The new 2012 Death & Taxes poster has been released, and this year it’s better than ever. Designed by Jess Bachman (ByJess.net) this poster visualizes the 2012 proposed U.S. Federal Budget. The Death & Taxes poster is one of the best infographics I’ve ever seen, and it gets better every year.
“Death and Taxes” is a large representational graph and poster of the federal budget. It contains over 500 programs and departments and almost every program that receives over 200 million dollars annually. The data is straight from the president’s 2012 budget request and will be debated, amended, and approved by Congress to begin the fiscal year. All of the item circles are proportional in size to their funding levels for visual comparison and the percentage change from both 2012 and 2002 is included so you can spot trends.
PURCHASE: This year, Jess also had the opportunity to partner with Seth Godin and his Domino Project to make the full-size 24” x 36” poster available for purchase through Amazon. Currently, you can purchase a copy of the poster for $19.99. Also, check out Jess’s video introduction on the Amazon page.
POSTER GIVEAWAY: Cool Infographics is giving away one FREE copy of the poster. The free poster will go to one randomly chosen person that tweets a link to this blog post on Twitter and includes the hashtag: #deathandtaxes. I included the hashtag in the post title, so any retweets will be automatically eligible. NOTE: you must also be following me on Twitter (@rtkrum) so that I can send you a direct message if you have won!
I will choose the winner at 12 noon (Central Time) on Friday, November 11, 2011 (11/11/11). I will contact the winner, and order the poster from Amazon to be delivered to the winner.
INTERVIEW: Similar to last year, Jess was willing to answer some behind-the-scenes questions about this year’s poster:
Cool Infographics: What’s the most interesting thing you learned from the 2012 data?
Jess Bachman: Lots of reductions in the military side. It’s mostly from the OCO war funding, but its interesting to see what actually is getting cut the most. Mostly Army funding and RDT&E across the board. I would think the OCO was mostly Operations and Procurement.
Cool Infographics: Has you design process changed at all this year? What software did you use to help dig through the data and create the design?
Jess Bachman: Well this year I tried to work exclusively within the official spreadsheets, rather than pick out the numbers from the paper (PDF) budget. I think it’s more accurate and easier to get totals. Mainly just used excel and photoshop as always.
Cool Infographics: When did the 2012 data become available, and how long did it take you create this year’s poster?
Jess Bachman: It was supposed to be released in February but it was a month late. I started moving on it at a full clip then got involved with Amazon/Godin and the timelines shifted quite a bit, so while I usually get the post out in April, it was released in September this year.
Cool Infographics: How did working with Seth Godin and the Domino project come about?
Jess Bachman: Seth just emailed me out of the blue. We talked and it seemed like a no-brainer.
Cool Infographics: How does working with Amazon and the Domino project change how you print and distribute the poster?
Jess Bachman: Well previously my Mom did most of the shipper and I also had a 3rd party do fulfillment and shipping. It’s a rather time consuming and frustrating process. Sending out orders, doing customer support, paying vendors, etc. Now it’s all in Amazon’s hands. They got it printed and of course are warehousing and shipping it too. I’m quite glad as they do a much better job of shipping than I do. Of course they also take their cut of the profits. As for Domino, they have their own distribution channels and lists and also work closely with Amazon to make sure the product page is well presented too. This year it reached #18 on the best sellers list. I guess that makes me a best selling author. I don’t think I could have accomplished that without Domino/Amazon.
Cool Infographics: I see you made a video to include on the Amazon page, how was that experience?
Jess Bachman: Seth told me they needed a video ASAP so I just made one that afternoon. I suppose I would put more effort into it next year but videos help sell products and i think it does a good job of that.
Cool Infographics: Any new design features added to the poster this year?
Jess Bachman: I wanted to include some non-governmental items in the poster this year for reference. They are in the bottom left and include things like the size of the video game industry, bill gate’s net worth and other such things. When talking about billions of dollars all the time, sometimes you need to get out of government-mode to put those figures into further context.
Cool Infographics: The past posters have been shared very heavily in social media, which social sharing sites have you found most successful?
Jess Bachman: Well, Digg has traditionally been a big asset, but then Digg fell apart so I no longer pay attention to it. In general, I have abandoned the traditional accelerants like Digg, reddit, etc. and instead focus on my network of bloggers and influencers. Combine that with Facebook liking and you can really spread something.
Cool Infographics: Last year we talked about some favorite places that have the poster on display. Any new ones this year?
Jess Bachman: Well, with a larger audience and hopefully more sales, the poster will be everywhere. Unfortunately, I get lots of requests for discounts for schools with tight budgets, but I have no control over price anymore. I can say that an iOS app is in development so that will be interesting. My ultimate goal is to get on the Daily Show to talk about the poster in April. People constantly tell me I need to be on there, and I’m a huge fan, so I figure I have a good shot, just need to nag the right people.
You can follow Jess on Twitter (@mibi)
Here you can see the poster up close with the Closr.it zooming viewer. I believe this is Flash based, so it may not work on iDevices.