Looking for the Audiobook Edition? Tell us that you'd like this title to be produced as an audiobook, and we'll alert our colleagues at Audible.com. If you are the author or rights holder, let Audible help you produce the audiobook: Learn more at ACX.com.
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.
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.
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.
"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.Read more ›
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.
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!