Richard Silvester
September 28, 2012
Reading time:
8 min

The first annual Information is Beautiful Awards took place in London last night; a chance for the ‘data viz’ world to come together and appreciate some of the fine visual talent from across the globe over the last year.

Months of planning and deliberation had gone into the event, held at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. The judging panel including some of the big names of the data visualization world, including host on the night David McCandless, Brian Eno and Simon Rogers.

27 winners in 15 categories were awarded prizes for their work on a night where the drinks flowed, canapés and bespoke, branded cupcakes were consumed and some of the top information visualizations from the past years were appreciated and enjoyed.  The venue was stunning – top marks on choice! – it had the panache met with minimalist style to be the ideal home to commemorate such beautiful entries.  We hope this venue remains home to the event for many years to come.

Moritz StefanerHyperakt and Stamen were among the big winners of the night – Stamen taking both the Ultimate Award for Most Beautiful and the Data Journalism prize for their CNN Home & Away piece, while Stefaner and Hyperakt took the awards for Best Individual Contribution and Studio respectively.

Stefaner also picked up gold in the Interactive Visualisation category along with Dario Taraborelli and Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia for their Notabilia piece, while the top Data Visualisation prize went to Peter Ørntoft for Information graphics in context.


Moritz Stefaner is delighted after picking up one of his awards.

Michele Mauri’s Cover mania took gold for Infographic/Infodesign, while Peter Jeffs and Tom Stevenson’s Afghanistan – What is the true cost of war? picked up the Motion Infographic prize, and The AntiMap by Trent Brooks came out on top for Tool or Website.

In the remaining ‘Special Awards’, Omid Kashan took the Student Award for Timeline of the UniverseDaniel Leventhal was the Challenge Winner for interactive for Budgets Big and Small and Deniz Cem Önduygu, Amaç Herdadelen and Eser Aygün picked up the Community Award for Metallica on Stagea piece which also picked up third place in the Data Journalism category. The Challenge Winner for infodesign went to Cristina Vanko for The Top Most Profitable Movies of 2001 Across 22 Story Types.

With the event enjoyed by all who attended – particularly the winners! – next year’s ceremony promises to be even bigger and better. One could not help but gain a huge amount of inspiration from the works on display, and if the pieces submitted are a sign of the future of the data visualization world, it certainly appears to be in good hands.

Another point we were drawn to was the speed and pace at which the ceremony took place.  With the key to infographics and visualization being succinct, key messages that hit home with and engage the audience, David McCandless’ starting ‘quiz’ met the brief beautifully. It got the audience involved with a few humorous touches, such as the debate over historic searches on the chicken vs. the egg, ketchup vs. salsa, and even sex vs. marriage!

There’s something to learn from this just as there’s something to learn on the regular requests we get to break down a 20+-page presentation into a concise infographic.

We will very much be looking forward to next year’s event, when our aim is for us to be amongst the nominees.

Many thanks to all involved – a great evening had by all!

Full list of the winners of the Information is Beautiful Awards:

Data Journalism

Gold: CNN Home & Away, Stamen

Silver: Government Spending, Guardian data and graphics teams

Bronze: Metallica on Stage, Deniz Cem Önduygu, Amaç Herda?delen, Eser Aygün


Interactive Visualisation

Gold: Notabilia, Moritz Stefaner, Dario Taraborelli, Giovanni Luca Ciampaglia

Silver: The American Energy Spectrum, Hyperakt, Deroy Peraza, Eric Fensterhei

BronzeEvolution of Web, Hyperakt, Deroy Peraza, Eric Fensterhei


Data Visualisation

Gold: Information graphics in context, Peter Ørntoft

Silver: Look at the sky, Carla Fernandez / Arce

Bronze: Lunar calendar, Dimitre Lima



Gold: Cover mania, Michele Mauri

Silver: Envisioning emerging technology for 2012 and Beyond, Michell Zappa

Bronze: Paulo Estriga CV, Paulo Estriga


Motion Infographic

Gold: Afghanistan – What is the true cost of war?, Peter Jeffs, Tom Stevenson

Silver: Stuxnet: Anatomy of a virus, Patrick Clair, Scott Mitchell

Bronze: Economist – The Seventh Billion, team


Tool or Website

Gold: The Antimap, Trent Brooks

Silver: FF Chartwell, Travis Kochel and FontFont

Bronze: Gephi, Mathieu Bastian, Sébastien Heymann, Mathieu Jacomy

Special Awards

Studio Award:


Best Individual Contribution:

Moritz Stefaner

Student Award:

Timeline of the Universe, Omid Kashan

Corporate Award:

The Interactive UK Energy Consumption Guide, Epiphany Search (Gaz Battersby and Bryan James)

Information Art:

Judges’ note: Regrettably the entries did not meet the necessary standards.

Community Award

Metallica on Stage, Deniz Cem Önduygu, Amaç Herda?delen, Eser Aygün

Challenge Winner, infodesign

The Top Most Profitable Movies of 2001 Across 22 Story Types, Cristina Vanko

Challenge Winner, interactive

Budgets Big and Small, Daniel Leventhal

Ultimate Award – Most Beautiful

CNN Home & Away, Stamen