New York magazine: data done right

New York magazine’s infographics combine journalistic rigour with design excellence in almost equal measure. Subscribers to CR can enjoy a collection of the best in December’s Monograph booklet

I always feel jealous when I pick up a copy of New York magazine, jealous that my own home city, London, doesn’t have such an intelligent, funny and well-designed equivalent title to document its life and times.

There are lots of things that New York does well, but the thing it does best is its infographics. After Information is Beautiful’s David McCandless had his infamous set-to with Neville Brody on Newsnight, the role of infographics has been increasingly questioned: many are beautiful but are they also meaningless? The infographics in New York are sometimes the former, but never the latter.

What sets New York‘s infographics apart (created by the design department under design director Chris Dixon) is that they combine journalistic rigour with design excellence in almost equal measure. A particular favourite is regular feature The Neighbourhood News. A map of New York is annotated with short news stories from different boroughs across the city, neatly encapsulating its diverse nature: an Upper West Side lady reports the theft of $1 million worth of jewellery from her apartment while, in outlying Soundview, police remove a three-foot-long snake from a man’s bathroom.

Elsewhere, infographics are used to illustrate and explain features and news stories, adding rather than merely decorating. Sometimes a whole spread will be devoted to data, such as Who Got In (above from the 4/10/10 issue), a recent piece on the Manhattan social scene that simply listed the guests at all the biggest parties in one week. And they are frequently funny, especially The Approval Matrix “our deliberately oversimplified guide to who falls where on our taste hierarchies”.


For this December’s Monograph we have reproduced a selection of New York infographics highlights, analysing everything from the ethnic make-up of New York to readers’ views on socks.


Subscribers will get their copy with the issue, out next week. If you would like to get Monograph, we are currently offering 30% off subscriptions but you’ll have to be quick. The offer ends at the end of today. You can subscribe here


  • Ric* Diaghe

    wow.. Eminem kills it.

  • GeeDee

    Neville Brody will be turning in his grave.

  • Sarah K McAleer

    Love the backup plans info graphic. I love info graphics. I think Good Magazine also has some good examples too. HaHa Dali Lama info graphic is great too. And true, when I did a zen buddhist retreat for one week, I had to go to bed by 8pm, lights out by 10pm, every day cause we meditated at 4:30am and did an hour of chores at 6am every morning. Oh My!

  • Maureen Waugh

    Wow, excellent infographics by New York magazine! Pretty informative too – I didn’t know the Dali Lama eats meat. This has given me inspiration, I’m now thinking of data I can convey about my hometown….

  • OneBrownDesigner

    Neville Brody = past his time tbh

  • Marky Mark

    Fantastic graphics, I really love this stuff. Changing the mundane into something beautiful and interesting – apart from ‘neighborhood news’ job… that was shite.

  • Kasper Bergholt

    The fare vs. pizza slice inflation model was new to me!

    During the New Media Days conference in Copenhagen a few weeks ago Amanad Cox from New York Times presenetd her thoughts on data visualisation.

    I’m looking forward to see how the discipline evolves.

  • Mei

    wow, I love it. Easily accessible for info junkies like myself who find it hard to grapple with tons of text!

  • Bella

    Definitely agree with this feature. These graphics are sophisticated and more clever than alot of people might think. Clever, because they are so simple, making the information much more digestible. So few colours used also. I like. Perfect for lazy readers, such as myself. Thanks CR Blog people…..

  • web design chester

    some fantastically executed visualisations, it’s so much easier to consume this kind of info when it’s displayed so eloquently

  • Reenoir

    Aside from the other commentors I find the charts totally distracting and difficult to read and understand.

  • Hassen Rasool

    When animated, it becomes even more effective.

  • Anand

    Take a look at these as well.