Edward R. Tufte
Graphics Press, Cheshire, CT, 2001 (2nd edition); orginally published 1983
Nonfiction, Digital Media Design; Nonfiction, Graphic Design
ISBN: 9780961392147

From the Publisher. 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.
This is the second edition of The Visual Display of Quantitative Information. Recently published, this new edition provides excellent color reproductions of the many graphics of William Playfair, adds color to other images, and includes all the changes and corrections accumulated during 17 printings of the first edition.

 

On 7 book lists
Peter Bohlin

Tufte has published an extraordinary series of books, but this one, containing amazing images/diagrams that lucidly communicate precise knowledge, is my favorite. I also enjoy the story that he originally offered his books to publishers, but they all agreed that his books were not saleable. Now, there is not a publisher in the world who would not wait at Tufte’s front door for even a slight chance to publish his next book.

Dan Formosa

This (and Edward Tufte’s subsequent publications) should be required reading for everyone, everywhere. The ability to both think and communicate visually is critical to understanding in all fields.

Craig Hodgetts

Despite its numbing title, this volume, and its several cousins, is a visual feast. Its brilliantly selected examples, supplemented by a wise and perceptive text, propel the reader along a hyperbolic learning curve. I find myself referring to it so often that Tufte has nearly attained the status of a verb.

Véronique Vienne

In his chapter on “ChartJunk” in The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Tufte shows that a black speck, the size of a dot on the “i” in six-point Garamond Light, is perfectly visible when extraneous graphic clutter is removed.

Also see my comments on Beautiful Evidence for an appreciation of Tufte’s work.

Carola Zwick

Tufte’s carefully printed “trilogy”—which includes Envisioning Information and Visual Explanations—presents milestones of visual communication, like the greatest of all: Charles Josef Minard’s graphic representation of Napoleon’s March on Moscow.

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