What makes a successful infographic? – Creative Review

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Fresh from finishing a hefty new book of infographics, the Delayed Gratification team chats with CR about the format’s boom in popularity, and how, at the heart of it, it’s all about the story
In the last decade, infographics have become the medium of choice for newspapers and magazines trying to offer concise visual overviews of complex data. A large part of this movement was spurred on by data journalist David McCandless’s 2009 book, Information is Beautiful, which, as one Amazon reviewer has commented, “launched a thousand infographics”.
The medium is actually far older however, dating back to before Florence Nightingale. She might be known in popular imagination as the lady with the lamp, but her hand-drawn diagrams, created in the 1850s, helped show that soldiers in the Crimean War had largely died from preventable diseases, and helped lobby for better sanitation in the British Army.
“We think [infographics] are a perfect storm of the amount of data that is now available, and produced, and everybody can get access to,” says Delayed Gratification art director Christian Tate of the format’s current popularity. The magazine – set up in 2011 with a ‘slow journalism’ philosophy and a penchant for infographics – has just released a new book, entitled An Answer for Everything: 200 Infographics to Explain the World, which delves into topics including how much it would cost to buy everything in Vogue, what do UFOs look like and, for anyone experiencing existential crisis, is anything getting better?
How can creatives manage their ‘whizzy’ brains, and is our pursuit of concentration doomed to fail? Illustrator and writer Ben Tallon discusses how to avoid the demons of procrastination, and still find time to let the brain percolate
Tom Etherington has left Penguin Press after six years as a cover designer at the publisher. He talks to us about why he gave up many designers’ dream job and what comes next
The artist is staging a new exhibition in London that speaks to the disorientating effects of the pandemic
From battling algorithms to banned accounts, individuals across the creative industries are voicing frustrations with the platform. Is this the beginning of an Instagram exodus? And if so, what’s the alternative?
How does the environment relate to Art Nouveau typography, and is it going anywhere? And will variable fonts finally come into their own? Monotype weighs in on the trends du jour
Creativity is thriving across the UK – not just in London. So why aren’t design students hearing about it?
Launched with fitness app Strava, the campaign champions less conventional forms of exercise – from chasing after your dog to running for the bus
We speak to Mother ad agency and Road Casting about the dos and don’ts of casting ads – from opening up the process to more diverse talent to recognising the need for nuanced storytelling
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As the mind-bending world of the Matrix returns to the big screen, we speak to the team behind the latest film’s screen-based graphics about helping reboot the cult classic for a new era
To mark season two of the Netflix hit, the language-learning app invites Emilys everywhere to improve their French
Logos today need to successfully work in more places than ever before, and in a multitude of formats and sizes. Here, Sagi Haviv, partner and designer at Chermayeff & Geismar & Haviv in New York, breaks down how to make a mark that endures
The epic Disney+ series The Beatles: Get Back shows the sprawling, messy process of creativity. Here Bas Korsten and Daniel Bonner, Global CCOs at Wunderman Thompson, draw out six insights from it for creative teams to learn from
The second year of the pandemic brought about yet more uncertainty, but there was also plenty of innovation, humour and hope. Here we look back at the creative trends over the past 12 months
Welcome to the winners showcase for this year’s Creative Review Photography Annual, where we celebrate the world of photography in all its forms – personal work, advertising, editorial, student/grad work and more. Shown here are our winners and honourable mentions for this year, selected by an expert panel of judges
Following the release of Adele’s latest album, creative director and long-time collaborator Phil Lee discusses what it’s like to help create a brand for one of the world’s biggest artists
Print shop They Made This enlisted the German artist to bring some cheer to London with a new set of uplifting illustrations
As the iPod turns 20, Joe Belliotti, CEO at MassiveMusic North America, reflects on how Apple used sonic branding to help us get used to a revolutionary new product, and to stand out
The American publisher has spent the last 23 years defiantly doing the opposite of everyone else in the book and magazine world. Here’s how McSweeney’s creates its distinctive and often daring tone of voice
It was the Christmas ad that launched a thousand Christmas ads, and established John Lewis’s festive branding tropes for a decade to come. Director Dougal Wilson and adam&eveDDB co-founder Ben Priest remember how The Long Wait was made
Our agony aunt Anna Higgs addresses a reader’s questions about life as a parent in the creative industry. We hear about the advantages parenthood can bring to the workplace, but also of the inequalities that remain across some of the industry
For the first time, the colour experts have created a brand new hue for the annual announcement – and it’s a lilacy blue that speaks to the future of fashion as well as the metaverse
Created by Droga5 for the Asian American Federation, the vintage-inspired posters provide a clever take on a loaded question: where are you really from?
The founder of Risotto Studio, the Glasgow print shop devoted to the glories of printing and paper, talks about the bustling art scene in the city, the beauty of keeping things small, and her house style
Peter Levelle, director and former head of TV production at the storied Collett Dickenson Pearce, shares the ad agency’s gospel – including handling difficult clients, keeping creatives happy, and adopting a punishingly scrupulous approach to ideas
The Berlin-based digital artist works with AI and AR to create surreal portraits and filters. She talks to us about ethics, beauty, and the exchange between analogue and digital
We talk to creatives aged 19 to 87 about their experiences in the creative industry, their hopes and dreams, the changes they have witnessed, and what developments they hope may come in the future
The acclaimed filmmaker has dipped his toe into advertising, teaching and even brand-building during his four-decade career. As he releases his first monograph, we look at how he became a pop culture icon
As the festive season wafts in, on a cloud of scent, we find out what makes fragrance ads so compelling – with help from spoof Twitter sensation @perfumeads
The submissions-based project is curated by Karni Arieli. Here she talks about the inspiration for the series, the themes explored and how it helped her connect with her own practice
We speak to the New York native about meandering between the paths of fashion, graphics and art direction, plus her ever-evolving collaboration with Solange at creative agency Saint Heron
From Thamesmead to Tokyo and New York, Shantell Martin has taken her line-drawn style around the world – but it’s been a bumpy journey. As she sets her sights back on the UK she chats with CR about how art became a tool to “express, extract and deal”
Designer Matt Willey and editor Dan Crowe have reunited on Inque, a decade-long collaboration born out of what they love (and hate) about the world of magazines. We speak to the duo about bringing the first issue to life
The information designer and Pentagram partner has filled a Moleskine notebook with “a visual archive” of her memories, sewing over 14,000 stitches to represent each day of her life so far
Filmmaker Andrew Thomas Huang is known for his otherworldly visions, earning him high-profile collaborations with Björk and FKA twigs. He talks to us about the need to allow creatives to grow as their careers develop
As the Modernist celebrates its 10th anniversary, the team behind the publication discuss the trials and tribulations of running an indie mag and how it has stood the test of time
Advertising has long been obsessed with youth. But is the industry finally waking up to the opportunities that older generations present, both in campaigns and behind the scenes?
The photographer has published a book of images she created during the UK’s first lockdown when people adjusted to new ways of living and connecting with each other
Is there a responsibility for cultural institutions to not just reflect the past, but contemplate the future as well? National Gallery Victoria curator Ewan McEoin talks to CR about the museum’s latest show on sustainability and why they want to invest in designers
AI is often viewed as the death of creativity. Yet, as Maximilian Niemann, a director at Unit9 production company, points out, when machines are used in collaboration with humans, it may actually make for better work
Focusing on an unlikely friendship that forms between a young boy and his new intergalactic companion, the spot is all about the little things that matter during the festive season
Since the 1980s, the filmmaker and artist has turned his lens towards the fringes. He talks to us about relinquishing control, Hollywood reboot culture, and how a Gucci mini-series captured the spirit of his early works
For decades, comic books have showcased vibrant graphic design that is a pivotal part of the superhero world. Liz Stinson, editor of a new book celebrating Marvel, discusses the publisher’s lasting contribution to visual culture
As brands cotton on to the potential of gaming, CR explores why it’s a good fit for fashion labels, and what the future could hold for digital clothes, esports sponsorships and in-game narratives
At this year’s Festival of Marketing: The Year Ahead, Kemi Anthony, marketing communications manager at Ikea, and Katie Mackay-Sinclair, partner at Mother, discussed how nurturing a decade-long relationship has led to an array of successful campaigns
The Ghana-based photographer discusses the challenges of being a female photographer in Africa and why she hopes her images inspire others to see the value in creative jobs 
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Wes Anderson’s star-studded film follows the dramas that unravel in a fictional French city, told from the perspective of expat journalists. We look at how graphic design and illustration brought the movie to life
We speak to Lazy Oaf founder Gemma Shiel about her journey from printing T-shirts in her dad’s garage to spending the last two decades at the helm of one of the most creative fashion brands going
An illustration-heavy visual identity introduces the city’s new Bonjour RATP app, which lets Parisians navigate the Metro, reserve bikes and hail a cab
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In the competitive world of illustration, adopting a signature motif or icon in your work can help you grow your brand and your career. Here, CR speaks to three illustrators about the benefits and challenges of making one element your trademark
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As the business unveils a major rebrand, founder Taymoor Atighetchi shares how he’s spent the last six years building a category-defining stationery brand
Last week a revamp, albeit a temporary one, of the British Rail double arrow logo caused a stir in the design press and on social media. CR speaks to Studio Blackburn, the team behind the update, to get an insight into the project and how they felt about the reaction
Snack brand Pringles has revealed the first update to its mascot in 20 years. JKR creative director Della Lawrence takes us through the new branding, including Mr P’s widely discussed haircut
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