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The Visual Display of Quantitative Information Hardcover – 31 Jan 2001


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Product details

  • Hardcover: 190 pages
  • Publisher: Graphics Press USA; 2nd edition edition (31 Jan 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961392142
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961392147
  • Product Dimensions: 27.4 x 22.5 x 2.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,214 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Excellence in statistical graphics consists of complex ideas communicated with clarity, precision, and efficiency. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

28 of 29 people found the following review helpful By Warren on 7 Dec 2001
Format: Hardcover
This book should be a compulsory read for all graphic designers dealing with data visualisation.
The clearly focused chapters, all with superb illustrations, take the reader through some of the best and worst graphics and charts ever printed, with Tufte providing crystalline insights and techniques that will stick in your mind and make your own work better.
Whilst this book deals only with printed graphics, I think that the lessons learned are even more valuable as a foundation for interactive media designers. With the added dimensions of time and user involvement comes the potential to commit far worse design-crimes than many of the examples laid bare in this book!
Like I said: Read it before you make a really bad mistake!
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By AK TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 Nov 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is simply stunning. It consigns most of the graphical designs of the consulting industry into the dustbin of bad practice and presents some slightly unconventional alternatives, which actually do look more compelling on second thought. The standard rules of avoiding lie factors in graphics, maximising the data / ink ratio, the integration of graphics and text are all spot on and show how statistics, when done right, is far from boring, tending far more towards the fascinating instead.

The book also provides some splendid examples of good graphical design, shockingly most of them fairly old - i.e. the field did not progress nearly as much as should be expected, with most of the progress being pre-20th century, with several unfortunate steps back from the 1920s to 1970s (shown as well). Another interesting facet is the historical development of methods for presenting quantitative information, which is interesting in its own right.

This book should be essential reading for anyone who relies on visually presenting quantitative information and is an absolute must in management consulting.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By J. J. Nancekivell-smith on 25 Aug 2010
Format: Hardcover
Every management consultant should look at the pictures.
This is excellence in story telling.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By M.I. on 11 Mar 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book provides suggestions and ideas about how to represent data in a graphically meaningful and elegant way. The focus is set on how to maximize the information shown without producing chartjunk, in order to reveal the meaning and the complexity of the data in a visually effective way. Guidelines are given for producing better graphics, such as maximising data ink and erasing non data one, and many examples of good and bad graphics taken from present and past scientific literature following such guidelines are shown. I found interesting the point made by the author about graphical data integrity, which means that graphics are supposed of telling the truth and not distort graphically the information content. The sizes of the graphical elements shown must represent the magnitude of the data correctly, without distortions. On the contrary, nowadays graphics published in newspapers and magazines often lack such integrity, and the message conveyed by the data is altered and telling a lie. Readers aren't usually aware of such subtleties! In conclusion, anybody dealing with scientific data and its representation should own a copy. Well done!
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18 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 17 Jan 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
These books appeal on so many levels. They are informative, interesting and entertaining. Beautifully produced and very well written. One hardly notices one is being educated.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. O. P. Akemu on 30 July 2013
Format: Hardcover
We have all seen them in presentations: illegible graphs, gaudy tables and lousy ClipArt. As the number of Powerpoint graphics options on explode with every new release of MS Office, the profusion of colours and shapes that populate presentations becomes even more bizzare. Thank goodness Edward Tufte sorts through all the mess to remind readers--perhaps some of them consultants--that graphs should communicate data with economy. No need for additional 3D effects. No gratuitously vulgar primary colours. Just plain communication.

The book is fairly straightforward. Tufte gives a short overview of the theory of graphical presentation. He then uses numerous examples (from the 18th century up to the twentieth century) to demonstrate the principles of good visual communication. He also shows how graphs (in the New York Times, in company annual reports etc) are deliberately distorted to give wrong information to the reader.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading 'The Visual Display of Quantitative Information'. I will be putting to practice its recommendation on the use of scatter plots in my next presentation. If you regularly present visual information in graphs, tables or figures for reports or as part of oral presentations, I recommend Impact by Jon Moon as well as Tufte's 'The Visual Display of Quantitative Information'. These books will repay close reading and practice of the principles of compelling visual presentations.
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By H. Carter on 3 Feb 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
A dry title for a completely wonderful (and beautifully produced) book. Nobody should ever prepare a presentation using graphics to convey numbers without having read it!
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By Paul Janka on 29 May 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The reproductions are wonderful and the text is informative. A great book to have and read. Get it now!

A classic for every thinking-man's shelf!
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