March 22, 2010

Reading Responce

Graphic Design: The New Basics


  • a graphic representation of a structure, situation, or process.
  • allows us to see relationships not visible through straight lists of numbers or verbal description.
  • no metaphorical distractions of excessive flourishes ("chart junk"), stay within the realm of objective observation.
  • also called a graph, it's a set of connections among nodes or points
  • centralized networks - all power issues come from a common point
  • decentralized networks - spine with radiating systems
  • distributed networks - node-to-node relationships with concentrated nodes of connectivity

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

This reading shows a lot of really good images for image mappings, and I'll continue to look back to them for inspiration and reference and my factoids begin to shape into information graphics. The different distributions of hierarchy in the graphs was really interesting to explore, and shows how varied the format of this information can come in.

Graphic Design Sources - p.154

This was a really concise, clear reading about the important elements of information graphics! It's hard to summarize so much straight-forward information, so first, important points and lists:

Challenges of Information graphics

-people find statistics to be boring

-people resent the idea that things, attitudes, Points of view, and choices are reduces to numbers.

-stats tend to be very cold, with little depth into the topic they cover

  • many statistical information take time to decipher
  • the end result of understanding the info and remembering it is rewarding to the viewer

Graphic displays of data should:

-serve a reasonably clear purpose: description, comparison, contextualization

-show the data

-cause the viewer to think about what the data mean rather than how the display was made

-avoid distorting what the data have to say

-encourage the eye to compare different pieces of data

-reveal the data at several levels of detail, from fine structure to broad overview

-be closely integrated with the statistical base of the data and the verbal descriptions, including the title, of the display

-not confuse design variation with data variation

-not show more information-carrying dimensions than the number of dimensions in the data

-assist in remembering the information

-respect the viewer’s intelligence

Principles of graphical integrity:

1. Proportional correspondence: The representation of numbers , as physically measured on the surface of the graphic display, should be directly proportional to the numerical quantities represented.

2. Data-ink proportionality: The largest share of the ink should be used to show measured quantities (as compared to the ink used for the measurement system).

3. Clear Labeling: Data need clear, detailed, and thorough labeling to eliminate graphical distortion and ambiguity. Write explanations of data on the graphic. Label important events in the data.

4. Contextual relevance: If you do not furnish the context, the viewer will. (if something goes up, something related goes down, etc.)

5. Device Relevance: Suppress vibration grids self-promoting graphics, and expression of data by the use of relevance graphic devices, typographic manipulation, and finesse in the relative weighting of elements.

6. Shape Relevance: Information should not be squeezed into forms that deny its characteristic shape. Being true to information yields its own form.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Instead of finishing the homework for this week and then hurrying to complete the reading like I tend to end up doing, this week I made sure I read it BEFORE starting on the assignment so hopefully it will turn out better with this information rattling in my hear while I work.

Hiebert's rules of graphic displays seem to be really similar to Tufte's rules. Some differences that I really enjoyed though were: encouraging the eye to move around the image, having multiple layers of information (both narrow and broad), and also respecting the viewers intelligence. Even with information graphics, it is important to remember go waaay back and refresh ourselves on the earliest principles of design, and arrange these elements with meaningful scale, proximity, layering, etc., etc. Plus, there's no reason to need to dumb down information for the viewer. Taking it from a plain text form and placing it in a diagrammatic layout is clarification enough. Being too simple is insulting to the people who read it (and also insulting to our ability, haha).

No comments:

Post a Comment