The Brazilian magazine Mundo Estranho created a lively map of "The Greatest Curiosities of the Human Body" in 2008. Click here to view larger.

IEEE Spectrum charted missions to Mars throughout history to show that even though most missions fail, the success rate is "definitely improving" (2009). Click here to view larger.

This richly illustrated infographic in Mark, a Dutch design magazine, visualized stalled building projects around the world. Click here to view larger.

Nicholas Felton (now of Facebook Timeline) brought drab website traffic figures to life by using high-contrast colors and calling out specific media events. For in 2009. Click here to view larger.

A hand-drawn chart of Frank Zappa’s career by the always-brilliant Ward Shelley. Click here to view larger.

Condé Nast Portfolio (RIP) annotated the inner workings of a massive oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico (2009). Click here to view larger.

A remarkably non-creepy chart of how much your body parts are worth (UK Esquire, 2006). Click here to view larger.

A larky flowchart of what happens to people when they’re exposed to Dungeons & Dragons early in life (the New York Times, 2008). Click here to view larger.

The aforementioned chart of sound specters from sonar and whale songs (2010). Click here to view larger.

9 Of The World's Most Inspiring Infographics

Taschen is rolling out a book that collects some of the world’s best infographics. Here’s a taste.

We spend lots of time here at Co.Design hunting down the smartest and most creative infographics to feature daily, but we’re limited by what’s available on the web, what we have permission to publish, and what languages we (and you) can understand. Here to pick up where Infographic of the Day leaves off is Information Graphics (Taschen, April 2012), a 480-page doorstopper of a book that offers up a mind-boggling selection of infographics, many plucked from the furthest reaches of the media firmament. It has more than 400 examples, ranging from an illustration of stalled building projects in a Dutch design rag to a Nicholas Felton-designed chart of traffic to a map of sonar and whale songs courtesy of a Danish geological institute.

A flow-chart guide to Internet culture. Click to zoom.

Information Graphics is conceived as a primer of sorts—something "not just for graphics professionals, but for anyone interested in the history and practice of communicating visually"—so if you’re searching for a dense, theory-based approach to information display, you’re better off picking up some Ed Tufte. Still, the central theme here is one we never tire of (hell, we revisit it practically every day): Innovative visualizations have a way of carving compelling narratives out of all sorts of topics and data points, even something as monumentally dry as Nordic whale songs. Read more in our slideshow above.

Click to zoom.

Preorder Information Graphics here.

Add New Comment


  • Julius Wiedemann

    there is a great poster that comes with the book, which is an infographic about the history of infographics. done by legendary Nigel Holmes...

  • beau hall

    Dang it. I thought this was going to be an infographic about the 9 best infographics. That was going to be AWESOME.

  • tracyshaun

    Me, too!  I was disappointed there wasn't one giant infographic about the 9 best infographics.

  • SusanSings

    My own journals over the years have a bunch of these. They usually emerge at life crossroads where I just take myself apart and look at how all the components of activities or values or professional branches are currently playing out. I call my lifestyle "AllThings Creative." I would like to know other people who "automatically" organize their lives / thoughts this way. Susan Larkin

  • Mokaman1

    I agree with Sandeep that interpreting these graphics solely by looking at them may be difficult for some. On the other hand, the works seem to have a target market or 'demographic' which has some experience with or 'inside track' to the meanings behind the graphic. One would have to have some history with Zappa and his career to approach the humor and meanings in this particular graphic. For me the entire feel of the graphic evokes the kind of irreverant joie de vivre the gifted musician and social critic displayed as he matured. In the case of the 'D. & D.' graphic, I'm not sure there's a definitive overall meaning for the work, just a cleverly juxtaposed diagram and flowchart of a perhaps typical 'western' growing up process. Finally, do these works exist on the web somewhere where one can click on portions of the graphic to drill down for more info or are they 'print' art alone?

    Thanks for a cool article.

  • SandeepOzarde2012

    Hello Suzanne, these are well designed infographics and looks great from the designers perspective, however I don't know how to decode it's meaning? e.g. Frank Zappa, Exposed to D.&D. above infographics, looks extremely complex to even try reading it. 

    Sandeep Ozarde

  • SusanSings

    I really enjoyed the journey through the D&D flow, especially when it got to the Harry Potter related behavior attributes. When I looked at the whole thing it looked too engineery to me- but once I slowly engaged with each flow line I liked the ride.


  • gbacoder

    Must say I was expecting inspiring content. Good design only works well when it is coupled with good content. But the designs are pretty and communicate well, even if the point they make is not inspiring. I can how how they could inspire a designer . graphic design artist. But is fastco a website about graphics design? This is fine, but the headline was misleading. I know people like Tim Ferriss argue for headlines that pull people in based on experiments etc. But the problem is that in the end it can be crying wolf, and people will stop coming to your site, as the headlines and miss leading or over sensational. 

  • gbacoder

    No hate, just help. Funny some of them yes, but we go to joke sites for that. Everything in it's place is fine. 

  • ken nohe

    This is design for the sake of it! No to improve understanding. The only positive thing is that an interesting idea may emerge and someone may find an application for it. Clearly this has not happened yet! 

  • Steve

    Inspiring as in design of or inspiring as in content?
    I don't think you mean the latter.

  • Stimpski

    WTF? The Dungeons & Dragons flowchart is horrible - have you tried following it?

  • Gee

    Not only is the flowchart not very good, but it's not a pretty design. It's terrible. I thought infographics was all about great design and information.

  • Michael Cameron

    I like the bit about "not exposed to D&D early in life" leading to sunlight and relationship with girls:) I think there is some relevant content in that. The rest is a good, if cynical, description of a gamers life.