjoyed the panel discussion, I was amazed by the array of talent on display, including some multimedia exhibits.  The world needs great design like this, I repeat great.

For this type of work at the top end, there will always be a place and money for leading, intuitively smart design.But as it’s been true of music, media, publishing and entertainment industries before it, the world of design is changing rapidly and making average design commoditized. Why should there be special dispensation for the design world to be immune from the increasing digitization of its low and middle end basics?

And on the basics, consider the following 30 resources, tools and apps:

Crowdsourcing Design:

#1 99designs  – logo, stationary and web designs from around the world – more than 135,000 projects completed http://99designs.com/

#2 Crowdspring – 43 design and writing categories with a 96% satisfaction rate  http://www.crowdspring.com/

Stock Images:

#3 iStockphoto – 55% of the stock image marketplace http://www.istockphoto.com/

#4 Shutterstock – over 19 million royalty free stock images and photos http://www.shutterstock.com/

Visualization Tools:

#5 Tableau Public – a set of tools and community for visuals http://www.tableausoftware.com/public/community

#6 IBM’s Many Eyes – upload data, visualize and share it  http://www-958.ibm.com/software/data/cognos/manyeyes/

#7 Mindmeister – Brainstroming and mind mapping made easy http://www.mindmeister.com/

#8 Wordle – tagging clouds from text or websites http://www.wordle.net/

#9 Dipity – dynamic timeline vidualizations http://www.dipity.com/

#10 Google Motion Charts – moving graph able visualizations  https://developers.google.com/chart/interactive/docs/gallery/motionchart

#11 Circos – circular genomic data http://circos.ca/

#12 Newsmap – making sense of Google News http://newsmap.jp/

Social Visualizations:

#13 Friendwheel – your Facebook friends meet spirograph http://thomas-fletcher.com/friendwheel/

#14 LinkedIn InMaps – mapping your network on LinkedIn http://inmaps.linkedinlabs.com/

Chart Mapping:

#15 Persuasion Map – make your argument in 5 minutes of less http://www.readwritethink.org/files/resources/interactives/persuasion_map/

#16 Gliffy – flowcharting made easy http://www.gliffy.com/

#17 Google Chart Tools – live data charting for your website https://developers.google.com/chart/

Organizing/Curating Design:

#18 Flipboard – the social magazine for iPad http://flipboard.com/

#19 Pinterest – the social curation of photos –  http://pinterest.com/

#20 Zite – the personalized magazine for tablets http://zite.com/

#21 Storify – telling stories by curating social media http://storify.com/

#22 Lexipedia – word meaning, the new visual dictionary http://www.lexipedia.com/


#23 iThoughtsHD – creating mind maps on iPads http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ithoughtshd-mindmapping/id369020033?mt=8

#24 Numbers from Apple – a spreadsheet app for IPad http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/numbers/id361304891?mt=8


#25 Daily Infographics – visually stimulating and arresting infographics everyday http://dailyinfographic.com/

#26 ChartPorn – data visualizations you gotta love http://chartporn.org/

#27 Wallstats – posterable information http://www.wallstats.com/

#28 Strange Maps – a collection of 500+ of the world’s most intriguing maps http://bigthink.com/blogs/strange-maps

#29 Visual Complexity – the visualization of complex networks http://www.visualcomplexity.com/vc/

#30 Gapminder – bringing to life the world of statistics http://www.gapminder.org/

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This