Places & Spaces My Library

My Library – The Best American Infographics 2013

March 20, 2014

Today I have another my library post for you. The best American Infographics 2013 was gifted to me by a dear friend back in October 2013, who had come back from Chicago with this beauty. Thank you M. The book, as the title indicates, highlights the best infographics produced that year.

What is it about this type of graphics that is so engaging? Of course, it has something to do with the era of technology and big data we live in. Infographics can provide us with a quick visual synopsis of any complex subject matter. It’s a very vogue way of seeing and understanding the world we live in! I’ve chosen some of my favourites here. Each artist explains the choice of visual representation with a statement.

This book has given me many hours of pleasure. I hope you like it as much as I do!

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving The best American Inforgraphics 2013 (cover) edited by Gareth Cook with an introduction by David Byrne.

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving Understanding Social Media with Bacon | Artist: Corey Smith

Statement: “I saw a picture of a whiteboard showing the same concept with donuts. I figured bacon was a bit more inspiring, and so I redesigned it with my own artwork and some variations on how a few of the social media elements were represented. I didn’t intend for this infographic to become so popular. I thought I was designing it for me.” Publication: (February 13, 2012)

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving
E-mail: help for Addicts | Artist: Wendy MacNaughton (one of my favourite illustrators)

Statement: “I usually make diagrams to make sense of things that are abstract or complex. This flowchart, however, is more about self-help. Like everyone these days, I’m drowning in e-mail. But it’s my own fault. I have three e-mail accounts. I check them at least ten times a day (more like an hour). I respond to e-mails with “How are you?,” ensuring another e-mail comes my way. I am the reason that I’m drowning. Creating this chart helped me see that I had a problem, accept it, and start on the road to recovery. Remember: unless it’s a family emergency, Don’t Check! PS: Families don’t e-mail emergencies.” Publication: Dell Inc. on (April 19, 2012)

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving
How to score a seat in First Class | Artist: Sergio Peçanha

Statement: “Normally, the Travel section is packed full of pictures of wonderful places. But the cover story for this week took a look at what happens behind the scenes when you are at the gate and hoping to score a free airline upgrade. the stark differences between being pampered like royalty in first class and traveling like a sardine in economy seemed like a good opportunity to explain the complex process airlines use to determine whether you make the cut or not – and also a chance to have some fun with the graphic. One piece of trivia: The faces of the people inside the sardine can were based on those of some of my colleagues at the new York Times. The pampered King on the left side looks, coincidentally, like me.” Publication: New York Times (June 10, 2012)

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving
How to Be Happy | Artist: Gustavo Vieira Dias

Statement: “I’m very happy to be featured in this book, and I’m glad more people will have access to this piece of work. I hope you will be able to answer ‘yes’ to the question “Is life good?” Publication: Online as a wallpaper for desktop, iPad and iPhone (January 2012)

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving
And the Oscar Goes to……. New York City | Artist: Stevie Remsberg, Rebecca Berg, Amanda Dobbins, Eric Sundermann and Thomas Alberty

Statement: “We built a world map showing where every nominee for the Best Picture Oscar takes place. (It included 493 films, going back to 1928). Countries and cities have been proportionally scaled to match the number of films set there, revealing that New York City is, far and away, the location most likely to get a filmmaker an Oscar. Great Britain, and especially London, are also winners. Useful tip if you’re trying to win one: Don’t make a movie in the Midwest, unless it’s in Chicago.” Publication: New York magazine (February 6, 2012)

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving

The best American Infographics 2013 - colourliving
The Breaking Bad Body Count | Artist: John D. LaRue (personal note: we’ve just finished watching all 62 episodes and are still in grieving mode)

Statement: “As an avid fan of Breaking Bad, I wanted to create something that would allow all other fans to remember details they may have forgotten. Given the show’s chemistry theme, the chemical death formulas and the “periodic Table of Death” featured at the bottom meshed well. You will notice in some cases that, instead of a figure of a person, there are icons – the head of a tortoise, a pink teddy bear – which avid fans of the show will appreciate. Everyone else: watch the show.” Publication: (September 2, 2012)

Please note that the spread in my book was illustrated after the 54rth episode of Breaking Bad, so didn’t account for all deaths until the very end of the show. Source of last image here.

I was thinking how fun it would be to do an infographics of a few years worth of blog posts. Anyone? I cannot recommend this book high enough to those of you who love good and intelligent infographics. Another true gem in my library!

You Might Also Like


  • Reply Catherine@farmhousehome March 20, 2014 at 10:49 am

    This book is great, I especially love the understanding social media with bacon. You have a fantastic library Tina, I could happily spend hours browsing through this book and others you have in your library. xx

    • Reply tina March 26, 2014 at 10:30 pm

      Ha. One day, when you visit you can do exactly that:-) xx

  • Reply alisonsye March 21, 2014 at 8:32 pm

    Well, this is absolutely right up my street, I would never tire of looking at it.
    Love the bacon one and, of course, I now have to peruse the Breaking Bad one for about 3 hours!
    Have a great weekend, Tina x

    • Reply tina March 26, 2014 at 10:31 pm

      I knew you would geek out on this too. There are many great infographics here but of course, the Breaking Bad is amazing, especially after watching all episodes.
      Thanks Alison x

  • Reply Gerard @WalnutGrey March 24, 2014 at 5:27 pm

    Well… “And the Oscar Goes to……. New York City” has to be my fav from the above. Took me a minute to realise what it was portraying, but such an intelligent concept. And I’d seen the “Understanding Social Media with Bacon” infographic before – very clever.

    I’ve never been able to manage my way thro flowcharts. Don’t know what it is, but they irk me a lot. That’s about me… not the flowcharts. Visually, the “How to score a seat in First Class” is cool.

    It’s a book I’d also like to be gifted; don’t think I’d buy it for myself 😉

    Thanks for sharing Tina xx

    • Reply tina March 26, 2014 at 10:36 pm

      That’s where infographics really come into their own. They are clever, show a lot of data in a controlled and fun manner.

      I think that understanding infographics depends on people’s attention span and comfort of reading charts. This book very much illustrates that if an infographic is layed out in an intelligent and colour coded way a lot of data can be communicated.
      The ““And the Oscar Goes to… is great indeed.

      Yes, I agree, a book to be gifted…

      Thanks Gerard x

  • Reply Doris March 28, 2014 at 11:19 am

    Oh I had a little chuckle at some of these! They are great and what a great book and a lovely gift 🙂 My favourite is the Is Life Good graphic, so simple and effective. I also love the Should I Check Email graphic – very detailed xD

    • Reply tina March 31, 2014 at 6:11 pm

      Isn’t it just? I love it too:-)

      Hahaha. I know quite a few people I would love to send a card with the Life is good graphics on there. They are usually the ones that constantly complain but don’t change anything…:-))

      Yes, I do like the Check Email graphic! And so true!! Thanks Doris x

  • Reply Holly March 30, 2014 at 10:35 am

    This book is very worthy of #tinaslibrary 😀

    I love a good infographic (visually pleasing, concise, clever and properly sourced). I feel like presenting information in this way not only helps that info to be remembered, but also I feel like they are respectful to our general lack of time to consume more and more info.

    Love the Breaking Bad one and the Should I Check My Email one!!!

    Thanks Tina!


    • Reply tina March 31, 2014 at 6:13 pm

      Hahaha. I think Mike thought so too:-)

      Yes, you’re right. I believe that this is why Infographics have the ‘Zeitgist’. It’s definitely in the ‘Now’.

      Isn’t the Breaking Bad just fab???? Totally love it.
      Thanks lovely xx

    Leave a Reply