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Paperback Envisioning Information : PAPERBACK Book

ISBN: 1930824149

ISBN13: 9781930824140

Envisioning Information : PAPERBACK

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Provides practical advice about how to explain complex material by visual means, uses extraordinary examples to illustrate the fundamental principles of information display.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Mapping at its best

ENVISIONING INFORMATION represents one volume within a set of three. The primary objective of Edward R. Tufte is to demonstrate the importance of graphic illustrations in understanding the world around us.In this volume, the central focus is to demonstrate how one can use static and a two-dimensional surface (i.e. a piece of paper) to show a world that is complex, dynamic and multidimensional. The illustrations that he selects and his explanation of the impact of the illustrations is nothing less than magnificent. Tufte is brilliant! Unlike the other two volumes, the centerpiece of this work is mapping. He addresses various artistic principles that offer a great clarity in guiding a scholar to reproduce distance and shapes. I draw your attention to page 37. Here, we see a small piece of an "Isometric Map of Midtown Manhattan." The author gives us an opportunity to purchase the entire map. I purchased the map for a close friend who calls Midtown Manhattan "home." It isn't merely a map; it is a beautiful piece of art. According to the author, these mapping principles can be generalized to serve other functions. For example, such techniques can be used to provide dance notations (see page 114-119). That is, Tufte shows us how we can employ illustrations to teach people how to dance.All of Tufte's three volumes are pieces of artwork. All are awe-inspiring. ENVISIONING INFORMATION is slightly different than the other two volumes. I like to use Tufte's work as an example of how graphics can be employed to illustrate qantitative information to students.Every academic library should own a copy of these three volumes.

Simply Remarkable

Edward Tufte sees things most of us do not initially, then manages to render his vision in exquisitely illustrated, well-written texts. He identifies the attributes of effective communication of information and then illustrates what works and why in very understandable terms. For instance, in his chapter "Layering and Separation," Tufte dissects the problems with array of marshaling signals then reworks the presentation and provides a step-by-step explanation of his process. His coining of the wonderful notion of an "information prison" shows that his cleverness extends from the visual to the written. As Tufte writes in his introduction, "The principles of information design are universal-like mathematics-and are not tied to unique features of a particular language or culture." He proves this point amply by drawing on myriad sources and examples.His comments and insights of the power of color are especially enlightening, and if you have ever been subjected to a particularly hideous PowerPoint slide show where the presenter got more than a bit carried away with the technology, you will be agreeing more than disagreeing with the ideas here. Finally, I acknowledge there is bound to be some sticker shock associated with Edward Tufte's books. But if you consider the amount and quality of color (which requires special press runs), the quality of the paper, the amount of press time (Tufte oversees and approves the printing), and the vast scope of timeless information contained in each book, then these books are a deal.

Another wonderful book by the hand of Mr. Tufte

In the first book in this series "The Visual Display of Quantitative Information" we were introduced to some pretty clever ideas for presenting numbers using different types of graphs. This time, Mr. Tufte takes us on a journey through time and information space: Using carefully selected examples on graphic communication from all parts of the world, the reader is introduced to essential concepts as: Layering techniques; The use of colour to convey information; Multidimensionality in two dimensions; etc. It is amazing that just about 100 pages is all it takes to deliver a clear and strong message. But, as usual, Mr. Tufte do not waste his words on chit chat, but instead chooses his words carefully with loads of understated humour. Thereby the words themselves are a manifest of the message in this book and at the same time they become the invisible glue that connects the superbly chosen and superbly rendered illustrations which set the standard for the rest of us. If you can afford only one of the three books by Edward Tufte, then chose this one. The other books in the trilogy, being masterpieces themselves, could be considered being complementary reading.

A Tour De Fource of Information Design

To me, this is Tufte's best book, although they are all really good. Although its visually gorgeous, its not a coffee table book to just flip through. You have to be willing to spend time with it, and if you do the rewards are tremendous. Tufte presents a collection of some the best examples of information design ever invented, and some of the worst examples. And then he goes into the underlying principles that make the great ones sing out. This book will be really helpful to any web page designer, UI designers, statisticians, cartographers, scientists, or anyone concerned with presenting dense information in a clear way.There is a chapter on presenting multiple dimensional data on a flat, 2D paper that all by itself is worth the price of the book. Then there's the chapter on "Small Multiples" which presents wonderful examples of how to show patterns and changes. But then there's the chapter on layering of information, so the key pieces of data appear first, and the less relevant ones reveal themselves later. And on and on and on. Its just a great book.To add to it, Tufte is obsessed with quality like nobody else I can think of in the book business. Its printed on 100% rag paper using real lead type because he thinks that all other methods are inferior. Which means the book is costly to make, but its of heirloom quality.

A superb, inspiring book!

Envisioning Information is Tufte's best work. It is a catalog of world class information design examples, culled by the author. He has collected examples from sources as diverse as Gallileo's observations of Saturn, a 3D map of a Japanese shrine, a visual "proof" of Pythagoras' theorem, color studies by the artist Joseph Albers, and a New York train schedule. This is not a "how to" book, but rather a group of inspiring examples showing any would be information designer the concepts behind the execution of these superb examples.The concepts are painstakingly argued and illustrated. Tufte is obsessed with quality - the book is printed on 100% rag paper using old fashioned lead type because he believes this yields the highest quality results. One of the best books I have ever read when it comes to visual design!
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