I designed an infographic titled “The Top 30 U.S. Companies by Revenue in 2018.” The infographic contains two main sections: “Locations of Headquarters” and “Rankings & Details” which use data according to the business magazine Fortune.
I’ve made two version of this infographic. The first version, originally titled “American Titans,” I made in 2017 and it uses 2017 data. The infographic’s second version I made in 2018, and it’s basically the same as the older version with not only updated data but also some minor design modifications.
Locations of Headquarters
This section has a map of the contiguous United States marked with the cities that hold the primary headquarters of the top 30 companies.
My reason for choosing 30 companies rather than some other amount was that 30 was a round tenth number that comfortably fits a large number of logos circling around the map. Adding more logos would require all of them to be shrunken down for making more room, and the smaller size would make many of the logos harder to recognize.
Rankings & Details
This section of the infographic is a grid of “cards” which each display information about a top 30 company. The cards are arranged by the companies’ revenue, ordered from largest to smallest.
One of the pieces of information on each card is the economic sector that the company participates in. Of the companies shown in this infographic, there are eight total sectors, and each is symbolized by a monochromatic icon. I designed all of these icons, except the health care icon which was a public-domain copy of the Rod of Asclepius (the international symbol of medicine).
Because this infographic is about money, I used the color of money. The green color used throughout could be called “dollar bill green” because it was sampled from the green shapes of a U.S. dollar bill. In the first version of this infographic, the background was an off-white color, sampled from the paper color of a dollar bill. In the second version, I changed the background to a light gray instead, which I felt gave the infographic a more modern look.
I created the infographic in Adobe Illustrator at HD resolution (1,920 pixels wide) and exported as a PNG (a standard file format for images). For the sake of easier viewing on screens with a smaller resolution than full HD, I shrunk the infographic down by a third to 1,280 pixels wide.
The fonts I used in the infographic are Bebas Neue for the headings and Overpass for the smaller text (including the city labels on the map).
This infographic was a personal project of mine, as I enjoy looking though infographics and maps, and this project involves both which I got to create myself.
When I set out on making this infographic about the largest companies, I originally intended a worldwide focus rather than an American one. My main reason for this is because a few months earlier I had created the web app “U.S. State Information” which was another project containing a map of the United States, and I wanted to avoid repetition in my projects.
However, as I was researching the data to create the global map, I realized there wasn’t nearly as much variety as I hoped. Of all the companies there are throughout the world, it turns out too many of them are headquartered in either one of only two countries: the United States or China. Worse (from the point of view of not wanting to create boring maps), the Chinese companies were all located in a single city, Beijing.
So, I abandoned the global map and did a U.S.-only one instead, because the U.S., along with the European continent, were the most interesting areas for a map of this kind. (I may consider creating a European edition of this infographic in the future.)
I had almost no knowledge of companies’ headquarters before I started making this infographic. After finishing it, I’ve got a few personal observations about the data:
- I think it’s surprising that Florida, which is the third most populated state in the U.S., has no headquarters of any top 30 company. Similarly, the Los Angeles metropolitan area in California, which is the second most populated metro area in the U.S., also has zero top 30 companies. Meanwhile, some states with fairly small populations such as Arkansas, Indiana, and Rhode Island do have one.
- Several of these companies aren’t headquartered in major cities, but in small cities located close to a major city. I’m guessing these companies are evading the higher taxes or stricter regulations of the major cities while still taking advantage of the large workforce living within the area.
- Apparently blue logos are all the rage for companies in the Midwest.
- The only Western states with any top 30 companies’ HQs are California and Washington. The rest of the West has zero. I think the reason for this is simply that the western side of the U.S. has a relatively small population compared to the eastern side.
- I think I’m not alone in this, but at least I personally have never heard of the company named Berkshire Hathaway, even though I felt like I should’ve been aware of what’s the second biggest company in the United States. After some quick research, I discovered Berkshire Hathaway is run by the multi-billionaire Warren Buffet. His company is a conglomerate that owns a wide variety of subsidiaries including GEICO, NBSF Railway, Fruit of the Loom, Helzberg Diamonds, Kraft Heinz Company, American Express, and more.
- Some people might be wondering how Google is absent from this infographic. It’s not absent; it exists through Alphabet. Alphabet is the parent company that Google created for itself in 2015 for the purpose of having a different corporate name to expand into other industries besides Internet services.