The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and visualization (Voices That Matter)

The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and visualization (Voices That Matter)

Alberto Cairo

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0321834739

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub

The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and visualization (Voices That Matter)

Alberto Cairo

Language: English

Pages: 384

ISBN: 0321834739

Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub


Unlike any time before in our lives, we have access to vast amounts of free information. With the right tools, we can start to make sense of all this data to see patterns and trends that would otherwise be invisible to us. By transforming numbers into graphical shapes, we allow readers to understand the stories those numbers hide. In this practical introduction to understanding and using information graphics, you’ll learn how to use data visualizations as tools to see beyond lists of numbers and variables and achieve new insights into the complex world around us. Regardless of the kind of data you’re working with–business, science, politics, sports, or even your own personal finances–this book will show you how to use statistical charts, maps, and explanation diagrams to spot the stories in the data and learn new things from it.

You’ll also get to peek into the creative process of some of the world’s most talented designers and visual journalists, including Condé Nast Traveler’s John Grimwade, National Geographic Magazine’s Fernando Baptista, The New York Times’ Steve Duenes, The Washington Post’s Hannah Fairfield, Hans Rosling of the Gapminder Foundation, Stanford’s Geoff McGhee, and European superstars Moritz Stefaner, Jan Willem Tulp, Stefanie Posavec, and Gregor Aisch. The book also includes a DVD-ROM containing over 90 minutes of video lessons that expand on core concepts explained within the book and includes even more inspirational information graphics from the world’s leading designers.

The first book to offer a broad, hands-on introduction to information graphics and visualization, The Functional Art reveals:

• Why data visualization should be thought of as “functional art” rather than fine art
• How to use color, type, and other graphic tools to make your information graphics more effective, not just better looking
• The science of how our brains perceive and remember information  
• Best practices for creating interactive information graphics
• A comprehensive look at the creative process behind successful information graphics  
• An extensive gallery of inspirational work from the world’s top designers and visual artists

On the DVD-ROM:
In this introductory video course on information graphics, Alberto Cairo goes into greater detail with even more visual examples of how to create effective information graphics that function as practical tools for aiding perception. You’ll learn how to: incorporate basic design principles in your visualizations, create simple interfaces for interactive graphics, and choose the appropriate type of graphic forms for your data. Cairo also deconstructs successful information graphics from The New York Times and National Geographic magazine with sketches and images not shown in the book.

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us. In this sense, I feel I am one of the luckiest individuals on Earth: I will start this book saying that curiosity is the most important trait any communicator should have. Therefore, I have to thank those who have ignited my curiosity throughout the years and have helped me focus it. This book is, first, for my parents. When I was a kid, my dad prompted me to love books and good stories, both fictional and real, and to develop an insatiable hunger for new knowledge. Inadvertently, he also

object must visually suggest what it “affords.” You can understand this by taking a look at the controls of my bike in Figure 9.5. Its brakes are activated by handles that, due to their curved shape, adapt to my hands, inviting me to pull them. The overall design of the device gives me further clues about how to make it work: sit, put your feet on the pedals, and push them to make that metal serrated wheel rotate. The consequences of this are clear: If you want readers to press, pull, push, or

(driven-by-data.net) and Jan Willem Tulp (TULP interactive) The Rising Stars Gregor Aisch (http://driven-by-data.net) is a freelance visualization architect who combines skills in development, design, and data journalism. He has worked for clients such as General Electric and news organizations such as ZEIT Online. Jan Willem Tulp (http://tulpinteractive.com) is a freelance information visualizer working from The Hague, The Netherlands. He works for clients around the world, and his

(driven-by-data.net). Q Among the people you admire, who would you say have influenced you the most, and why? GA Among the historical figures, I admire the work of Otto Neurath and Gerd Arntz34. That great ideal they promoted of developing a universal visual language to communicate across borders simply amazes me and drives my work even now. After Neurath’s death, his wife, Marie Neurath, started to use ISOTYPE infographics to teach kids in developing countries that they should go to school,

Human Factors in Computing Systems, (New York: ACM, 2010). 7 Stephen Few, “The Chartjunk Debate,” accessed Feb. 23, 2012 at http://www.perceptualedge.com/articles/visual_business_intelligence/the_chartjunk_debate.pdf. 8 Nigel Holmes, Designer’s Guide to Creating Charts & Diagrams (New York: Watson-Guptill Publications, 1984), pp. 72-76. 9 Otto Neurath, From Hieroglyphics to Isotype, p. 113. Chapter 4 1 Few, February 1, 2012, blog post, “Should Data Visualizations Be Beautiful?,”

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