See The 25 Most Beautiful Data Visualizations Of 2013

The Kantar Information Is Beautiful Awards recognize the year’s high points in data viz.

It’s an understatement to say that the data visualization sphere has exploded over the past several years. As we look to understand the increasing, mind-bending amount of information that we all generate across all areas of endeavor, data artists have created works that have brought beauty and clarity to everything from the minutiae of our personal lives to geopolitical trends. And, of course, as more data is visualized in more ways, we’ve experienced the fatigue that comes with gratuitous, ham-handed assemblies of facts and figures.


To remind us of what data visualization can be, in the right hands, data viz studio Information Is Beautiful and research company Kantar created the Information Is Beautiful Awards. The contest was launched last year and the 2013 winners were just announced. The competition featured data visualization, infographics, and data journalism and first place carried a $25,000 prize. The winners were chosen by a jury chaired by IIB founder David McCandless and Kantar creative director Aziz Cami and that included RISD president John Maeda, editor of Creative Review, Patrick Burgoyne, Stamen’s Eric Rodenbeck and George Oates, and London-based designer and data artist Stefanie Posavec.

“How to Win an Oscar,” a data visualization from Delayed Gratification Quarterly, shows links between Academy Award winners going back to 1928. Or, if you’d like to know how far each Hitchcock character plummets to his or her death, the Guardian has a comprehensive graphic illustrating morbid Hitchcockian trivia. Or maybe you’d like to see the daily rankings of billionaires sorted by age, gender, or industry, which Bloomberg serves up in an interactive visual.

Grand Prize Winner “Most Beautiful” & Gold in “Interactive” section

Alongside the medal-winning examples above, there’s great info-art to ogle on the short list. Check out a “Taxonomy of Comic Book Characters” and “Politicians’ Salaries and Income Inequality,” in which inequality is demonstrated by belly size.

See the winners and other highlights in the gallery above.


About the author

Jennifer Miller is the author of The Year of the Gadfly (Harcourt, 2012) and Inheriting The Holy Land (Ballantine, 2005). She's a regular contributor to Co.Create.