Sometimes – actually *most* times, an information design goes through many versions. In a way, it’s like sculpting. Whittling away excess material, trying to find the optimal design.

Did you see International Number Ones? It depicts, a little playfully, what each country is the best at. That’s according to data we sourced.

The main design problem was this.

How do you label 142 countries in a 940 by 700 pixel space without overwhelming the design?

The answer was: with great difficulty.

Here are the various versions we went through. (click to zoom the images)

14 versions. 2 months. 3 designers.