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The 18 Best Infographics of 2015


published on December 17, 2015 in Design

The world got a whole lot more complicated this year, which is to say it was just like any other year. The amount of data we all generate continued its exponential expansion, while content marketers redoubled their efforts to get their content in front of an audience who’s busier and busier.

When the worlds of content and data meet, infographics are born. That means 2015 was a pretty great year.

At Visually, we don’t believe in wasting time, so we’ve pulled together all the best and brightest infographics in one place. To give the search for the best a little direction, we tried to select infographics that:

  • Use design to succinctly tell a story that images, data, or words couldn’t have conveyed on their own
  • Include a narrative that keeps the viewer engaged (as opposed to a list of facts or data points)
  • Require little or no additional context to be understood
  • Create an emotional connection to the information that’s being shared

Mull over these fine specimens to get fired up for some awesome content creation in 2016. Or if you want to dig deeper, check out the complete list of our staff picks from the Visually Community. You know you want to!

Also, we should point out that we create a lot of infographics ourselves. A few of ours snuck onto the list, but we’ve made note of them in the name of complete transparency.

Grassform Group: The World’s Most Costly Engineering Mistakes

2015's Best Infographics: 1_Grassform Group_The World's Most Costly Engineering Mistakes

What do molasses, overloaded ships, and a flawed hotel have in common? A whole lot of destruction and some super compelling storytelling.

Supersavers Opticians: Optical Illusions

2015's Best Infographics: 2_Supersavers Opticians_Optical Illusions
Either our eyes are playing tricks on us, or this is a really nice use of GIFs within a stationary infographic. Great execution of tough-to-illustrate principles, hemmed in with carefully chosen quotes and data points.

iibstudio: Apocalypse When?

2015's Best Infographics: 3_iibstudio_Apocalypse When.
No, this isn’t derived from the rantings of your neighbor who camps out on his roof during the full moon. This is a full-blown, science-backed timeline of the events that are realistically likely to do us in. It was nice knowing you all!

IDV Solutions: UFO Sightings

Best Infographics of 2015: 4_IDV Solutions_UFO Sightings
The truth is out there, and this infographic tells it with maps and charts. The timeline element that shows how our perception of objects in the sky has changed with each decade clinches the deal for us. Can we add alien invasion to the apocalypse infographic above? Everything You’ll Ever Want to Know About James Bond

Best Infographics of 2015: 5_Lovereading_Everything You'll Ever Want to Know About James Bond
Enjoy being shaken, stirred and thoroughly entertained by all the Bond trivia you didn’t realize existed.

The Washington Post: Valar Morghulis

6_The Washington Post_Game of Thrones
SPOILER ALERT! Of you’re only halfway through season 2 like we are, don’t click here unless you want to see the 456 deaths over the first four seasons of “Game of Thrones” spelled out in painstaking, beautiful, blood-red ink. That’s only a slight exaggeration.

Westminster Bridge Student Accommodation: Ultimate Guide to Notetaking in Class

7_Westminster Bridge Student Accommodation_Ultimate Guide to Notetaking in Class
Brush up on your study habits with this clever and step-by-step tutorial on retaining more information in class. Bottom line? Write it down, y’all.

Dun & Bradstreet: Give ‘Em What They Want

9_Dun and Bradstreet_Give 'Em What They Want
We’d be remiss to leave out an infographic on marketing, and one that marries marketing and data is hard to top. Did we mention Visually produced it? (Here’s why you should build your next custom infographic with us.). There are a few reasons to love this one. First: How many art-deco inspired infographics do you see out there? Second: This infographic gets giffy with it to add a little extra pizzaz.

Nationwide Insurance: 10 Most Popular Dog Breeds

10_Nationwide_10 Most Popular Dogs
Most infographics need a setup like a question or controversial statement, but this one gets away without one thanks to these aww-inducing photos and clear labels that let the viewer easily draw comparisons among dog breeds. Wuv it. The Visually team produced this infographic.

CJ Pony Parts: The Death of Motor City

11_CJ Pony Parts_The Death of Motor City
The rise and fall of Detroit, as told using timelines, data visualizations and historical anecdotes. The bars identifying total jobs and population over time glue the narrative together straight down the middle of the infographic.

Custom Made/Ghergich & Co.: Spiraling Out of Control

13_Custom Made_Spiraling Out of Control
Keep scrolling. And scrolling. And scrolling. You guys, we really messed up. With this infographic, maybe we can begin to reverse the tide of plastic we’ve unleashed.

The Huffington Post: Measles Cases Have Increased – And California’s Rising Anti-Vax Sentiment Is At The Epicenter

14_The Huffington Post_Measles Cases
News-based storytelling at its finest. Carefully placed chunks of text and visuals navigate the reader through the tale of California’s measles outbreak. There’s even an animated component that adds context without bring frivolous.

Propoint: This Is Your Body In Love

Best Infographic Nominee: 15_Propoint_This Is Your Body In Love
The world needs more snuggles right now, and your body knows it better than anyone. See what the heart (and brain) really has to do with love.

3M Color: The Evolution of Television Displays

16_3M Color_The Evolution of Television Displays
Stay tuned to the background, which goes from salt-and-pepper grainy to crisp black as you read through the timeline. Attention to detail is everything.

Arbtech: How Can We End Our Fossil Fuel Addition By 2050?

18_Arbtech_How Can We End Our Fossil Fuel Addition By 2050
The headline of this infographic alone clearly has a strong opinion—which is exactly why this infographic is a great example of persuasive storytelling. Grim projections for the planet are paired with action items for the viewer.

Viking Direct: Gadget Autopsy

19_Viking Direct_Gadget Autopsy
You don’t treat your smartphone with enough respect. Maybe you will after you realize it prevents you from lugging around heavy and expensive old-school tech. Plus, it makes you look like less of a nerd.

Work The World: 10 Ways to Fall Asleep on a Plane

20_Work The World_10 Ways to Fall Asleep on a Plane
Flights of fancy or not, the tactics described in this useful infographic will prepare you for your next plane trip. Visually created this infographic.

Lenovo: What If Machines Rule The World?

21_Lenovo_What If Machines Rule The World
Rather than crunching numbers on the intelligence of computers relative to humans, this infographic presents emotionally stirring side-by-side scenarios of what our world could become as machines become brighter.

Of course, this just scratches the surface. But you get the idea: Infographics remain a compelling way to package stories that catch our eyes and fill our brains with enticing, useful and downright fascinating information. For more inspiration, check out some of the other “best of” content we’ve pulled together over the years: