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Envisioning Information [Hardcover]

Edward R. Tufte
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)

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Book Description

May 1990 0961392118 978-0961392116
This book celebrates escapes from the flatlands of both paper and computer screen, showing superb displays of high-dimensional complex data. The most design-oriented of Edward Tufte's books, Envisioning Information shows maps, charts, scientific presentations, diagrams, computer interfaces, statistical graphics and tables, stereo photographs, guidebooks, courtroom exhibits, timetables, use of color, a pop-up, and many other wonderful displays of information. The book provides practical advice about how to explain complex material by visual means, with extraordinary examples to illustrate the fundamental principles of information displays. Topics include escaping flatland, color and information, micro/macro designs, layering and separation, small multiples, and narratives. Winner of 17 awards for design and content. 400 illustrations with exquisite 6- to 12-color printing throughout. Highest quality design and production.

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Envisioning Information + The Visual Display of Quantitative Information + Visual Explanations: Images and Quantities, Evidence and Narrative
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

A remarkable range of examples for the idea of visual thinking, with beautifully printed pages. A real treat for all who reason and learn by means of images. -- Rudolf Arnheim

Review

A beautiful, magnificent sequel to his classic,

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information -- American Mathematical Society

A beautifully illustrated, well-argued volume. -- Scientific American


Product Details

  • Hardcover: 126 pages
  • Publisher: Graphics Pr (May 1990)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961392118
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961392116
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 8.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (88 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,344 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
307 of 311 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Tour De Fource of Information Design April 28, 2000
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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.
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95 of 97 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A superb, inspiring book! August 5, 1998
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
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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103 of 109 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply Remarkable December 18, 2001
Format:Hardcover
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.
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64 of 66 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Passionate exposition on effective visualizations. Key takeaways are small-multiples, use of color, and use of details. However, the material on maps is sketchy. While mostly good, it is also distractedly didactic. While a must-have in any collection on data visualizations, for people looking for only one book on effective data visualizations, this is not it.
This book is like the poetry of visualizations; you will need to supplement it with books that are the prose of visualizations - see suggestions at the end of the review.

Why 3 Stars???
--------------
I initially gave this four stars, but then changed it to three stars. This may seem harsh, but hear me out. There is lots that is good in the book. However, this book's focus is more on cartography and maps. And this is where it falls short. It does not address the issue of map based visualizations in any sort of depth. Not much space is devoted to the different types of map based visualizations - dot plots, qualitative and quantitative choropleths (color patches), heatmaps, proportional bars, 3D maps, maps with variable sized markers, isopleths, flow maps, dot-location maps, graduated symbol maps, and much, much, more. The other reason for deducting two stars is the fact that this book, in 2009, does read a bit dated. It is a beautifully laid out book, that almost falls into the coffee-table book category, but looking beyond that, the material does show its age. 10 or 15 years ago the rating would have been 4 or 5 stars. Perhaps unfair on my part...

Excerpt:
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On the topic of spatial maps, Tufte highlights a problem that may emerge with conventional choropleths (blot maps): "(they)... paint over areas formed by given geographic or political boundaries ...
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Classic
This the the absolute must read for infographic fans. The graphics inside the text are amazing and really help to stimulate creativity and understand how to design better... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Cheng Yi Chiao
5.0 out of 5 stars The ultimate coffee table book for nerds
This is not only a beautiful book, it's also a proof of concept - it's densely packed and yet feels easy to read because the information is presented in such an elegant, logical,... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gina Cardazone
5.0 out of 5 stars Just buy it
Seriously, just get this book. It is an excellent book for how to properly display information to people. Tufte is amazingly clear with simple and elegant examples. Just buy it.
Published 4 months ago by Benedict Holland
5.0 out of 5 stars Communcate visually!
A picture is worth a thousand words. We should not wish to lose that essential device of communicating through graphics.
Published 5 months ago by Charles M. Weymouth
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book
Learning a lot about this but it is more of a text book version of the material. Definitely a must read for people
Published 5 months ago by Ron Gabriel W. Gabunada
3.0 out of 5 stars Ultimately, without design sense and resource, and a cogent narrative,...
Depending on your training and experience, Professor Tufte's books will be more or less useful. In all, I find he has a penchant for overstatement. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Glenn E. White
3.0 out of 5 stars Book not in condition listed
I am happy with this book, but it was listed in "like new" condition. The cover was ripped and had lots of scratches/dirt on it.
Published 5 months ago by Andrew G Britt
5.0 out of 5 stars Envisioning Information: Heavy tips from the professionals through the...
Edward R Tufte is a forward-thinking college professor who teaches courses with the kind of information provided in this book. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Glennnnn
5.0 out of 5 stars Complete over view of data visualization
New condition just as I ordered. Fairly interesting book drawing from a plethora of sources for great examples. Tufte is the leader of is field as far as I'm concerned
Published 7 months ago by Dean Salem
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent
Amazing book! Tufte was way ahead of his time in terms of infographics and such. He has an even newer book I haven't checked out yet. Read more
Published 7 months ago by joel5270
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