Infographics that really stand out are far more than just a smattering of pictures and charts. They might tell an engaging story -- one built around compelling data, graphics, or illustrations. Or perhaps they serve as a really helpful visual resource.
While great infographics come in a variety of forms, the common thread is that they're visually pleasing and designed in a way that makes complex topics easy to understand whether you're a novice in the subject or an expert.
Here are 10 brands from all different industries -- from home furniture to health care -- that totally nailed their infographics this year so far. Check 'em out and get inspired!
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10 of the Best Infographics From Brands in 2015
1) Spiraling Out of Control: The Plastic Buildup in Our Oceans, by Custom Made and Ghergich & Co.
This is a great example of an infographic that outlines a problem, breaks it down with compelling evidence, and concludes with what's being done to solve it. Not only are there a lot of relevant and well-researched statistics in here, but each of them is paired with an icon or chart that make the numbers easy for the reader's mind to digest. The information flows well into a single story line that's easy to follow. Finally, the color scheme is both appropriate for the topic and easy on the eyes.
2) A Tale of Two Cows, by visual.ly
"You have two cows..." That's how a series of old political jokes from the 1940s began. In these jokes, whatever happens with the cows demonstrates how different political systems function, from socialism to venture capitalism to corporations from around the world. Visual.ly did a great job of taking the text version of these jokes and visualizing them in infographic form. The illustrations depicting each political system are simple and consistent, making it easy for the reader to identify what exactly distinguishes each system from another.
3) Design Trends 2015, by Coastal Creative
While most of the infographics you see here use illustrations and graphics, this infographic uses photographs, too. This is fitting for the topic of design trends -- the designers wanted to show readers examples of the trends, which include big, beautiful images and background videos. We love how they managed to include several examples of each design trend without cluttering the graphic with too much text.
4) Nutrition 101: The Top 5 Tips to Eat More Nutritiously, by MyFitnessPal
This infographic is a great mix of facts, statistics, and quick tips, all told in a comprehensive story line. The design is clear, the copy is short, the font is easy to understand, and the colors don't distract from the content. Not to mention, we love the useful tips they sprinkled throughout.
5) How You're Killing Your Own Creativity, by Entrepreneur.com
Although some of the most compelling infographics are built around data, they don't necessarily have to be. In their infographic below, Entrepreneur.com and Column Five managed to create a visually interesting graphic without using any numbers. The designers played off the "do this, don't do that" theme by literally splitting the design in half and using specific colors for text, background, and illustrations to distinguish between the dos and the don'ts. Although they chose to leave the data out of the advice outlined in this graphic, you'll notice in the "Sources" section that they took the advice from reputable, medical sources.
6) The Ultimate Guide to Notetaking in Class, by the Westminster Bridge Student Accommodation
Turning an "ultimate guide" into an infographic can be somewhat of a daunting task. Usually, these infographics are long and fairly detailed. The WBSA did a great job breaking down the information into bite-sized sections. They kept a consistent format throughout each of the note-taking method sections: number, title, one-sentence overview, which situation(s) that method is ideal for, and how to actually do it. The light, neutral colors used for the backgrounds contrast well with the bolder, darker text fonts.
7) Cost of Living Around the World, by MoveHub
Here's another example of an infographic on an interesting topic that isn't riddled with numbers (but this one's even simpler). There are no bells and whistles here: no introduction, simple colors, and not a lot of copy. The only thing missing is a short explanation of where the data comes from. Although they include a link to the source at the end and also offer more details about the data in their own blog post's introduction, it would have been helpful for others hoping to pin the image or embed it on their site to have that information somewhere on the graphic. Still, we love the simplicity and straightforwardness of both the topic and design.
8) How to Stop Your Partner Snoring, by Dreams
Dreams, a bed company based in the U.K., has an interest in helping their customers get a great night's sleep -- and they know the quality of their mattresses and sofa beds can only get customers so far. What other educational information can they put out there to help build trust in their brand? Teaching customers how to stop their partner's snoring habits is one way of doing it. In the infographic below, they do a great job of breaking down the topic into digestible tidbits. Plus, we love the fun, whimsical things they mixed in throughout, like the illustration of the couple by the title and the "weird tips" section at the end. (Who knew playing the didgeridoo could help curb snoring?)
9) The Nitty-Gritty of Resume Font, Size, and Formats, by Resume Templates 101
Talk about a compelling topic. This infographic could've been a mile long -- there's a lot of information about resume-writing out there. But the great thing about this infographic is that it focuses on a specific subtopic: resume formatting. We also love that the infographic includes a visual example of an effective resume, and then maps out what's so good about it. So not only is it visually pleasing, but it also addresses what a great resume actually looks like, in full. That way, fewer readers are looking at this infographic and then typing "resume example" into a search engine to see the tips applied in real life.
10) 30 Ways to Lose An Argument, by The Visual Communication Guy
Here's another great infographic with no numbers or charts to be seen. Instead, what makes this work as an infographic is its layout. It takes a smart topic and divides it into three columns: a short definition/description of the fallacy, a helpful abstract illustration of it, and a one or two sentence example. The abstract illustration is a key component here because it breaks up the text and makes some of the unfamiliar wording less intimidating and more easily understandable.
Which infographic from this list was your favorite? What other top-notch infographics have you come across from 2015?