Gavin Potenza's Top 5 Infographics
Gavin Potenza's "Popification of the Top 40" for Billboard, which depicts the increase of pop music songs featured on the Top 40 charts from 1992 to 2012, is included in Gareth Cook and David Byrne's The Best American Infographics 2013. "I loved working on this because it illustrates that when you're able to start off with interesting data, no visual magic is needed in the end," explained Potenza. "Keeping it simple is best and typically how successful infographics are made. The 'Popification' one is also fun to explore and invokes a bit of nostalgia."
B&A asked the artist to name four more of his favorite educative illustrations, forming a definitive list of Gavin Potenza's Top 5 Infographics.
1. "Food Assistance" for GOOD magazine: "This was among my first infographics – I made it in 2009 as the economy was tanking and the need for assistance was on the rise, specifically for food stamps. More than ten percent of the American population was on food stamps and the number continued to reach record-breaking highs each month. 'Food Assistance' was another case where a simpler approach worked best. I picked a traditional bar graph, but what makes it fresh is how relevant and shocking the info is."
2. "The Deepest End" for the New York Times Magazine: "Sometimes with infographics, it's less about relaying information and more about telling a story. 'The Deepest End' helped readers visualize when Air France Flight 447 went down in the Atlantic Ocean. It was such a tragic mystery how the plane went missing. The lack of content and minimal approach makes this one so powerful."
3. "Our Charles Jencks Moment" for Metropolis: "For architecture, culture, and design magazine Metropolis's 30th Anniversary Issue, the editors wanted me to reimagine Charles Jencks's famous 'Evolutionary Tree' diagram, using architects and architectural movements (like New Urbanism, Deconstructivism, The Green Movement, Prefab, and Blobism) since the mag's founding in 1981. 'Charles Jencks' was another one that was plain fun to work on and it was special to be included in the edition."
4. "The Worst Oil Spills in History" (self-published): "I made this in 2010 during the Deepwater Horizon, or BP, oil spill. While it was happening, it was staggering to learn the number of barrels being dumped into the Gulf each day and it didn't slow down for months. I created this in an effort to share how the spill compared to others in history; still, not enough people know that it was one of the worst in history. Three years later, it's disturbing to look at this infographic."