Pecha Kucha - Edward Tufte Information Design books review


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This is a book review, in the Pecha Kucha format, of some Edward Tufte's book. It includes some of my favourites of the beautiful historical examples he uses to explain how his points of information design.

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  • One on gurus of information designing & data visualisation. Focus on Info Design
  • Some beautiful examples form his books, mainly the first two. It’s an injustice to present these this way, but it’s just a snapshot.
  • Layering & Separation IBM Series III Copier Colour to separate layers Both layers are clearly visible Attention to the differences
  • Escaping Flatland Japanese train timetable for network operators. Turns a traditional list of numbers in to something visual. Plus adds a lot more content.
  • Micro & Macro readings Map of Paris 1739 (Pont Neuf & Notre Dame) Detail cumulates in to a larger coherent structure Windows – shop fronts – buildings – streets - blocks – the whole
  • Micro & Macro readings Vietnam War Memorial - Washington Names listed in order of death, not alphabetical gives more individual meaning Combine together to provide a large scale picture, yet still personal.
  • Layering & Separation Airplane Marshall signals Above – an information prison Attention to the differences, removing noise Adding colour to those that do Every pixel matters
  • Small multiples Techniques in Calligraphy Lots of data points Positioned in a sequential order Allow for comparison
  • Small multiples World rivers Stretched out side-side to allow for comparison Showing tributaries & mountain sources Without detail just a glorified bar chart
  • Colour & Information Swiss mountain map (Matterhorn) Using colour deliberately To label – distinguish water from stone To measure - altitude To represent or imitate – river blues and shadows To enliven or decorate – past black and white could achieve
  • Narratives of Times & Space Galileo’s observations of the planets Tufte’s favourite historical example Discovered that planets rotate around the sun Observing and taking notes Movement and alignment of moons
  • Narratives of Times & Space Czechoslovakia airline network map (1933) Combines route map, with times, weight of services
  • Narratives of Times & Space Dance notation from the Renaissance Comines music notes and steps to show the dance Shows the graceful lines and postures.
  • Mapped pictures Slave trade ship Gruesome but highly informative in it’s design. Combining imagery and text.
  • Sparklines American Baseball win/loss stats Word like graphics, embedded with text Showing large amounts of data Seasons progress Home & Away results
  • Links & Casual arrows 1936 Art Exhibition poster Links, relationships, history Makes me want to study it
  • Links & Casual arrows Satirical Cartoon 1946 A follow up inspired by the previous So much detail crammed in to one image
  • Words, numbers, images New York Police Department & NY Times Produced in conjunction with an Officer & Designer Helped reduce crime Combines lots of different elements together
  • PowerPoint Does Rocket Science Columbia Space Shuttle Disaster Risk Assessment (NASA 2003) Technical Report done in PPT Hid the important details under 3 levels of bullet points Resulted in a bad decision being made
  • ChartJunk Tufte is highly critical of PPT Irony of doing this in PPT format People add useless fluff that hides valuable information PPT bullets are written at children reading level “ Bullet grunts”
  • Pecha Kucha - Edward Tufte Information Design books review

    1. 1. EdwardTufteThe Guru ofInformation Design