For 129 years, the venerable magazine has drawn in readers with its smart and striking visual storytelling. A handsome new coffee-table book collects the best.
The beloved yellow-spined National Geographic may be renowned for its photography, but it has an even longer history with infographics, now being celebrated in a new release from Taschen. Since the first issue in 1888, National Geographic has used art, charts, and diagrams to make complicated information easily accessible. “[The editors] have something important to tell you, and they want you to be attracted enough to it that you’ll read it,” says Nigel Holmes, who wrote the book’s introduction.
He notes that even now, in the age of machine-generated art, much of what you see in the magazine is created using pencils, pens, and paint. “There’s a quality to something hand-drawn that is very hard to achieve on the computer,” he says. “It’s charming, it’s endearing, and somehow it’s more real.”
Take a look at some of our favorite spreads from National Geographic Infographics, below: