March 13, 2009  ·  culture  ·  design

Data Flow

Edward Tufte's books, dating back to 1983's The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, are bibles of information design. But 2006's Beautiful Evidence was a misfire, offering a few interesting bits amidst a lot of recycled material. So we turn to Data Flow: Visualising Information in Graphic Design, published by Gestalten, for an alternative approach. While Tufte pares graphics down to their utilitarian essence, Data Flow is jammed with graphics that are heavy on ink, push the envelope of data visualization, and vary greatly in how successfully they convey the data they represent. Unlike Tufte's books, Data Flow won't teach you why good graphics work or how to be an information designer. But it serves up inspiration to try something new, in a field that's ready for a bit of fresh thinking.

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