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Visual Storytelling: Inspiring a New Visual Language Hardcover – September 28, 2011

4.7 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

A new visual language that is both informative and entertaining is emerging at the nexus of information graphics, illustration, and tactile design
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Gestalten; 1 edition (September 28, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3899553756
  • ISBN-13: 978-3899553758
  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 9.8 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #473,803 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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By Henry Berry on November 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Graphic arts are keeping up with the overflow of information coming out of the Internet and other media. The growth and interconnectivity of the media, the complexity of the world, and the pace of change have all lead to a tremendous volume of information. Andrew Losowsky closes his Introduction on the note, "Visual storytelling is increasingly becoming the most effective way of finding order among the chaos."

Such storytelling is not like narrative--of graphic novels or a journalistic event, for example--but rather arrangement of the information making use of and often going much beyond the graphic techniques of bold imagery, bright colors, and linkages seen in the areas of graphic comics and graphics in journalism. As Losowsky also notes in his Introduction, this visual storytelling "gives us the tools to process, to look and to learn. Only then can we try to understand. The visual storytelling as exemplified in this volume is for comprehension of a body of information, not for popular entertainment as in the graphic novels or representation of an event or story as in journalism.

The hundreds of visual storytelling examples over every page are basically two kinds: a graphic image condensing multiple data or parts of a particular subject, or a grouping of condensations graphically representing the connections and sometimes the development of a matter or topic. Either main type can be equally complex, and the general artistic appearance is collage. Take away the text, and what remains would be collage of shapes, varying dimensions, and stresses. But with this visual storytelling of interest to marketers, academics such as sociologists, researchers, government planners, economists, demographers, pollsters, and such, the text is necessary.
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Format: Hardcover
This book exceeded my expectations. I love infographics, but find too much these days that's derivative and unimaginative. This book pulls together the best from around the world. The interviews are pithy and informative. Nicely printed: makes you excited about the possibilities for visual information -- it's unique ability to render complex facts comprehensible.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I found out about this book from an external website, which in turn led me to the publisher's own website, where samples of the book pages encouraged me to bite.

Like another reviewer said, this book exceeded all expectations. It was filled with gorgeously designed diagrams, and included interviews with design studios and some featured artists. The interviewees were quizzed on their opinions of infography as a field; their work process; the relationship between their data, the graphic, and the news; and so on. If you were expecting a straight-up tutorial on how to create infographics, you might be disappointed as the purpose of this book is somewhat different.

Visual Storytelling is more like an extensive gallery, filled with hundreds of works cataloging topics from natural disasters to social trends. And it succeeds in this goal. Though, much like the information-heavy world that these graphics aim to capture, the book can be overwhelming with all of its contents. It is representative of diverse subjects and artists from around the world: Italy, Germany, Japan, and many others. There were some non-English diagrams that unfortunately did not have an attached translation, and which I was only able to appreciate in a purely aesthetic sense.

I love how this book can be treated as either a graphic design book, or as a beautiful almanac of factoids. Either way, Visual Storytelling is a book meant to be digested and examined in great detail and at length.

It's quite hefty, and makes overseas shipping an ordeal, but if you have the resources and the interest in visual design, you should definitely look into obtaining this book.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is a book that lives up to its title and subtitle "Visual Storytelling: Inspiring a New Visual Language" starting with Andrew Losowsky's introduction it is inspiring and informative putting into practice what is written with print blocks (paragraphs) not fixed statically to the page and the use of the black type against a yellow page. This emphasizes that while he is telling the interesting secrets of how graphic design developed that there is room is for innovation and not just the traditions of the past and understands the pacing of how people want to receive information rather than research it in the ultra-quick technological age.
The book then goes into some interviews with groundbreaking designers (Visual Storytellers), economically balancing information with examples. The questions asked are essential for understanding the work presented and help the person being interview to elaborate on how or why the design became the solution they used.
The Visual Stories section of the book presents the topics "Breaking News", "Science", "Geography", "The Modern World", and "Sports" and is a very good way to introduce an intermediate class of students into thinking about how to address their audience with very specific goals or to get you thinking about how you are receiving information. If the information is presented in a manner the audience finds unappealing there are enough avenues of information that they will seek it elsewhere. If most people come to the decision of seeking the information elsewhere the design has lost its appeal and does not succeed and that is the message, not that experimentation is the answer, but success is.
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