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The Visual Display of Quantitative Information [Hardcover]

Edward R. Tufte
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
Price: £26.00 & FREE Delivery in the UK. Details
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The Visual Display of Quantitative Information + Envisioning Information
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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: 2.5 x 22.9 x 27.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 10,250 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


The first edition of Tufte's now classic text on the design of statistical graphics was published in 1983. Tufte published it himself with the help of a second mortgage in order to have complete control over the book's design, which he wanted to reflect the intellectual principles put forth in its c

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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

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This is the first of Edward Tufte's brilliant trilogy on how information should be displayed. The Visual Display of Quantitative Information is about pictures of numbers. Envisioning Information is about picturing nouns. Visual Explanations is about picturing verbs. All three are beautiful artefacts in their own right, encapsulating the author's ideas in the actual production of the book. Each is crammed with examples of good and bad practice over the past centuries.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
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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28 of 29 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Read it, before you make a really bad mistake. 7 Dec 2001
By Warren
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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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The essential guide to avoiding graphical lies 20 Mar 1997
By A Customer
This book, and the two companion volumes ("Envisioning Information" and "Visual Explanations") are must-haves for anyone who is in the business or producing or interpreting
statistical information.

Tufte starts with a simple proposition: graphs and graphics
that represent statistical data should tell the truth. It's
amazing how often designers of such graphics miss this basic
point. Tufte clearly and entertainingly elucidates the most
common "graphical lies" and how to avoid them.

Read this
book and you'll never look at a newspaper or presentation
graphics the same way again -- you'll be left wondering if
the author *intended* to lie about what the data were saying, or if he/she just didn't know any better.

Another reviewer claimed that this book talks about how to make graphics accurate, not beautiful. He's right in some sense, but who cares? There are a million books on how to make "pretty" graphical displays, but precious few on how to make useful ones. These books are they.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
This book is an excellent style guide on how to present
data in graphical format. Every idea is clearly explained
and backed up with excellent visual examples. Tufte
emphasizes the use of graphics as a tool that accelerates
the flow of information to the reader instead of an
ornamental attachment. Latest advances in personal
computing and world-wide web has made this point even
more important - just think about the amount of junk we
get to see on a typical web page. Tufte criticizes the
increasingly familiar case of graphical data distortion
in publications with striking examples and offers basic
guidelines for avoiding this problem.

The book is overall very well written and designed. I
consider "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information"
required reading for anybody who needs to present or use
data in graphical form.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just timeless, timely 14 Dec 1998
By A Customer
When it was published in 1983, it was an insightful work, that provided guidance for a limited number of designers and academics working in fields where data interpretation was critical. With the growth of the Web, this book, and it's companion "Visual Explanations" have become seminal, like McLuhan's work became.
Modern commerce and entertainment is now being forced into a matrix of 800 * 600 pixels: even more constraining than the constraints of a printed page. Tufte urges us on to get the the core of our intent, to separate the wheat from the chaff, at a time when media is reinventing itself faster than artists can keep up.
No professional or technologist can afford not to read Tufte's work. As Tufte ends the book "Design is Choice". Choices must be informed.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant
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!
Published 9 months ago by H. Carter
2.0 out of 5 stars Buy this book, but do not read it
This book has good and bad aspects. First let me look at the bad part: the text Tufte has written. The problem is, most of it is founded on a single principle: maximise the... Read more
Published 10 months ago by James Oldfield
4.0 out of 5 stars Marvellous, timely
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... Read more
Published 15 months ago by A. O. P. Akemu
5.0 out of 5 stars A Classic!
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!
Published 17 months ago by Paul Janka
5.0 out of 5 stars Very good book
Nice print
Easy to read
Full of quality illustrations
A very good book to have.
I would say worth the money.
Published 17 months ago by taufiq
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Amazing book, amazing service! Really apreciate!
This book began in 1975 but is still so trendy now days. Read more
Published on 19 Aug 2012 by Leo
4.0 out of 5 stars well regarded classic on the subject, but a bit too old-fashioned...
well regarded classic on the subject, but a bit too old-fashioned style, avoiding colour as the tool for some reason. Read more
Published on 31 Oct 2011 by ReviewerX
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful
The ideal introductory book to Tufte, an absolutely beautiful book, an essential read for all those working in the data visualisation field. Perfect.
Published on 28 Sep 2011 by Howie
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading
This is a great "classic" and would even make a good coffee table book with its images and high quality paper! There are plenty of useful tips on how to visualise data. Read more
Published on 6 Sep 2011 by Simon Gifford
3.0 out of 5 stars Quite technical and historical
Molto più tecnico e storico di quello che mi aspettassi, ma in fin dei conti fa il suo lavoro, ancora non l'ho finito di leggere, ma promette bene, impatto buono
Published on 24 Aug 2011 by Sion
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