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Visual Function: An Introduction to Information Design Paperback – December 1, 1997
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About the Author
Paul Mijksenaar is a professor at the Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering at Delft University of Technology, the Netherlands. He is the author of numerous publications on design.
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The examples, and especially typography, are scaled down to fit an excruciatingly undersized page. Had the price of paper spiked when the publisher chose this layout? It's hard to imagine that a publisher of a book on ID would knowingly opt for such visual compression and density--a design template, it would seem, intended for crib notes or disclosure of drug side effects. Seriously. The body text is set in an over-leaded 10pt sans serif and the captions about 8pt sans serif light. The text in illustrations elludes legibility entirely. Very hard on middle-aged eyes.
Nonetheless, this slim volume wastes no time getting to thought-provoking successes and failures in graphical ID. Perhaps the best involve subway maps drawn for NYC. In explaining the failure of one particular map design, Mijksenaar notes, "When reality is radically schematized, the link with that same reality is quickly lost" (p. 6). This volume could supplement other, more comprehensive ID treatments; it should not be the only one you own.