Information is Beautiful Award Winners 2015: top prize goes to hand-drawn infographics

See the 18 winners of prizes for the most beautiful and powerful infographics, data visualisation and data journalism from 2015.

Infographics are usually thought of as a purely digital medium, but the overall winners of this year's Kantar Information Is Beautiful Awards have created a wonderful hand-drawn project that reflects the personal nature of the data it's recording.

Dear Data was conceived by two infographic designers, London-based Stefanie Posavec and New Yorker Giorgia Lupi. They recorded information about something in their lives, and every week hand-rendered it into infographics on postcards – which they then sent to each other and posted on the Dear Data website.

Image: Giorgia's record of the how often she laughed – and how often she got others to laugh.

So much of information design has become about producing a form that's interactive and/or algorithmically created – so it's really refreshing to see something where the hand of the creator is apparent in the work.

Image: Stefanie's matched rendering of the laughter in her life.

Gold Award: Infographics

The Gold Award for Infographics went to Rare Earth Elements by Mark-Jan Bludau. This is a series of posterd that explain why such elements are instrumental to our economy – and the environmental dangers associated with her.

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Gold Award: Data Visualisation

Vaccines and Infectious Diseases by Dov Friedman and Tynan DeBold shows the impact of vaccines on a variety of diseases across the US. It was created for the Wall Street Journal.

Gold Award: Interactive

How Ebola Spreads is by Lazaro Gamio and Bonnie Berkowitz at the Washington Post. It's a visual simulation showing how ebola spreads more slowly than other diseases – but kills more often.

Gold Award: Motion infographic

The Fallen of WW2 by Neil Halloran is a 15-minute interactive documentary about the death toll of the Second World War.

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Gold Award: Data journalism

German Unification by Christian Bangel, Paul Blickle, Lisa Borgenheimer, Fabian Mohr, Julian Stahnke and Sascha Venohr was created for Zeit Online.

The infographics show how Germany is still two countries within one, even 17 years after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

Gold Award: Mini and Mobile Visualisation

How to Build a Human by Eleanor Lutz is a series of 44 nine-frame GIFs showing how a foetus grows from a fertilised egg.

Gold Award: Free Dataviz Tool

D3.js by Mike Bostock is a JavaScript library for manipulating documents based on data.

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Gold Award: Student

Freedom in Countries by Sara Piccolomini compares countries based on their human rights, using data provided by Freedom House.

Gold Award: Community Vote

The World in 2015 was created for The Economist. It visualised and animated by Peter Winfield, with a script and voiceover by John Parker.

Gold Award: Internal Business Project

After the Flood is a way to view London's boroughs using colours to demostrate differences in any criteria.

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