If you want to create better, more effective infographics, this post is for you.
You probably clicked this article, not because you like looking at the best infographics, but rather, because you want to make them yourself… and you want those that you make, or those that are made for you, to be better.
That’s what our team did. Whenever we found an infographic we really liked, we bookmarked it. We passed it around the team. We pinned. We shared. We curated.
Eventually, we realized we had a repository of great content. Examples across spectrums, across industries, and across infographic types. A repository of amazing infographics that could help inspire our future pieces, train new hires, and keep our team innovating.
That’s when we realized we needed to take it to another level, to really curate the best of the best, not just to help others, but to help ourselves. So we sought out to curate a list of 100 diversified, amazing infographics.
How We Picked the Top 100
This post is the result of 20+ years of experience designing, creating and sharing visual assets. We started with that experience and jotted down every great infographic we could think of, giving us more than 300 pieces.
Then I spent an additional few days scouring the internet, grabbing the best of the best from infographic lists, and asking the opinions of experts I respected.
To make sure we didn’t leave any rocks uncovered, I read through every infographic detailed in the Best Infographics books of 2013, 2014 and 2015, and included or annotated any we had listed that came from them, with the knowledge that they would be great sources for a post like this.
At that point, I chopped down from there. I removed any infographics that didn’t blow me away, or otherwise, followed design or idea frameworks that other infographics on the list also utilized.
This gave us a list of 100 infographic examples that were not just great on their own, but also worked great as a collection – thereby making the list stronger overall.
Each infographic on the list is annotated with an icon that allows you to subsegment by the types that interest you the most. We plan to keep this list updated, too, so check back for updates or otherwise, feel free to suggest infographics worthy of inclusion.
Free Download: Click here to download a beautiful, 107-page PDF version of this post, as well as a free infographic promotion eBook and exclusive research on what attributes the most highly sharable infographics have.
What the Infographic Icons Mean
The 100 Best Infographics
Mixed shots are a popular pastime for many people, and they are represented well in this infographic. Using gradients to represent each, the designer found a way to create an elegant landscape to represent the alcoholic concoctions. It's useful, too — such simple recipes mean the details below make the shots easy to recreate.
This infographic is my favorite on this list in terms of sheer visual beauty. It uses photo manipulations, compositing, 3D tools and drawing to construct its aesthetic.
42 North American Butterflies
The wings flapping in this animation is the part that really grabs you, so make sure you click through to see it in full. The illustration of these very unique butterflies is nothing short of amazing, too — so don't forget to be impressed by that, also.
50 Years, 50 Toys
Nostaliga is always a powerful effect, and when combined with great illustrations, you get a piece like this — one that generates 140 LRDs and establishes a trend that would lead several others to create similar pieces.
A Brief Introduction to Typography
As a general rule, we try to avoid "guides" when doing infographics. This is because infographics don't support copy, and also, effective infographics generally contain unexpected content. However, Downgraf makes it work because their design is world-class — it might be a basic concept, but this shows that can be overcome with amazing aesthetics.
A Compendium of Glowing Creatures
Eleanor Lutz of Tabletop Whale is a world class infographic designer and animator, and it shows from her work showing up five times on this post — almost certainly the highest of any singular artist. This piece starts the trend of impressiveness.
A Well-Balanced Blog
Photography is something that rarely finds its way into infographics, which makes its inclusion that much more effective. This infographic from Column Five shows how a basic concept can be elevated dramatically with photos.
Birds of North America
Another compendium worth including, the Birds of North America is pleasant not just because it's comprehensive, but also because North America's birds offer such an enjoyable diversity of colors.
Although there might not be anything especially amazing about the data presented here, Bloomberg stands out with a few things — execution and freshness. Sadly, though, it's not very optimized for SEO, as there's no reason it shouldn't surface for lots of queries around the world's richest people.
Caffeine in Popular Products
A great infographic can create change. This is one of those. If you find your drink or food at the top of this list, it might make you rethink consumption — or otherwise, push you towards a secondary option that's available.
Can I Make Stuff Up?
This brilliant piece shows us how okay it is for different positions to make up what they do, from a journalist to a fantasy writer. It's nothing crazy, but the idea is absolutely original and is represented well in the visualization.
Cheetah: Nature's Speed Machine
This was the first animated infographic I had ever seen, and it still stands as one of the best. The repetition of the cheetah is just awe-inspiring, and in combination with the other elements of the piece, makes this a best-in-class animation. Suggested by AJ Ghergich of infographic design company Ghergich & Co.
Tell me I'm wrong and have the credibility to convince me. That single sentence is the biggest reason this interactive went viral, as it combined dozens of common misconceptions into one piece. The interactivity is nice, but a similar, static version was created and also had similar effect, showing that sometimes, idea (and execution) is everything.
Creative Routines of Successful People
Another take on the creative routines concept found a few times on the list, this static version also went viral — showing that we really do want a shortcut to a better life. InfoWeTrust was one of the first to debut the trend (and do it well), so they are definitely worthy of being on this list.
Daily Routines of Famous Creative People
You've probably seen a few "rountines of famous people" posts out there, but Podio is the only one who managed to execute in interactive format. It worked like a charm, generating 656 linking root domains.
Emotions That Can't Be Expressed in English
The English language is known for its weird idiosyncrasies and idioms that make it difficult for non-native speakers to pick it up. But did you know that there are also some emoitons the language completely misses? Using almost impossible to replicate research, this piece shows us the gaps in our less-than-perfect language.
Every Active Satellite Orbiting Earth
A scrolling interactive piece that fits perfectly with a representation of the Earth's atmosphere. Another element of a great infographic — it uses its format because that's what best for it, not just because it's the design or development trend of the moment.
Evolution of Video Game Controllers
Compendiums are a file format we found took up 15-20 results in this list — that we then had to dial back. There's a reason for that — they blow you away. This interesting and nostalgic video controller piece from Pop Chart Lab is no different.
Famous Writers' Sleep Habits
Everyone likes a shortcut, and many believe that learning the habits of successful people means they may become successful if they do the same. Whether or not that's true, this infographic visualziing the wakeup times of famous writers, is interesting and well laid out. Suggested by Courtney Seiter.
Fantastical Fictive Beers
Nostalgia, fun illustrations, and a quasi-compendium. We must be pretty close to an equation for success there — and that's how Pop Chart Lab can sell this, and other pieces like it, as prints.
Fastest Ship in the Universe
This infographic does several things well we've mentioned in this post: grabs unique data, starts a conversation, and generates nostalgia. Science fiction also allows the artist to capture the ships with solid illustrations, and the result is a piece that went viral and was covered 245 times.
Flight Videos Deconstructed
A common occurrence in great animated infographics is repetition. In order for the graphics to not be jerky/suddenly start over, they have to return to the beginning. The wing paths is an example of how that, when done well, can blow you away.
Flights in the Sky
No infographic on this list, besides this one from The Guardian, can claim to have live data. Doesn't get much more impressive than that — unless you actually interact with the infographic, and realize this is also a piece that recaps 100 years of aviation.
Food and Wine Pairings
The pairing concept of lines from one thing to another is something an infographic is very apt to support. Wine Folly shows us a best-in-class example with this food and wine pairing chart.
Gay Rights in the U.S. — State by State
Combine a sensitive subject with an interactive, radial layout that is well thought-out, and you have a piece that captures coverage from 125 unique outlets. It's hard to come up with a concept that properly uses the radial format that doesn't impress.
Geography of Hate
Discrimination is not a good thing. This map might also have the effect of getting you to stereotype certain regions of the United States, so I'm not sure that's good either, but regardless, the ability of this piece to start a conversation — and trigger an emotion — made it go viral.
How a Car Engine Works
Another amazing animation from Animagraffs, how a car engine works shows the power of the medium through effective communication of engine motion using color. Suggested by Neil Patel, founder of content marketing company Quicksprout.
How a Handgun Works
Transparency is part of the reason this animation, as well as "how a car engine works" from Animgraffs, communicates their ideas so well. The detail combined with that effect demonstrates a level of quality few other pieces do. Suggested by Jon Cooper, founder of Point Blank SEO.
How Common Is Your Birthday?
This data visualization took off like a viral firecracker when it was first released. Appealing to the vanity of the reader, we all — or almost all of us — wanted to know just how common our birthday was. While not the prettiest graphic ever, it was easy to interpret, and using such interesting data, that was all it took to create a widely spread piece.
How Family Income Affects College Chances
Who knew drawing could be so effective in telling a really important story? The New York Times did, and that's why they created an interactive much unlike any other piece of content on the web. Suggested by Rand Fishkin, founder of inbound software company Moz.
How Far is it to Mars?
TL;DR — it's pretty far. This interactive does a brilliant job of communicating the distance, while also making the experience of reaching the destination a lot of fun, too.
How Fast is the Fire Department?
We commonly refer to the power of emotion in creating marketable ideas -- and this piece takes the concept to a whole new level. If you live in LA, it almost certainly pisses you off -- which means this definitely belongs on every best of list that's ever created.
How Fast is Usain Bolt?
Simulating the difference between past and present is a pretty cool use of infographics. Using a short video to explain the infographic? Cooler still. This piece from the NYTimes is the only one that utilizes video on this list.
How Many People Do Drones Kill?
The emotion generated by this stunning interactive made it it a no-brainer inclusion on the list, showing just how ineffective drone strikes are in Pakistan while also doing so in a way that's undoubtedly unique.
How Much Do Music Artists Earn Online?
Musicians simply aren't paid enough. We already knew record companies were picking their pocket, and with this visualization, we know just how much. Showing that artists need 4,053,110 plays per month to earn minimum wage from Spotify was enough to spark a vibrant conversation and take this piece to 1,000+ LRDs generated.
How Often Do The French Kiss?
For the uninitiatied American (me), this fun infographic communicated something I hadn't known — and did it really, really quickly. I'm now nervous about people kissing me if I visit France.
How Search Works
Not just a scrolling interactive, this piece reveals itself upon you settling into the next section. Not a big surprise coming from the talented, deep team of engineers and designers that reside in Mountain View.
How Solar Panels Work
A great infographic isn't something you look at for five seconds and then forget forever. This animation not only solves a problem, but helps educate the audience, leaving them with information they can use for the long-term.
How Steve Jobs Started
Sometimes a visualization does't need to be complicated or fancy, it just has to communicate a great idea in a simple, effective way. This is that chart, showing us how Steve Jobs made his mark. For aspiring business people, this resonated, pushing the piece to 75 LRDs.
How to Be Productive
While this infographic doesn't look bad by any means, it also shows the power of a well-executed idea. We learn how to be productive in a distilled, actionable format, giving us a direct path to improving productivity most other posts won't offer.
How to Build a Dog
This design has a unique format in the "how much of 100%" layout it utilizes. It's possible this could port to other concepts, as well — and it'll be visually interesting just the same.
How to Build a Human
The infinity effect of this animation is really cleverly executed. As can be seen from her other animations, Eleanor Lutz has a unique touch for detail that also manages to somehow combine with stunning design.
How to Eat Sushi
Solving problems we all have, but don't talk about is often an angle that creates a whirlwind of shares online. This infographic on sushi etiquette appeals to a similar idea — while also applying a fun, comic-like look that makes it a pleasure to read.
How to Make the Perfect Cocktail
This ratio infographic is one we frequently reference as a potential use-case for other pieces we do. There's a reason for that — it's elegantly executed and a pleasure to read through and use. That's why it warrants purchase for many.
Kitchen Cheat Sheet
Utility is often something missing from most infographics. The best ones are things you bookmark and reference and re-reference time and time again. This infographic is a perfect exemplar of that type of visual.
How-Many Guide to Kitchen Conversions
A genius visual representation, this piece is one of those that stuns you given it's highly unlikely to be inspired by other pieces and therefore, is very original as a standalone.
Hungry Tech Giants: 15 Years of Acquisitions
What's the acquisition history of major tech companies? How do the acquisition sizes compare? These two questions — and figuring out a way to nicely display the answers, led to a highly successful piece by Simply Business that generated 150+ LRDs.
In Caffeine We Trust
An infographic that helps you explain your coffee usage with actual coffee. That's awesome. Although not traditionally "interactive", you might argue this is the most interactive of the entire list, if you buy the print.
Is Life Good?
Simple but oh so powerful. Amongst my favorite infographics on this list because it punches you in the gut if you are currently doing something you hate, I use this not just in work, but in personal life, passing to any friend that complains about something they're capable of changing.
Is Your Startup Idea Already Taken
Everybody in tech has heard it — "Uber for X". But BuzzFeed was the only one smart enough to represent it visually, using a grid layout just how many mini-startups poured out of Uber, Tinder, Birchbox and AirBnB. Simple, effective, and highly shared.
Is Your State's Highest Paid Employee a Coach?
This might be the worst-designed infographic on this list, but it's worth an inclusion because it, like many state infographics like it, began a trend that you've likely seen many times. That trend is creating content with local, targeted significance, which generates an amplified marketing effect for Deadspin and others like them.
Ketchup + 17 Clean Ingredients
Random and simple is sometimes genius. This piece is nothing striking from a design perspective, but the unique idea grabs you, and if you're like us, makes you laugh. Ingenunity like this makes for highly shared pieces.
Kitchen 101: Fruits, Vegetables & Herbs
This infographic isn't easy to understand on the surface, but once you acclimate, it's a powerful and useful representation of the seasonality of produce. Sometimes, effective visualizations are such because they can compact more complicated information in a smaller space — while still retaining comprehension.
Kitchen 101: Pasta
Some of the best infographics come from unique, out there ideas that make for visually interesting and also aesthetically pleasing portions. This encyclopedia of pasta is one example of just that — an immensely comprehensive take on every carb-heavy option, presented in a way that's enjoyable to read through.
Late Bloomers — Late In Life Success
We all want to be inspired. You can see this in how popular quotes are all around the web. This infographic capitalizes on that trend, inspiring people who maybe haven't quite made it yet — but definitely still have a chance.
Literal Meaning of the States
Language is a common occurrence in our top 100 list — possibly because communication is one emotional trigger, and also because there are so many missing, imperfect elements to it. This representation capitalizes it, revealing the definitional elements of the U.S. most of didn't know previously.
Million Lines of Code
Sometimes a simple bar graph representation of a new idea is enough to have something big. That's what InformationIsBeautiful.net got from this data visualization showing how many lines of code many different things have — including a mouse.
Morning Rituals of Inspirational Entrepreneurs
Another in the trend of "what famous people do", this infographic uses that clever idea and applies it to successful entrepeneurs. The result was a highly shared piece that received almost 100 LRDs.
Most Common Use of Time
Most of the infographics on this list should bring you something unique, or present things in a way you haven't otherwise seen. This is one example of originality in action, using a unique format to visualize the differing uses of time amongst different ages. Suggested by Rand Fishkin, founder of inbound software company Moz.
NFL Players Mentioned Most on Sportscenter
There's nothing crazy about the data used in this piece — many others have utilized data just like it, but it's the visualization that blows you away. They could have taken five seconds and went with a bar chart — but that doesn't make best ever lists, now does it?
Omnibus of Superpowers
A compendium of a different flavor, what makes this piece especially effective is how it communicates its subject in the context of the subject — a comic book aesthetic.
Oscar Dresses Worn by Winners
The only infographic on this list that connected to an event, we had to list this piece because it went very, very viral when it was first released, and may have been the original trigger point for "what happened in the past" trend that frequently followed after it.
Planet Earth Control Deck
One of the most impressive parts of Lutz' animations is the scientific attention to detail. They're stunning visually, but beyond that they take the subject matter to a level most would never — and that's why her work is what it is.
Snake Oil Supplements
Using the same code as their data breaches interactive, InformationIsBeautiful realized similar success with this piece based on the somewhat-inconsistent data on the success rate of supplements. Interactives don't need to start from scratch to go viral.
Easy recipes deserve an easy to understand infographic. Displayed with real photographs (that could have easily been stock), Shape magazine takes a concept that could have boring and injects it with life.
The 10 Commandments of UI Design
One commandment you should stick to for your next infographic? Utility. This visual isn't breaking any design records, but it's damn useful — a bookmark (or background) that many UI designers reference during their day to day.
The Biggest Dragons In Fantasy
The overlap effect utilized here is one I had never seen. Also, there's definitely a big market for sci-fi related visuals, which makes it no surprise that this was a very successful piece for Daily Dot.
The Billion Dollar Gram
InformationIsBeautiful went "outside the box" to compare billion dollar spends in this visualization. You'll notice that most visualizations with data like this go with bar graphs — because that's easy. But sometimes — often even — there are better formats available. The success of this piece shows that a bar graph likely would not have had the same success.
The Charted Cheese Wheel
Cheese, please. Another clever vehicle that is effective time and time again is explaining something within the design context of that apparatus. In this case, we get 65 cheeses within one glamorous cheese wheel.
The Empire State Building Light Show Decoder
We did our best to remove infographics you can't relate to on this list. You may have never visited the Empire State Building, but we thought this representation was worth including because it's so unique, and so well done — something that may inform your next creative piece.
The Essential Herb & Food Pairing Guide
A pairing guide in a unique format, this infographic provides helpful tips for matching herbs with foods, but without boring you on the uptick. Rich colors and great illustrations will make this a joy to read the next time you cook a meal.
The Evolution Of The Batman Logo
Nostalgia pairs well with infographics, because we can trigger memories with design that words have a more difficult time capturing. These evolution pieces have caught fire for that reason, and this one on the Batman logo is one of the best out there.
The Evolution of the Web
If your interactive feels a little like a rollercoaster, you've probably done something right. The Evolution of the Web isn't quite that, but its ability to grab you early with a rollercoaster effect and then keep you with an interesting storyline that details the advancements of each web browser is worth checking out.
The Facebook Offering: How it Compares
A simple but effective interactive, this visualization hits because it tells a great story, and a story that resonates with unexpected information. Interestingly, this chart seems to try and communicate that Facebook might have been overvalued, yet at the time of this writing, it's worth 254% more than its IPO price.
The Fastest Growing Companies In America
Because of their interactivity, some content like this may have difficulty telling a story — because it's hard to paint a narrative for something we control the path of. ColumnFive flips that on its head, giving us an interesting narrative while also retaining the ability to interact.
The Gross, Deadly History Of Color
Style doesn't always carry itself into most infographics. Brand guidelines or otherwise, a simple lack of creativity put borders on truely interesting pieces. This representation of historical colors shows it can be done, representing each in an entertaining, unique format.
The Growth of Walmart & Sam's Club
Walmart feels like a virus in this visualization which maps their growth — along with Sam's Club — across the United States. Is it really a surprise that the piece received coverage in 728 different publications?
The Largest Vocabulary in Hip-Hop
This infographic takes data viz to another level, documenting the number of words used by famous rappers to show who really has the best command on the English language. Pieces like these, that gather data from previously-not-considered places, are some of the most successful you will see. Suggested by Michael King, founder of inbound marketing company iPullRank.
The Pace of Social Change
A pattern emerges in some of the most effective interactives here — they take you on a controlled story that triggers your emotional heartstrings. It'd be easy to just display the story immediately, but that ability to keep you hanging amplifies the effect. Suggested by Rand Fishkin, founder of inbound software company Moz.
The Racial Dot Map
Next to utility, the abiility to start a conversation is an infographic's next-best attribute. This interactive on the racial breakdown in different parts of America does just that.
The Refugee Flow Towards Europe
A great interactive holds you — it doesn't just mean you click somewhere. This resource does exactly that, ticking up over time to show you the flow of refugeses into the European continent while you interact with it. It makes it an easy inclusion on this list. Suggested by Danny Ashton, founder of infographic design agency NeoMam Studios.
The World as 100 People
As mentioned in the description, this isn't a new concept. But the representation is, and that's what made it go viral, generating 112 LRDs and more importantly, starting several conversations around race, religion, poverty and more.
The World's Cost Of Living
Good data visualization makes comparison easy. The ability to compare the world's cost of living — and do it by continent — made this a highly successful piece that was, to no surprise, spread around the world. Suggested by Aleyda Solis, founder of international SEO company Orainti.
The World's Most Spoken Languages
Representing things we expect to see one way in another way is another tried-and-true infographic technique that is almost sure to resonate. This piece, which connects language to the world map, executes the concept with extreme efficiency.
Timeline of History
There are several amazing things about this peice. From its introduction, to what it tells us about how much of history is documented, to its ability to subsegment by categories — it does several things with effectiveness.
Transit Time NYC
Infographics don't have to be visual noise — they can be useful, too. This interactive is exactly that, showing you the estimated transit time to get to different areas of NYC — and not in a linear fashion, all in one space. Really well done.
We're Getting Good at Going to Mars
How many missions to Mars haven't panned out? As it turns out, plenty. We feel like spacemen approaching Mars in this uniquely represented piece, which shows each "mission" and where in orbit it either succeeded or failed. Houston, we dig this.
What Do Brand Colors Say About Your Business?
Hopefully you, as a marketer, know what your brand's colors signify about your business. But many, surely, don't. ColumnFive clears it up with this infographic which tells you what that bright orange is really signifying.
What Does the LA Underground Taste Like?
It might strike you as somewhat strange to imagine the London Underground combined with a taste pallete, but this infographic really isn't strange at all. Creator James Wannerton tastes words when he reads or hears them due to a neurological condition called synaesthesia — so when he took the Underground, he experienced new taste sensations at every stop. The result is a really cool infographic.
What's the Top Data Dog?
InformationIsBeautiful created their own quantitative value of each dog breed and plotted it against public popularity, giving us a chart highlighting the most underrated breeds out there. My next dog will be an affenpinscher.
What's Warming the World
Interactive — check. Tells emotional, well-constructed story — check. Is communicated by an authority in the industry — check. Goes viral based on aforementioned factors — check. No doubt about it, this is a must-view piece. Suggested by Danny Ashton, founder of infographic design agency NeoMam Studios.
When is the Best Time to Buy Everything
Mint, for a time, was best-in-class as it came to infographics. This piece is one such example of their excellence, highlighting some valuable insights as to when we should be buying common products based on expected dips in price.
Which Marvel Characters Murder Most?
Often simply identifying a random stat about something people geek out about, and then compiling all the data, is all you need to create something that resonates. MorphCostumes knew that and compiled data on how much each popular Marvel character had murdered another character — put it together in a nicely designed infographic, and ended with something powerful.
Why Sitting is Killing You
This might have been the most viral infographic I've encountered. It started a movement around standing desks, and if you're like most, you can probably look to your left or right (or just keep standing) and see the impacts of the conversation it started.
Why Your Brain Craves Infographics
The elegance of this interactive grabs you once you start scrolling. I've seen many of these interactive scroll infographics that jerk or come off as less than polished, but Neomam manages to create an effect that actually does the opposite — making it extremely enjoyable to scroll down the page. Suggested by Brian Dean, blogger at respected SEO blog Backlinko.
There are 100 infographics on this list, and honestly, this is my all-time favorite. It's not captured by the still above, so make sure you click through — but it's hard not to be extremely impressed and at the same time, soothed by the directional currents of the wind this interactive visualizes.
World's Biggest Data Breaches & Hacks
This interactive is another piece that could have easily been done with a bar graph. But since Information Is Beautiful rarely settles on the basics, they went with an interactive representation which allows you to filter by industry and type.
Where And How Often Letters Appear
I can't even begin to grasp how someone comes up with this idea. But someone did. And it's a pretty awesome one, despite not doing anything spectacular visually. Just goes to show how good data, and a good idea, can go a long way.
The Deadliest Animals
Behind Bill Gates, this piece was destined to go viral. And it did, showing that maybe Sharks just aren't that dangerous after all — and we really should be worrying about the smaller insects around us.
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