Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
Top

How To Live Forever Infographic

Highlander.jpg
Pets? Polygamy? Female friends? This all-new visual guide from infographic genius David McCandless shows what can extend, and shorten, your life...
 
Why infographics? 
I’d worked in journalism for 25 years and I got bored just writing words. I got into designing websites and realised the two were quite similar, so I ended up doing the same thing in a slightly prettier way.
 
How do you work these things out? We’re picturing a complex network of maps on the wall…
I do a lot of research gathering data, pooling it all together on a spreadsheet and moving it around, finding an interesting angle. Many of the graphics arise out of my frustration, anger and boredom. When I don’t understand something, a graphic clarifies it. That’s where I get inspiration.
 
What’s more important: style or substance? 
The goal’s to get the two in harmony. The work’s about 80 per cent data, 20 per cent design. The quickest was done in three days, the longest was eight months: a massive history of Earth and the evolution of life. It was a crazy idea.
 
How difficult was the chart above? 
Difficult because we had to gather studies. We had to interpret and collate them all, placing them into definitive years. Not all studies are the same.
 
Out of the info you’ve uncovered, what’s surprised you most?
We compared the prison population’s crimes against gender. It showed that men, predictably, commit more violent crimes but women commit more manslaughter and drug abuse. 
 
How difficult is it avoiding false data? Have you ever been duped?
It’s tricky. We keep checking and researching – that’s the best we can do. Sometimes you take data from a reliable source, like the UN, and then use that to build other assumptions. But one time we double-checked a UN count on CO2 release and realised it was flawed. We had to scrap the whole graphic. 
 
Does it drive you mad? 
I’ve been in my cave for two years making graphics, stumbling round in a daze. It’s quite conceptually heavy and everything has to be precise. It’s taxing, hard work, but it’s rewarding.
 
Knowledge Is Beautiful is out now, priced £25 (William Collins)
 
[Images: Rex]
David McCandless Infographic

Related

Breaking Bad

Hit TV Show Component Infographics

toilet1.jpg

A guide to office toilet etiquette

jack3.jpg

The Jack Bauer Injury Infographic

eye1.jpg

Infographic Shows Why Visuals Matter

liamhero2.jpg

The Liam Neeson Kill Map

jobsmain.jpg

Lifetime Of Steve Jobs Infographic

Comments

More

The Daily Mash and the BBC are teaming up for a new satire show

It'll be helmed by the up-and-coming stand-up Nish Kumar

by Tom Mendelsohn
24 Mar 2017

They've invented a new type of humblebrag and it's just as bad as the

You definitely know one of these people

by Tom Mendelsohn
24 Mar 2017

A real-life Jurassic Park is coming to the UK this summer

Get ready to be scared shitless

by Matt Tate
24 Mar 2017

The Daily Mail have finally lost the plot with their latest front page

We should ban Google apparently

by Dave Fawbert
24 Mar 2017

Charlton Athletic unveil touching tribute to PC Keith Palmer

Police officer killed in London attack was a keen football fan

by Dave Fawbert
23 Mar 2017

This retired racehorse has absolutely zero chill

"Woah Shamrock"

by Matt Tate
22 Mar 2017

This Monopoly board show how much it actually costs to live in London

Oh well, renting forever

by Gary Ogden
22 Mar 2017

This 'new catnip' will get your cat off its tits

Thanks science

by Emily Reynolds
22 Mar 2017

Everyone is mad about Mary Berry's pie

No soggy bottoms here

by Emily Reynolds
22 Mar 2017

Spare a thought for the Cadbury social media manager

Guess what? The internet is wrong again

by Emily Reynolds
22 Mar 2017