The Best American Infographics (Book) Review
Not so much?
The Best American Infographics is packed with knowledge on a wide variety of subjects, each presented in the easily digestable form of the American Infographic.
Whether you’re the type to read every book from cover to cover, or flip through the pages to get right to your favorite parts, The Best American Infographics offers something for everyone in one colorful volume.
With the prevalence of the internet, infographics have evolved into a valuable tool for data consumption. Designed to take an often large and complicated data set and condense into an easily consumed morsel of information, they come in all shapes and sizes to suit practically any sort of data. From the key to happiness to your best shot at getting a free airline upgrade, The Best American Infographics is packed with the most popular infographics of 2012, as selected by editor Gareth Cook. As a bonus, the end of the book features a top ten chosen by Eric Rodenbeck, CEO of Stamen Design.
One thing that immediately struck me about this book is the immense variety held with its pages. Readers are treated to diverse topics such as The Anatomy of Speed (featuring the anatomy of a cheetah), What ESPN likes to talk about (the most discussed NFL athletes on Sportscenter), and The Common Cook’s How-Many Guide to Kitchen Conversions. From sexism in the workplace to social media in relation to bacon to the sinking of the Titanic, there is truly something to represent every interest, and it opens up the door to a lot of topics readers never even considered previously.
In addition to variety in topics, there is also a wide range of visual styles represented, from abstract to intellectual to conventional graphs. There are colorful graphics that could easily grace the walls of a home, pop culture references that will delight fans, in depth studies of complicated topics, and graphs presented at their most basic level. Some are filled with a range of colors; some are simple black and white or shades of grey. Some feature intricate illustrations or detailed photographs, while others contains nothing but data and lines. The stark difference in style serves well to highlight the vast array of creativity present in the book .
Each two page spread features one infographic in full color (or whatever color combinations it was originally presented in), and includes a statement from the infographic’s creator, explaining things like the inspiration behind it, the process used to collect the data, or the graphic design processes used in its creation. These often fascinating peeks into the making of popular infographics are a nice addition to the book, offering a deeper look at what goes into presenting data in this way, while keeping the focus squarely where it belongs – on the infographics themselves.
The Best American Infographics is packed with knowledge on a wide variety of subjects, each presented in the easily digestable form of the American infographic. The topics included are as varied as the techniques used to represent them, providing a perfect quick read for information junkies everywhere.