Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative
Riveting ideas on presenting better information design. Few would disagree: Life in the information age can be overwhelming. Through computers, the Internet, the media, and even our daily newspapers, we are awash in a seemingly endless stream of charts, maps, infographics, diagrams, and data. "Visual Explanations," the latest book by Edward R. Tufte, a Yale design professor, is a navigational guide through this turbulent sea of information. The book is an essential reference for anyone involved in graphic, Web, or multimedia design, as well as for educators and lecturers who use graphics in presentations or classes.
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Explanations of magic involve pictorial instructions demonstrating a sequence of
performance, a step-by-step description of conjuring activities.2 To document and
explain a process, to make verbs visible, is at the heart of information design.
Also, as is the case for all sorts of narratives, explanations of magic tell a four-
dimensional story, using words and images to navigate through time and three-
space where conjuring activities take place. It is hard to imagine how the
An inventory of conjuring methods consequently provides evidence about what
not to do in the proper arrangement of information— where the point is not at all
to baffle the audience but rather to unveil and explain complex data clearly,
accurately, unmistakably. In conjuring, strategies of disguise and attention control
work to regulate the optical information available to the spectator.13 As we have
seen for the backpalm and the copper-silver coin exchange, a common
technique is to ...
26 Or, for that matter, a good illustration. David Brewster, Letters on Natural
Magic (London, 1834), pp. 270-282. 23 Charles Michael Carroll, The Great
Chess Automaton (New York, 197$), describes a long history of guessing and
plagiarism in writings about the automaton. 24 Such borrowing is common.
Raymond Toole Stott [A Bibliography of English Conjuring 1581-1876 (Derby,
1976), p. 76] writes: "Reginald Scot, in his Discovery of Witchcraft, denied the
existence of witchcraft ...
What people are saying - Write a review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - KirkLowery - LibraryThing
An eye-opening read. As a linguistic who deals with databases, this book dramatically improved my writing and design of graphics for publication. Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - jasonli - LibraryThing
In "Visual Explanations," Tufte walks us through various case studies of visual explanations (charts, graphs, graphics, diagrams and maps). Some of the case studies are about great works, while others ... Read full review