Flawed pie chart with too many categories, unhelpful colors

AllMusic had a recent poll asking readers about their favorite Beatles album. Interesting topic but the pie chart used to display the results didn’t work out so well:

 

http://infogr.am/beatles-poll-results?src=web

Two main complaints:

1. There are a lot of categories to represent here:14 different albums. While it is relatively easy to see some of the larger categories, it gets more difficult to judge the proportions of the smaller categories.

2. There are some categories clearly bigger than others but the color scene seems to have little to do with the actual album title. The palette runs from black to light gray but it does not appear to be in any order. For example, they might have used the same palette but light gray would have been Please Please Me while the darkest color could have been Past Masters. As it currently stands, the reader has to pick out the category and then try to figure out where it is in the key.

Given this comes from an app intended to help create infographics, this one isn’t so great as it suffers from two issues – lots of categories and a limited color design – that I often warn my statistics students about when using pie charts.

The popular colors coming to your home: green (it’s healthy), blue (it’s comfortable), grey (fits with stainless steel appliances)

The president of the Color Marketing Group discusses what colors are popular for homes today:

A small example: A while back we looked at the emerging interest (in the United States) in herb gardening, as it moved from suburban yards into urban areas. (We thought consumers) would find themselves relating closer and closer to herbal green colors in general. And yes, there has been an uptick in attraction toward this “healthy” green in the past few years. People find themselves saying, that would be a nice hue for my home.

About a year ago, CMG predicted that blue would dominate color movement for the next several years. This can show up in clothing fairly quickly, but in some industries, such as the auto industry, that can take a few years.

We picked blue to grow because people perceive it as stable and comfortable, reflecting how they’re more likely looking at their world these days. However, tastes in blue are moving away from denim and indigo: The actual CMG color of the year was a midrange one we called Re-Blued, which works with lots of colors of the palette, from warm to cool…

Seriously, though, gray is coming because so many of us have stainless-steel appliances in our kitchens. That has led to a gray movement in the kitchen. It’s in paint, but we see it in cabinets in stains over wood or in painted gray finishes. Or it shows up in accent colors β€” people look at driftwood gray and say, that’s a color I can live with for a long time. Europeans may change their kitchens every two or three years, but Americans live with their kitchens a lot longer.

Plus, gray is new β€” it’s a color that’s not anything that a generation before has seen in kitchens.

This is a good reminder of how while homeowners might think their furnishings and design choices are an expression of their individual tastes, choices are often shaped by an industry that wants to sell products and what these products mean. Colors and design choices run in cycles – remember those harvest gold appliances? – but consumers may not be behind much of this.

It is interesting to see green pick up steam because it is perceived as healthy. I wonder of how much this is related to it being natural as well: plants, trees, vegetables, healthy walls.

17-5641 Emerald is the color of the year for 2013

Get ready for a world of emerald in 2013:

Pantone…has named 17-5641 Emerald as the 2013 color of the year because it “continues to sparkle and fascinate,” said a rep in a statement.

More from Pantone on why emerald was chosen:

The 2012 Color of the Year, PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango, a spirited, reddish orange, provided the energy boost we needed to recharge and move forward. Emerald, a vivid, verdant green, enhances our sense of well-being further by inspiring insight, as well as promoting balance and harmony…

Most often associated with brilliant, precious gemstones, the perception of Emerald is sophisticated and luxurious. Since antiquity, this luminous, magnificent hue has been the color of beauty and new life in many cultures and religions. It’s also the color of growth, renewal and prosperity – no other color conveys regeneration more than green. For centuries, many countries have chosen green to represent healing and unity.

And if you were curious about how Pantone makes this year selection, here how Pantone describes the process:

The Color of the Year selection is a very thoughtful process. To arrive at the selection, Pantone quite literally combs the world looking for color influences. This can include the entertainment industry and films that are in production, traveling art collections, hot new artists, popular travel destinations and other socio-economic conditions. Influences may also stem from technology, availability of new textures and effects that impact color, and even upcoming sports events that capture worldwide attention.

It sounds like there is money to be made here.

It could be a fascinating study to see who follows this color of the year. Would the average consumer notice the new color of the year? In other words, could a consumer go through their closet or through their home decorations and date different objects to the color of the year? I’m going to have to pay some more attention to my own shopping and choices in the year to come…

I’m also intrigued to know if there is any continuity in colors between years. Here are the colors of the year since 2000:

  • PANTONE 17-1463 Tangerine Tango (2012)
  • PANTONE 18-2120 Honeysuckle (2011)
  • PANTONE 15-5519 Turquoise (2010)
  • PANTONE 14-0848 Mimosa (2009)
  • PANTONE 18-3943 Blue Iris (2008)
  • PANTONE 19-1557 Chili Pepper (2007)
  • PANTONE 13-1106 Sand Dollar (2006)
  • PANTONE 15-5217 Blue Turquoise (2005)
  • PANTONE 17-1456 Tigerlily (2004)
  • PANTONE 14-4811 Aqua Sky (2003)
  • PANTONE 19-1664 True Red (2002)
  • PANTONE 17-2031 Fuchsia Rose (2001)
  • PANTONE 15-4020 Cerulean (2000)

These seem to be mainly blue or bright colors. Is there a theme of vibrancy behind all of these colors?