General Principles of Graphic Design
- Edward R. Tufte, "Envisioning Information", Graphics Press, Cheshire,
- Edward R. Tufte, "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information", Cheshire,
Introduce methods that can be used to communicate complex ideas with clarity,
precision and efficiency. Tufte explains that the graphical display of data should:
- simply show the data
- induce the viewer to think about the substance rather than about the
methodology, type of graphic design, or the technology used to produce the graphic.
- avoid decoration which can distort what the data have to say
- present as much information in as small a space as possible without confusing the viewer
- make large data sets coherent
- encourage the eye to compare different pieces of data
- reveal the data at several levels of detail, from the broad overview to
the fine structure.
If we use these same visual techniques to communicate data to ourselves when we are
investigating complex data sets on the computer, we create the opportunity to discover new
relationships visually. Systematic use of these techniques encourages "visual thinking".
Principles of Graphical Excellence
- Graphical excellence is that which gives to the viewer the greatest number
of ideas in the shortest time with the least ink in the smallest space.
- Graphical examples:
- War of 1812
- Small multiples
- Distracting patterns
- Conducive patterns
- Never construct decoration
- Use synergism in graphics
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