Halloween: run for your life?

By Dieuwertje van Dijk, Data Visualization Designer at Datylon.

Who are you dealing with on Halloween’s night? Vampire, mummy, ghost, witch? Learn when to run for your life.

This article is part of Datylon’s data stories. We periodically share data visualization resources, best practices, and other news on our blog and via email. Sign up here to get them directly to your inbox.

It’s that time of the year again when you shouldn’t be surprised if you bump into terrifying-looking people with teeth covered in blood. Or… are they really people? 🧛🏻 So you’d better be prepared if this happens to you. Check out the infographic below and you will know why on Halloween you should stuff your pockets with salt, your grandma’s silver earrings, a bottle of water, and a lighter.

To help people know what to expect today, we conducted research about ten popular Halloween characters you might come across, depending on how unlucky you are. We gathered data about their characteristics including their species and lifestyle. Secondly, we collected data about their special powers such as invisibility or intangibility, the power to morph (shapeshifting), if they have an infectious bite and if they are immortal. Lastly, we analyzed their willingness to kill you and how you can kill them. But we advise you not to try to kill anyone and for legal reasons, we always recommend you to run, as we don’t want to be held accountable.

Follow the steps to find who you are dealing with, what you can expect from them, and how to kill them if that could save your life.

Infographic: Who are you dealing with on Halloween’s night? Vampire, mummy, ghost, witch? Learn when to run for your life.

How this infographic was created

For this infographic, we gathered data from different sources about ten popular Halloween characters. We collected data about their characteristics, special powers, willingness to kill you, and how you can kill them.

For step 1 of the infographic, we created a decision tree with Adobe Illustrator to find out what character most probably is standing in front of you and what to do if you can not determine the character. This type of chart is most commonly used in decision analysis and determines consequences based on choices you make while going down the tree. Strategies can be found at the end of each branch, like in this infographic “Can be anything, run!”. We chose not to put strategies at each end of the branches but to show you who you are dealing with instead. In step 2 more information can be found about the characters on which you can base your own strategy.

Halloween infographic — step 1 (made with Datylon for Illustrator)
Decision tree created with Adobe Illustrator

In step two we created multiple scatter plots with the main attributes of the ten Halloween characters. These charts were created with the Datylon for Illustrator plug-in. The plug-in makes it very easy to create technical solid charts but makes it also possible to add visual elements to the infographic easily with Adobe Illustrator.

For the left part of the design, we created multiple scatter plots and accumulated them. We started with a scatter plot representing the characteristics of the characters, including their species (circle or triangle icons) and their lifestyle (filled or outlined icons). Moreover, this scatter plot also shows their willingness to kill (you or anyone on their way) by the size of the icon. Hereafter we added separate scatter plots for all the special powers and for their weakness on top of the other scatter plot.

Discover our scatter plot resource page with helpful design tips and learn how to create truly impactful scatter plots with Datylon.

On the right side of the design you can find the same information but now in the form of an iconized checklist. This checklist was also created with a scatter plot with the Datylon for Illustrator plug-in. This checklist is at the same time a legend which makes it easy to interpret the data without looking back and forth between a legend and the visual. Moreover, the checklist makes it possible to easily find out how many of the characters have a specific attribute.

We decided to use both the iconized checklist and the accumulated scatter plots although they both show the same data. At Datylon we think that both, evoking the right emotions and interpreting the data easily, are very important in data visualization. With the accumulated scatter plots we tried to evoke creepy feelings associated with Halloween and the iconized checklist makes it possible to easily interpret the data.

Halloween infographic — step 1 (made with Datylon for Illustrator)
Accumulated scatter plots and an iconized checklist created with Datylon for Illustrator.

At Datylon we are also evangelists of using annotations to give some context to the data, which is why we made it very easy to add them with Datylon for Illustrator. Since probably not all of the characters are well known by the viewers, we added annotations to show the goal in life of some of the characters.

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