- Hardcover: 197 pages
- Publisher: Graphics Press USA; Reprinted edition edition (Feb. 1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 096139210X
- ISBN-13: 978-0961392109
- Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 22.9 x 27.9 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars See all reviews (50 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 334,868 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Visual Display of Quantitative Information Hardcover – 1 Feb 1992
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The Visual Display of Quantitative Information The classic book on statistical graphics, charts, tables. Theory and practice in the design of data graphics, 250 illustrations of the best (and a few of the worst) statistical graphics, with detailed analysis of how to display data for precise, effective, quick analysis. Design of the high-resolution displays, small multiples. Editing and improving graphics. The data-ink ratio. Time-series, relational graphics, data maps, multivariate designs. Detection of graphical deception: design variation vs. data variation. Sources of deception. Aesthetics and data graphical displays.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
A classic for every thinking-man's shelf!
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.
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.
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!
The problem with this idea is that it is based on a fundamentally flawed view of human perception. We don't just see individual blobs of inks (or darkened pixels), so that adding more makes it harder. Instead we see the various shapes they form (search the web for "Kanizsa's triangle"!), and we should be aiming to reduce the complexity of this. For example, if you have several graphs next to each other, then putting a box around each will keep them visually distinct, so you can focus on one at a time with no conscious effort. If you leave out the bounding boxes then they become a jumble of tiny objects that take some effort to group visually. A very small amount of effort, admittedly, but you've made it harder for no reason. But Tufte HATES putting boxes around things! After all, you've certainly added more ink, and added no more information, so by his flawed rule you have made things unambiguously worse.
So now for the good. Why should you buy this book if not to read it? Because it is filled with pictures representing data from a myriad of sources. Some of them are effective, some are not. Some are beautiful, some are ugly. All are worth reflecting on.
In conclusion: Ok, I exaggerate when say "do not read it".Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I'm half way through and amazed by this book and its design.
The examples are facinating, the text is short and to the point. Read more
Delivery was on time, and the book itself is in good condition. However, the cover (an individual sheet of paper) had been completely teared up, so I no longer have any title on... Read morePublished 16 months ago by mie kristensen
I bought this as a geek with a view to learning more about how to present data in a way that capitalised on the use of colour and so on (as an artists I make a good housebrick). Read morePublished on 19 Jun. 2015 by Ap Woods
The gold standard in visual design. Along with a good understanding of typography can yield very good looking and informative charts.Published on 12 Dec. 2014 by Nimish
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 on 3 Feb. 2014 by H. Carter
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