The 56 best infographics
The best infographics should tell the story of a piece of data in an entertaining and concise way. A piece of effective data visualisation appears simple but should display the right combination of images and words to convey complex data in an impactful way (these top data visualisation tools will help). Infographics should spark interest in the data story, and allow people to understand it at a glance.
How do you design the best infographics?
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to designing infographics. However, there are several great infographic tools, which will help get you off to a great start. And these examples of infographics from around the web will show you how you can take things a step further and add a bit of style and personality to your data.
We’ll kick off with some awesomely meta infographics about infographics, before moving on to the best infographics for giving instructions, explaining a process and more (use the quick links on the right to jump to the section you want). Hopefully our picks will give you plenty of inspiration for designing great infographics for yourself.
Click the image to see the full sized infographic.
Best infographics about infographics
01. What is an infographic?
Let’s kick things off with a fun infographic using lego to present what an infographic is. This one by Hot Butter Studio displays exactly what an infographic can do for your data. Beth Kanter is a visual marketer who uses this infographic in her blog, and explains how enforcing visual order upon your data can help you and your audience to draw conclusions, and use those conclusions constructively.
02. Why your brain craves infographics
The popularity of infographics shows no signs of slowing down, but why are they so popular? This infographic by NeoMam Studios explores exactly what it is about infographics that hits the spot. It’s also beautifully designed and brilliantly executed. An online experience built with HTML5 and CSS3, you can check it out in all its interactive glory if you click the image above.
“The parallax scrolling effects were probably the most difficult to achieve,” says Neo Mam’s Danny Ashton. “Our developers looked at the available libraries and described them as a bit ‘wonky’, so they ended up creating their own instead.”
Besides that, says Ashton, the challenge in building the infographic was to keep the CSS as simple as possible. “We wanted a smooth, user-friendly experience,” Ashton explains. “That was more important to us that doing loads of ‘tricks’.”
03. The great big list of infographic ideas
While on our travels across the world wide web, we landed at InfoBrandz site and found this – yes, it’s an infographic that explains how to make the best infographic around. If you’re interested in designing an infographic but you’re not sure what you’d like it to be about, this will get you started with some ideas for themes. It also explores what topics infographics work well for.
04. The infographic of infographics
Did the title confuse you? Us too. What this infographic does is to unpick the trend for infographics and explore the stats surrounding the trend. If you’re looking to design your own, this will show you what fonts are popular, how many sections are typically included, what themes tend to crop up, and more.
Best infographics: Explore a world
05. History of Life
What better way to explore a world than by exploring our world – life on planet Earth. This gorgeous infographic by Juan Martinez defines each geological era of the world, the changing shape of the land continents, and includes timelines, life milestones and mass extinction events. It is also available to buy as a print.
06. A Stranger to Words
Artist Meng Chih Chiang created this data visualisation graph that explores her own world of language. The fascinatingly complex graph expresses the curve of her personal learning experience as she encounters language in her day-to-day life as a dyslexic.
07. Doctor Who
UK-based portrait specialist Sam Gilbey has produced various pop-culture-universe-exploring infographics over the years, including this design dedicated to 50 years of Doctor Who. His other lavishly illustrated creations to-date range from a stat-based comparison of four Avengers characters; to the 85th Academy Awards in numbers – all created for Virgin Movies. All off these three infographics are excellent examples of using illustration to add interest and shareability to a list of facts and figures, rather than analysing the data per se.
08. Hip Hop
Another prolific infographic creator, UK-based design studio Dorothy has carved something of a niche in creating highly desirable infographic-style posters. Its designs often chart the many complex connections between entertainment genres and sub-genres, and are perfect for any superfan to display on their studio walls.
Stand-out examples include the ‘blueprints’ series, exploring the history of hip hop, alternative and electronic music over the decades; the ‘colour wheel’ series, dedicated to the colour palettes of movies, books and music; and ‘star charts’, which map the relationships between seminal films, actors and directors. They all share a stunning design aesthetic, ultimately driven by data.
09. Oddity Viz
The winner of an Information is Beautiful award, Valentina D’Efilippo‘s creative visualisation of the iconic Bowie track Space Oddity contrasts Dorothy’s expansive genre-spanning creations by opting to go narrow and deep instead.
D’Efilippo worked with researcher Miriam Quick to gather data about the track, which she then visualised as a series of 10 12-inch discs, each of which deconstructs the track in a different way: according to melodies, harmonies, lyrics, structure, story and more.
10. An analysis of The Beatles?
Music-loving data nerds will get a kick from this ace interactive infographic analysing the career of the Fab Four, breaking down their career by year and by album and providing plenty of insight into who wrote what, which Beatle had the biggest vocabulary (hint: it wasn’t Ringo), what most of their songs were about and much more.
If the latest Star Wars film has put you in the mood to immediately watch the original movie, hold your horses just one second. Rather than sit through Episode IV again, why not enjoy it in infographic form? SWANH.NET is a project by Swiss illustrator Martin Panchaud, in which he’s adapted Star Wars: A New Hope into a 123-metre-long infographic. Created in Illustrator CC, using 157 pictures across 22 separate files, it took him over a year to produce.
12. Grand taxonomy of rap names
This colourful infographic examines 282 rap names in startling detail. Our favourite section? ‘Audacious spelling’ – with sub-categories of ‘Improper use of K’ (hey OutKast) and ‘Misspelled adjectives’ (that’s you, Ludacris). It was brought to you by Pop Chart Lab – a company set up by a book editor and a graphic designer who joined forces with one modest goal in mind: to render all of human experience in chart form.
13. The magnificent multitude of beer
The multitude of varieties, brands and tastes of beer available can sometimes be a little overwhelming. So what better way to showcase the taxonomy of beer than with an infographic?
Another one from Pop Chart Lab, this infographic is a 60x40in and called The Magnificent Multitude of Beer. It ended up being so big that the team had to enlist the help of another printing firm to handle the job. After all that hard work, let’s hope they found time to head to the bar.
We weren’t exactly sure which category to put this interactive infographic in. It explores a trend and a movement – the #MeToo movement to be precise, and includes a timeline. But as this movement affected so many people around the world, we thought adding it in the ‘explore a world’ category seemed appropriate.
This infographic is from Valentina D’Efilippo and focuses on the first six months of the #MeToo movement, analysing around 200,000 tweets from that time, and displaying all this with various gorgeous visuals. You can read more about the project in our post.
15. The Art History Timeline
Another timeline, and this one is a winner with us because of its popping colour, bold lines, and subject matter. Created by Matthew Cobrin for an Art History class during his undergraduate career at The New England Institute of Art in Brookline, Massachusetts, the graphic met the brief by displaying “a massive amount of information through a timeline that’s minimal and vivid”.
16. Avengers, Assemble!
This infographic breaks down facts about the superheroes that feature in Marvel’s Avengers Assemble. You can find out about each character’s strength, skills, brains, gadgets and heart via few handy pie charts. The results are then compiled to show the team’s greatest collective strengths. The character designs and clear presentation really help this infographic shine.
We love this simple but beautiful infographic for Christopher Nolan’s 2010 blockbuster movie Inception. Let’s face it, given how complex the film is, a little bit of simplicity to explain it goes a long way. The illustration was created by New York-based graphic designer Rick Slusher, his elegant summary of the film depicting each character as a coloured line; the layers of dreams depicted as concentric circles.
Best infographics: Illustrate a list
18. The ABC of design
An essential career skill for designers of all levels is the ability to explain your work effectively, and articulate your vision to clients. Fortunately the design industry is shaped by a glossary of terms that explain the technical thinking behind creative decisions, as this infographic from DesignMantic reveals.
A neat piece of design work in itself, this beautifully illustrated ABC of design runs through 26 key words every designer needs to know and turns their meaning into stylish graphics.
19. 10 commandments of UI design
This is one of the best infographics we’ve seen covering user interface, or UI design. Designmantic has come up with this go-to graphic to help you get your website interface just so. Appropriately, a lot of thought has gone into the design, too – it’s broken down into colour-coded themes (create a story, ensure accessibility and so on), with simple icons to convey the key rules within in category. It’s well worth a look wether you’re after UI design advice or inspiration on how to design an effective infographic.
20. A-Z of typography terms
Do you know your aperture from your apex? How about the difference between a finial and a flag? If not, then this typography terms infographic acts as a handy cheatsheet that will help you get up to speed. It contains all the usual suspects, plus plenty more – only a true typography pro will know all of these, so take a look to fill in the gaps in your knowledge!
After more information? Take a look at our roundup of the best typography tutorials.
21. 40 little things to break your creative block
Creative droughts are the stuff of nightmares for artists, designers, photographers, and just about anyone with an imagination. But how do you reignite your creative spark when all you want to do is give up? Designed by the team at Creative Market, this colourful list of 40 inspirational tips contains advice that artistic greats have turned to in times of need. And if these don’t work, have a look at our list of ways to overcome a creative rut.
22. 15 golden principles of visual hierarchy
Designmantic are the team behind a few of the great designs you’ll find in this list. This particular infographic breaks down the key rules you need to know to create all-important visual hierarchy in your data – from using the golden ratio to implementing grid theory to bring balance to your work.
23. The 10 commandments of typography
This infographic from Evan Brown at DesignMantic is a typography nerd’s dream. If you’ve ever found yourself aimlessly scrolling through lists of the best free fonts, this cheatsheet will help you refocus your search by providing you with some key rules.
“Even though typography is an art and art is supposed to be subjective with minimal parameters, these rules can still be applied in order to save time and too much experimentation,” he explains. “It’s always good to know the few basic dos and don’ts in order to save yourself the trouble of experimenting with too many fonts on your design.”
Next page: More of the best infographics
Best infographics: Give instructions
24. Should I work for free?
This tongue-in-cheek infographic by illustrator and typographer Jessica Hische may be seven years old now, but it turned into something of a viral sensation and influenced a slew of homages – not to mention the fact it’s every bit as relevant today as it was in 2011.
Hische used the classic flowchart method to address all the possible perspectives on this notoriously thorny and divisive issue, and built her infographic using live text in HTML and CSS to enable translation into any language. If you’d prefer it in a more traditional format, however, it’s also available as a letterpress print.
25. Desk exercises for designers
Are you reading this slumped at your desk? You’re probably not doing yourself any favours, posture-wise. And let’s face it, even if your posture is great, spending 10 hours a day (give or take) sat staring at a screen ain’t good for anyone’s bod. Sort yourself out and keep yourself in shape with this top visual guide to 10 exercises you can do right at your desk, compiled by us and illustrated by the excellent Simon Middleweek.
26. What font is best for you?
This brilliantly detailed infographic helps you determine exactly which font is best for you. Produced by Cartridge Discount, the graphic takes you on a history of typefaces and acts as a guide by delving into serif vs sans-serif, web fonts and ones for print, unique fonts and the future of fonts. Take a look and discover which font is best for you.
27. Logo design principles
This infographic from Online Logo Maker guides designers through the process of creating a logo by breaking down and examining some of the world’s biggest brands. The best logos may look simple, but break them down into their composite elements and you’ll find everything has been carefully chosen to convey something about the brand – as is explored here.
28. The Existential Calculator
Artist Kelli Anderson was asked by Adobe to “make something interesting” for designers attending an AIGA event, and this paper-made infographic, the ‘Existential Calculator’, was her response. It aims to answer that age-old question: Should I take that job?
Okay, we know that this calculation wheel might not give you all the answers to life’s questions but it sure does look nice. Learn more about The Existential Calendar on Anderson’s blog.
29. Staying happy and healthy at work
No matter how much you stretch, take breaks or go for a stroll at lunch, the working life of a designer means spending most of your time at a desk. With this in mind, it’s important to remember that you shouldn’t just be taking breaks – you should be doing everything you can at your desk to ensure a healthy lifestyle.
This infographic makes some important posture pointers. Whether you favour a sit-down desk or you’ve moved onto a standing effort, there are some brilliant tips to help your back, neck and shoulders stay in tip-top shape.
Best infographics: Make comparisons
This is the third iteration of Pop Chart Lab‘s popular superpowers infographic, the material sourced from the past 75 years of comic books and broken down into seven main skill sets: powers of the mind, animal powers, mastery, powers of the body, force control, object manipulation and weapons-based.
This vibrant design is seriously impressive, the sprawling taxonomy of over 200 superpowers and 600 superheroes and villains spreading over six square feet. We’re also loving the final rendered vintage-style design, which pays tribute to the great cosmic covers of the Bronze Age of Comics.
31. The Chart of Controllers
Take a look at the infographic above and tell us you haven’t spent hours, even days of your life thumbing several of the controllers you see! The wonderful people at Pop Chart Lab have created this infographic detailing the complete family tree of video game control schemes, including handhelds, joysticks, paddles, gamepads, rifles, steering wheels, and even a guitar.
32. Serif vs Sans: The final battle
Ever find it hard to choose between serif and sans fonts? If so, this Serif vs Sans: The Final Battle infographic might come in handy. The infographic runs through what type of typography is best suited to different projects. It also features a cracking design with cute serif and sans-serif character…err…characters battling it out for supremacy. The result? Serif is better for print and Sans is better for web.
33. The Fries That Bind Us
We all thought that McDonald’s and Starbucks were taking over the world; well, this clever infographic proves it. It looks at the number of stores each establishment has created, as well as their profits and produce. This great infographic was designed back in 2003, so the stats are out of date now, but it’s still worth a look.
Next page: More of the best infographics around
Best infographics: Explain a process
34. Apollo missions
Winner of a coveted Information is Beautiful award in 2017, Paul Button’s stunning visualisation of the Apollo missions charts every manned rocket flight by year, distance and path travelled, as well as which astronauts were on board – thus explaining incredibly complex processes such as calculating different orbits, flight paths and landing zones in a simple, visual way.
Button set out to create a tactile object that was beautiful and collectable in its own right, but ultimately driven by raw data. Accordingly, his infographic is available as a stunning white and metallic gold screen-printed poster.
35. Distance to Mars
Ever wondered how far it is to Mars? Yes, we know that Wikipedia can tell you the exact distance, but once numbers become – well, astronomical – it can be difficult to really wrap your head around them. To help you out, David Paliwoda and Jesse Williams’ motion infographic, Distance to Mars visualises these massive distances in a way that every digital designer can understand: pixels. This interactive infographic never gets less impressive.
36. How Google works
This superbly detailed visual walkthrough explores what happens at Google after you add a new piece of content (like this post) to the web. The designers of this infographic have decided to take a thoroughly digital process and make it analogue (ish), presenting the complex process is like an old-school flow diagram, complete with biro arrows and a gridded background.
37. How would you like your graphic design?
This venn diagram from Colin Harman hits the nail on the head when it comes to the value (and price) of good design. The simple design lays out all the things a client wants, invites the viewer to pick two, and tells them what the outcome will be. How badly do you want to show this to your clients?
Best infographics: Report key findings
38. Feltron Annual Report
Nicholas Feltron is best known for being a member of the product design team at Facebook. But for 10 years (until 2014), he worked on a personal project called the Feltron annual report. Every year, the designer released the daddy of all infographics documenting everything he’d done in the previous 12 months. Awesome.
39. Chinese social media landscape
This is illustrator Jessica Draws‘ first ever animated infographic. She was commissioned by China Blueprint Online to design an infographic to communicate the benefits of using Chinese social media in Australia.
40. How green is your iPad?
This startling infographic was created by the team at Sortable and depicts just how bad your favourite gadget is for the environment. As depressing as the statistics shown may be, fear not, for there’s light at the end of the recycling tunnel.
41. The Happy Show
A thought-provoking and interactive infographic exhibition by Stefan Sagmeister, The Happy Show offered visitors the experience of walking into the designer’s mind as he attempts to increase his happiness via meditation, cognitive therapy, and mood-altering pharmaceuticals.
42. CBRE statistical report
This animated infographic from Mauco Sosa, VeniVideoVici and Pedro Cobo is about as beautiful as they come. “We were commissioned by CBRE to develop an infographic series based on a global real estate statistic report,” they explain. “In order to do that, we developed a unique visual system to give the series its own personality, and to be used for the company in all further communications.”
Best infographics: Present a timeline
43. The Apple tree
This infographic is pretty outdated now – it stops in 2009. But it’s still worthy of inclusion for its clear graphic style, research and a smart play on words to boot. It just goes to show that the best infographics aren’t necessarily the most complex.
44. The life and times of Steve Jobs
There are plenty of Apple infographics dotted around the internet but this one explaining the life and times of Steve Jobs caught our eye. Two threads – one dedicated to his life, and one to his work – interweave, so you can see how one impacts the other. The clever illustration and unique layout is what makes this infographic really stand out.
45. Instagram Nation
The stats are out of date on this one, but this infographic from Online Colleges explores the meteoric rise of Instagram from its launch in 2010 through to its Android debut in 2012. A primary colour scheme and (pre-redesign) Instagram-inspired graphics give this infographic impact.
Next page: More of the best infographics
Best infographics: Simplify complex data
46. Santiago poster
Santiago de Compostela is a city in Spain that is perhaps best known for being the culmination of the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage route. So to pay tribute to all of the people who have made the journey to the alleged burial site of the Biblical apostle St. James, this infographic details the routes and identities of those who embark on the search. What’s more, this infographic is available to buy as a poster so you can reflect back on your journey forever.
47. 10 Most Dangerous Countries for Journalists
Often infographics are used for journalistic purposes, to communicate large quantities of data – which may be on a global scale – in as clear and visual a way as possible. This example by Luke Shuman is a journalistic story about journalists themselves, focusing on the alarming statistics of deaths in the line of duty in different countries around the world, as well as related information such as how many go unsolved, and apparently related trends such as the volume of online news and associated press freedom.
48. Imaginary Factory
Illustrator, designer and typographer Jing Zhang has produced a whole load of adorable infographics. In this recent series, she breaks down the ingredients of your favourite cocktails, adding her own design flair with tiny figures and scenes from the drink’s city of origin. Zhang also designed infographics exploring the inner workings of iPhones, cameras, clocks and TVs as well as coffees, cakes and teapots.
49. Wind map
A beautiful and original infographic, this animated wind map shows the delicate tracery of wind flowing over the US. The animation, developed by artists Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg, creates a series of beautiful patterns depending on which direction the wind is flowing. This project is also interactive, so you can zoom in to see more details in a specific area.
50. Dribbble: A HTML5 interactive infographic
This interactive infographic for Dribbble is lovely and creative. It’s the work of Bristol-based designer Jamie Brightmore, who created his own icon illustrations and brought them to life with CSS3 and HTML5. The simple and sleek design makes this infographic stand out.
51. Kobe Bryant
Even if you’re not interested in NBA basketball, you’ve probably heard of Kobe Bryant. In 2012 he became the youngest player in NBA history to score over 30,000 career points, and the LA Lakers released this infographic, designed by J Alexander Diaz, which gives you an insight to Kobe Bryant’s scoring numbers over the course of 17 seasons.
Best infographics: how-to guides
52. How to learn how to draw
Anna Vital is an information designer and has launched her own infographic making tool, Adioma. Vital specialises in clear, pared back infographics based around simple icons, and this design offering a guide to how to learn to draw, is a great example. It removes the complexity from the process and turns it into a step-by-step guide (granted, it may take a little while to master each step).
53. How to become a creative genius in 5 days
There is never a bad time to try something new and to set yourself challenges, but sometimes you need a little push. To get creatives up and running, Zippi has produced this great infographic that shows you how to start making your masterpiece in less than a week.
Stuffed with tips on how to get inspiration, tackle creative blocks and promote yourself, this colourful infographic walks you through each day of the process.
54. How to design the perfect logo
Want to design the perfect logo? This logo design infographic shares some advice. And while the list may seem daunting (it’s easier said than done to create something timeless, new, unique and enticing), it’s a great checklist you can use to see if your designs are on the right track.
55. Accessibility challenges in email
By now, we all know that making sure our designs are accessible to people with disabilities is a win for everyone, but this infographic showcases exactly what you can do to make sure of it. It covers everything from colour blindness to neurological disorders, as well as including some eye-opening stats to show the proportion of the population you’ll be excluding if you don’t pay heed to these rules.
56. How to be a superhero
Want to be a superhero? This infographic shows you how you can acquire a back story, a secret identity and even an arch-nemesis – you’ll be the next Superman (or Batman, or whoever your favourite is) in no time. This adorable infographic is the work of Canadian illustrator Zia Somjee. Whether you’re concerned about which colour spandex you should opt for or how you’ll go about finding your superpower, look no further than this fun and inspiring offering.
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