Information can be beautiful

by Mike Svoboda

The visual imagery in information design can be beautiful to the eye. The examples and designers shown here, in my opinion captivate and lure me in to the data and information.

New York Times Movie Revenue Graph [Edward Tufte]

The Ebb and Flow of Movies is an interesting graphic with a lot of detailed information, inspired by a seismogram reading, it gives a beautiful earthly feel plotting something boring such as revenue.



Timelines [David McCandless]

This timeline with a sense of space represents all the time travel plots from TV and film. Squeezing everything into neat and uniform paths. Instead, curvy and chaotic lines took over as the trajectories of time, with colour representing the method of time travel. The visualizations show that you don’t have to use a traditional straight-X-Y-axis graph to create a picture that makes sense.



Eigenfactor [Moritz Stefaner]

A new aesthetics of data visualization is emerging. The universal image of the tree has transformed from a natural form that was used as a mythical image, to a visual metaphor, a symbol, a dynamic organizing structure for information, and finally, an algorithm that generates lifelike trees in virtual space.

Human Trafficking [Taulant Bushi]

A striking poster which examines global human trafficking. It depicts each country’s level of involvement (from Very High to Very Low) as either a country of destination or origin. While this poster is aimed to be aesthetically pleasing, its primary purpose is to display information clearly. All research data came from sources such as the UN and a few other organizations that maintain databases of numbers regarding abuse towards women and children. The project concentrates on the smuggling of people from one country to another – mainly illegally. In many cases these people are forced to do work that is illegal, such as prostitution or child labour. All of the text on either side of the circular design covers detailed information made available for each country. The idea of the poster is that the closer the viewer gets to it, more detailed information is revealed, such as numbers of children of a specific country being involved in



­­­­­Crayola Century [Stephen Van Morley]

Crayola’s crayon chronology tracks their standard box, from its humble eight color beginnings in 1903 to the present day’s 120. By the year 2050, there’ll be 330 different crayons