Chris Ziesler's Reviews > The Visual Display of Quantitative Information

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward R. Tufte
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's review
Jan 21, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: art, non-fiction
Read 2 times. Last read January 21, 2011 to January 21, 2012.

This classic work of design offers inspiration and guidance in equal measure for all who aspire to improve their graphical designs. Tufte seeks to educate by example, and the book is full of both gorgeous and dreadful examples of graphical design for which Tufte provides an insightful narrative.

My two personal favourites are: the Charles Joseph Minard's graphic depicting La Grande Armée's march on, and retreat from, Moscow: and the graphic from the Astronomical Journal showing the distribution of galaxies -

Tufte is never didactic, always preferring the discursive and the persuasive over the dogmatic as he demonstrates in this piece of closing advice in his Epilogue: "The principles should not be applied rigidly or in a peevish spirit; they are not logically or mathematically certain; and it is better to violate any principle than to place graceless or inelegant marks on paper."

In summary then, this is an essential book for anyone who has ever had to prepare a presentation, write a report, or who has ever tried to capture and communicate complexity; which is just about all of us.

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Reading Progress

Finished Reading
January 21, 2011 – Started Reading
January 21, 2012 – Shelved
January 21, 2012 –
page 155
January 21, 2012 – Shelved as: art
January 21, 2012 – Shelved as: non-fiction
January 21, 2012 – Finished Reading

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