Infographic: Here’s to 2014 (Beutler Ink)


Simon Owens of Beautler Ink remembered earlier this year when I published the Beutler Ink Oscar’s best picture graphic: Well, Simon and the Beutler Ink team have been busy and just released their “Here’s to 2014” illustration. It references every single major pop culture and news event in 2014, from Too Many Cooks to the death of Robin Williams.

Thanks, Simon for sending this to me. It is has been fun to search and find key events.

NOTE: If you have an interesting data visualization or infographic, please tell me about it and send me a full size image of it. I would be glad to blog about it.

Best regards and happy holidays,


Here’s to 2014!

Congratulations! We’ve made it through another spin around the sun,
What a ride it’s been; we sure had fun.
You were there for all the highs and lows,
The “Fancy” music and “basic” clothes.
The Lego Movie made it hip to be square,
and Matthew McConaughey was everywhere.
We made some new friends and lost some old,
We dumped ice on our heads and Malala was bold.
And because you were good, here’s a little treat,
An exciting, exclusive pop culture feat!
A gift to you, from Beutler Ink:
Here’s to 2014, see what you think!

A heartfelt thanks from all of us at Beutler Ink, and here’s looking forward to a great 2015!

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Behind the Scenes: The Making of Here’s to 2014!

We began preparation for our annual end-of-year pop-culture-and-news mashup in early October with a teamwide brainstorm. We collaborated in a shared Google doc where we listed all of the pop culture moments that defined the year. With a list in place, we started to imagine how we should depict these events. For instance, how do you visualize the polar vortex?

Screenshot 2014-12-16 09.31.48
Next, we decided on a setting. Last year’s Time Square scene provided a colorful and vibrant backdrop for a new year’s celebration, but rather than duplicate that space again this year we decided to try a different approach. After much deliberation, we settled on The Grand Budapest Hotel. Our team is full of Wes Anderson fans, and the hotel provided ample opportunities to bring together disparate scenes and events into one cohesive visual.

With a list of ideas complete and a setting established, the illustration could finally begin! This year, we enlisted the talents of Noah Smith, a longtime collaborator and friend, to bring our ideas to life. His process began with sketches: first a general layout based on themes and then a more robust sketch with every idea visualized.

Screenshot 2014-12-16 09.33.13

Screenshot 2014-12-16 09.36.46

Once the sketches were finished, it was time to color the image. Noah explored a few possible treatments before landing on the style seen in the final graphic.

Screenshot 2014-12-16 11.08.20

Here is a full list of items included in the collage. How many can you identify?

The Guardians of the Galaxy
The LEGO Movie
Gone Girl
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Fault In Our Stars
South Park mocks Lorde’s ubiquity
Ellen’s Oscar selfie
Lupita Nyong’o wins Oscar
Taylor Swift has first platinum album of the year
Iggy Azalea and Charli XCX [“Fancy”]
Pharrell Williams
New U2 album goes to 500 million iTunes accounts
Meghan Trainor [“All About That Bass”]
Sam Smith
Nicki Minaj [“Anaconda”]
Radiohead’s Thom Yorke releases $6 album on BitTorrent
Health Goth style
Basic Bitch style
Normcore style
The Simpsons turns 25
True Detective
The Walking Dead
How I Met Your Mother series finale
Pretty Little Liars 100th episode
True Blood series finale
Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon
Last Week Tonight
Laverne Cox becomes the first transgender person to be nominated for an Emmy and to appear on the cover of Time Magazine
Game of Thrones Season Five
Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey with Neil Degrasse Tyson
Gilmore Girls released on Netflix
Germany wins World Cup
Seahawks win the Super Bowl
LeBron James goes home to Cleveland
Spurs win the NBA championship
Winter Olympics in Sochi
Derek Jeter retires
Steve Ballmer becomes owner of the Los Angeles Clippers franchise
Roger Goodell is criticized; Bill Simmons is censored
Madison Bumgarner leads the San Francisco Giants to World Series victory
LA Kings win the Stanley Cup
ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Kim Kardashian’s Paper Magazine cover
Jaden and Willow Smith transcend reality
Gwyneth Paltrow and Chris Martin “consciously uncouple”
Hacked celebrity nudes leak on Reddit
Ariana Grande is a diva
Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie wed in secret ceremony
Jay-Z is involved in elevator altercation with Solange
George Clooney marries Amal Alamuddin
Scottish independence referendum
Two Supreme Court rulings bolster marriage equality
GOP owns the midterms
Nik Wallenda’s blindfold tightrope walk
Polar vortex
MH370 goes missing
Ebola outbreak
Ferguson and Eric Garner protests
Bring Back Our Girls
Hong Kong protests
Putin ferments unrest in Crimea
iPhone 6
Emojis are everywhere
Verizon vs. FCC
Uber vs. Lyft
Google glass
Apple Watch
Newsweek’s “The Face Behind Bitcoin” story
HBO Go slated to be released to the masses
Alex from Target
Apparently Kid
Slender Man
Too Many Cooks
Big Hero 6
The Broad City girls
Sarah Koenig from Serial Podcast
RIP Robin Williams
RIP Maya Angelou
RIP Philip Seymour Hoffman
RIP Joan Rivers
RIP Shirley Temple
RIP Harold Ramis
RIP Casey Kasem
RIP James Garner
RIP Flappy Bird
Bonus easter egg: Bill Beutler, founder of Beutler Ink

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