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Semiology of Graphics

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  149 ratings  ·  9 reviews

Originally published in French in 1967, Semiology of Graphics holds a significant place in the theory of information design. Founded on Jacques Bertin’s practical experience as a cartographer, Part One of this work is an unprecedented attempt to synthesize principles of graphic communication with the logic of standard rules applied to writing and topography. Part Two bring

Hardcover, 415 pages
Published December 31st 1983 by University of Wisconsin Press (first published January 1st 1967)
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Andy Chu
Mar 14, 2010 rated it really liked it
I managed to find this rare book in the Palo Alto Library a few years ago. It's like a precursor to Tufte's books, but it's far more detailed and dense.

It's been awhile, but I believe most of it is essentially covering theme of accurately representing data with graphics.
Michael Scott
Jul 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science, design, my-favs
TODO full review:
+++ One of the classics of information visualization cited by the classics of information visualization, Jacques Bertin's Semiology of Graphics (Sémiologie graphique: les diagrammes, les réseaux, les cartes) was written in 1965 and published in 1967. Although this book was translated in English only in 1983, from a second-edition print (1973), Edward R. Tufte includes references to it in his own classic, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information.
+++ It is very interesting
Oct 08, 2017 rated it it was ok
I only skimmed this book. It turned out not to be quite what I was hoping for. I was interested in the book because, as a student in scientific research, I have to prepare graphical representations of my data, and I wanted a guide to understanding the principles behind constructing graphs and graphical representations. Apparently this book is one of the classics of the subject, but I found it surprisingly confusing. It's a translation from French, and there were plenty of sentences that just see ...more
Apr 09, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: datavis
Probably one of the best books to start with if you're interested in visualizing data. It covers the fundamental principles of visualization very detailed and thoroughly. It's a bit outdated, since it's from 1967, so don't expect stuff about interactivity, e.g. zooming, filters, highlights, etc. But other than that, it's a brilliant book that I recommend to everyone interested in graphics and visualization. ...more
Apr 09, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: synaps-best-of
This is a manual combined with a style guide. It unpacks every aspect of visual communication on the basis of what is proven to work best for the human eye. The sheer amount of guidance makes both for a difficult read and a perfect reference book to go back to when in doubt.
Mark Huisjes
May 21, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2-scientific
Classic of cartography, GIS and information display. Not well founded on actual psychological experiments so mostly based on the opinions and experience of Bertin himself though. Still much better than randomly making maps.
Nov 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
An essential.
Francis Harvey
Jun 26, 2019 rated it liked it
A book of its times; a book for knowledge archaeology today. The graphical variables, for Bertin, mediate the mind/body divide
Georges Hattab
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
A comprehensive book and to the point. Pretty quick read if you're familiar with the field. However, more depth would have been appreciated in many instances. ...more
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