Understanding the Dream Layers: An Inception Infographic

January 9, 2011
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Understanding the Dream Layers: An Inception Infographic

Fast Company held an infographic design competition to find someone who could clearly and visually explain the plot/dream layers of the film Inception. Their winner, Rick Slusher, designed an excellent graphic.

Design, infographic, illustration, inception, film, rick slusher

It's clean, simple (which isn't an easy feat considering the subject matter), and easy to follow. The colors show individual dreams paths that you can follow through the dream levels and the characters' subconscious.

Design, infographic, illustration, inception, film, rick slusher
Design, infographic, illustration, inception, film, rick slusher

Plus, Slusher nods at a few alternative theories for the movie's meaning. He illustrates the idea that reality could be nothing more than a dream through the black "void." The characters slip into the void at the lowest levels of the dream, but you'll see that they also enter from the void. The shape of the time space itself is like a shoe, suggesting that the whole scenario is Mahl's attempt to "kick" and wake her husband from an endless dream.

Design, infographic, illustration, inception, film, rick slusher

Slusher conceived the idea in an airport and started sketching, beginning with a circular graphic that evolved into the final idea you see above.

More info and words from the artist at Fast Company

Some other design posts you might enjoy:

The Visual History of the Batmobile: 1941-2010
200 Countries and 200 Years in 4 Minutes: Statistics Brought to Life
Design Trends: Blue and Orange Movie Posters

Jessica Patterson

Jessica Patterson

Hi, I'm Jessica. I'm a Designer and Writer at Drawbackwards and write for the Design Blog at Design.org. I enjoy vintage things, letterpress, publication design, and long walks around the Cesar Chavez Park pond. You can follow me on twitter at @jessdoodled for lots of fun randomness.

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Visual Design Lead / Palo Alto, CA

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