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Information Architects Paperback – October, 1997

6 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

Frankly, I have found most books about graphics in the information age to be riddled with hyperbole, poorly designed, and vastly overpriced. After looking at many of these books, I typically pull out my dog-eared copy of Edward Tufte's Visual Display of Quantitative Information to clear my visual and conceptual palettes. However, Information Architects, edited by Richard Saul Wurman with contributions by 20 masters in the visual display of information deserves to be on the same shelf as Tufte's masterpieces. Nor does this book shout a simplistic "Cyberspace über alles!": there's great material in here about the importance of informational design in physical spaces and virtual interfaces, and train tracks and track balls. Very highly recommended. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 235 pages
  • Publisher: Graphis Inc; F First Edition Used edition (October 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1888001380
  • ISBN-13: 978-1888001389
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 9.8 x 12 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.7 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,311,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Stephen Moskowitz on August 29, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This year, those of us who always gravitated to the picture books on library day have had two reasons to celebrate. Edward Tufte published his third magnificent work, Visual Explanations, and Richard Saul Wurman has favored us with this beautifully produced edition.

First and foremost, this book is about sheer visual delight. The delight we get when we discover new facts and relationships revealed in graphic ways by the information architects presented.

White text on black backgrounds notwithstanding, (See another review elsewhere in this section. I don''t find it difficult for my 45 year old eyes to follow) Wurman has the good sense to resort to extremely high quality design and printing methods to compliment the books contents.

Okay, after all that frothy introduction, what's this book really about? It's about information design and "the heart of a good explanation". It presents the work of 24 individuals or groups of designers, faced with a "Tsunami" of data, whose passion "is to make the complex clear."

The designs range from Alexander Tsiaras' computerized photographic medical visualizations and Clement Mok's web sites to David McCaulay's insightful freehand sketches and finished drawings. The presentation of the evolution of McCaulay's book, Underground, gave me the chills. I felt plugged into his brain as the concept develped into the finished book.

This book, like it's contents, is about discovery. The "rediscovery" of Richard Curtis' work for USA Today and Don Moyer's work for the Steelcase furniture catalogs are recognized for the style and clarity they brought to those media.
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17 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 25, 1997
Format: Hardcover
Many of the pieces in this book are wonderful, both the graphics we see and the narrative accounts of how projects were done.

But why is the book so hard to read? Is it the abundance of white on black text, of exclusively sans serif type, of a little block as a substitute for standard paragraph indentation? Why is it hard to cite the book? If Peter Bradford is the editor, what is Wurman? And why is it so hard to find the publisher information?

In brief, maybe what the book needed was a good book designer.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 14, 1997
Format: Hardcover
This is a splendid collection of some of the best examples of how information can be communicated clearly using visual elements. It covers a range of information from maps and tours to convoluted political schemes and stories from great literature. And I'm only half-way through the book. It's even taught me about calories -- Peter Bradford's illustration of them is so powerful and so simple.

If you have a need or desire to represent information visually for any reason, this book illustrates an abundance of possible directions or solutions. Dig in.
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