Data Flow: Visualising Information in Graphic Design
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Data Flow: Visualising Information in Graphic Design [Hardcover]

R. Klanten , N. Bourquin , S. Ehmann , F. van Heerden
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)

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Hardcover, September 1, 2008 --  
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Book Description

September 1, 2008
International interest in the sophisticated and aesthetic visualization of complex information made Data Flow a bestseller. Today, more and more graphic designers, advertising agencies, motion designers, and artists work in this area. New techniques and forms of expression are being developed. Consequently, the demand for information on this topic has grown enormously. Data Flow 2 expands the definition of contemporary information graphics. The book features new possibilities for diagrams, maps, and charts. It investigates the visual and intuitive presentation of processes, data, and information. Concrete examples of research and art projects as well as commercial work illuminate how techniques such as simplification, abstraction, metaphor, and dramatization function. The book also includes interviews with experts such as The New York Times s Steve Duenes, Infosthetics's Andrew Vande Moere, Visualcomplexity's Manuel Lima, ART+COM's Joachim Sauter, and passionate cartographer Menno-Jan Kraak as well as text features by Johannes Schardt about the challenges in creating effective information graphics and about the relationship between complexity, clarity, content, and innovation. Offering practical advice, background information, case studies, and inspiration, Data Flow 2 is a valuable reference for anyone working with or interested in information graphics.
--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 255 pages
  • Publisher: Dgv (September 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9783899552171
  • ISBN-13: 978-3899552171
  • ASIN: 3899552172
  • Product Dimensions: 9.8 x 12.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #723,268 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 56 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Let data scream... but where's the data? December 2, 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
We're inundated with small data, big data, complex data... lotsa data. And the data is THE story; it should be front and center. Data Flow depicts hundreds of stunning data viz examples. The book is aesthetically beautiful. However, several of the diagrams suffer from low data-to-ink ratios (lots of paint, little useful data)... and many are illegible and printed too small to see or require specific domain knowledge to decrypt.

Where's the data? The book proselytizes the importance of data and there ain't much raw data to be seen (or linked to).

The book designers have forgotten to treat typography as the visual hierarchy for words, the interface design for text. The type treatments and layouts are difficult to read.

Designers, engineers, statisticians, and decision-makers need data viz guidance. This book is not an academic dive into data visualization and needs to follow several of it's own rules for displaying information. But this book provokes your imagination.
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33 of 34 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great Content, Compromised Design February 15, 2009
This book had such promise and I think that there must be a story in why it is so compromised. The text and choice of images are excellent. The design of the book and execution are a failure. It's as if the author lost control of the book and the manuscript was taken through a process that degraded the very purpose of the book. It is still worth reading but there is a baffling irony in the fact that a book about information design has such mediocre information design.
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26 of 27 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful book but little Data February 12, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This is a wonderful book that shows numerous examples of Information Aesthetics. My problem with the book is I was hoping for something that showed good examples of how to visualize data and make it aesthetically pleasing. Unfortunately for me the book mostly focused on Aesthetics and some of the examples where actually very poor at communicating the content of the data which would have been great if they were listed as anti patterns.
Regardless of my criticism I am happy I purchased the book and have found some interesting and useful examples. If Amazon allowed half ratings I would have rated it 3.5.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Feeble follow on June 30, 2010
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
The original book was fresh and interesting; volume 2 is formulaic -- too many school projects that seem to pre-answer the theme they are intended to explore
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful
"Data Flow 2: Visualizing Information in Graphic Design" describes itself as an expansion of the first book, aimed at being the definition of contemporary information graphics, with new techniques and forms of expression. Instead the book is a gallery of information as art, which in turn deconstructs the data flows and sources, and displays in such a way as to render information as a design element rather than a useful product that can be used and reused.

If you have seen the first book then you know what to expect. The graphic design stretches from the ordinary to the exotic and intricate, ranging from small `ikea type' bookcase colour schemes of paper stacks to thought provoking art installations such as the giant 3D carbon dioxide emissions sphere that dissolves into smaller spheres as you interact. The symmetry of a biologist drawing of a newly discovered plant species. Hand carved bell curved bells cluster on a wooden chopping board. White origami sine waves ripple out from a white square box. Spirograph lampshades resemble the intricate lattice work of nature.

The flaw in this approach is it does not communicate information in a way that's easily understood. A quality of `information' is it's usefulness and usability. Patterns on wallpaper and tree truck dissections all reveal the unique shape of data flows, but fail to provide metrics, a requirement for analysis and conversion to true `information'. Instead we get the raw data as a colour coded fractal, a construct from which you can search for meaning in but not a tool to leverage from.

The language of visual communication and information has its foundations in the automatic reactions we have embedded into our subconscious minds; what we have inherited and learnt.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
This book is more of a collection of examples rather than a "how to". Although the book can be very inspiring, both from the approach of the design and even on the ideas, very little information is given on each chart, thus this is more of a picture collection.

Data Flow examples feature a very high quality degree of print.

It is very recommended for who is inspired from Information Graphics as charts rather than as manuals and instructions.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely fantastic February 2, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I tend to check the review of any book before I purchase, but rarely do I feel strong enough about a book to write a review of my own. Data Flow is completely worth a raving review. This book is full of beautiful images derived from data. Its broken up into 5 overall categories of information design, making it easy to find a more specific type of design if desired. Each project has a small explanation blurb that accompanies it. If anything could be better, a little bit more information about each piece would be nice, however, this is not one of those books with a thousand pretty pictures and no information to back it up.

If you are interested in information design, communication design, or graphic design, this book is a must!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
This is a fabulous book for anyone who is faced with combining information/data and design. It's not the most practical in the sense that the design solutions are very conceptual... Read more
Published 11 months ago by Kathleen Grebe
5.0 out of 5 stars Architects interested in Data Visualization
As an architecture student, what has been interesting is how important data has become and how big data can be utilized to find both problems and solutions in the built... Read more
Published 17 months ago by Tim C. (GSAPP Columbia University)
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing, it took me like 20+ hours to read
I loved this book. It really opened my eyes about the possibilities and limitations of what visuals can communicate. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Mister Roboto
1.0 out of 5 stars Bad quality
The picture in side is blur
Not useful information
Is totally not as good as data flow 1
I send it back
Published 19 months ago by cong
3.0 out of 5 stars Should ship with a magnifying glass...
Just got my copy yesterday, and while it's a beautiful book to look at, much (if not most) of the text is so small that it really does require a magnifying glass to read, at least... Read more
Published 19 months ago by Blaine Lilly
5.0 out of 5 stars Data Flow 2
Wonderful book for data visualization. I'm a student and found it very helpful for my design class. Information graphics isn't just charts and graphs.
Published 20 months ago by Patricia L. Ballard
5.0 out of 5 stars DATAFLOW ftw
im going to summarize this as follows:

"if you dont own a copy of both dataflow I and dataflow II you don't take your design education seriously"

that plain... Read more
Published on April 14, 2012 by Ehsaan Mesghali
4.0 out of 5 stars Good eye candy, yet useful.
A lot of the material in this book doesn't amount to much more than eye candy, but I find it useful because it offers some different ideas into how information graphics can be... Read more
Published on June 11, 2011 by Eric Chamberlain
3.0 out of 5 stars Expands, with fluff
DF2 introduces 20% more new heads worth your while but inevitably drags in 80% infographabees. Your dollar you gets you two things you may not get elsewhere:

[1] Large... Read more
Published on April 25, 2011 by thealanknox
3.0 out of 5 stars Pretty Pictures
I thoroughly perused this book, and as with its predecessor, I'm left wanting more. If you have any knowledge of what goes into an effective infographic, or have read any of... Read more
Published on January 17, 2011 by Ramirez
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