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The Functional Art: An introduction to information graphics and visualization

Book Description

Unlike any time before in our lives, we have access to vast amounts of free information. With the right tools, we can start to make sense of all this data to see patterns and trends that would otherwise be invisible to us. By transforming numbers into graphical shapes, we allow readers to understand the stories those numbers hide. In this practical introduction to understanding and using information graphics, you’ll learn how to use data visualizations as tools to see beyond lists of numbers and variables and achieve new insights into the complex world around us. Regardless of the kind of data you’re working with–business, science, politics, sports, or even your own personal finances–this book will show you how to use statistical charts, maps, and explanation diagrams to spot the stories in the data and learn new things from it.

You’ll also get to peek into the creative process of some of the world’s most talented designers and visual journalists, including Condé Nast Traveler’s John Grimwade, National Geographic Magazine’s Fernando Baptista, The New York Times’ Steve Duenes, The Washington Post’s Hannah Fairfield, Hans Rosling of the Gapminder Foundation, Stanford’s Geoff McGhee, and European superstars Moritz Stefaner, Jan Willem Tulp, Stefanie Posavec, and Gregor Aisch.
The first book to offer a broad, hands-on introduction to information graphics and visualization, The Functional Art reveals:

• Why data visualization should be thought of as “functional art” rather than fine art
• How to use color, type, and other graphic tools to make your information graphics more effective, not just better looking
• The science of how our brains perceive and remember information
• Best practices for creating interactive information graphics
• A comprehensive look at the creative process behind successful information graphics
• An extensive gallery of inspirational work from the world’s top designers and visual artists

In this introductory course on information graphics, Alberto Cairo goes into greater detail with even more visual examples of how to create effective information graphics that function as practical tools for aiding perception. You’ll learn how to: incorporate basic design principles in your visualizations, create simple interfaces for interactive graphics, and choose the appropriate type of graphic forms for your data. Cairo also deconstructs successful information graphics from The New York Times and National Geographic magazine with sketches and images not shown in the book.

Table of Contents

  1. Title Page
  2. Copyright Page
  3. Praise for The Functional Art
  4. Dedication Page
  5. Acknowledgements
    1. About the author
    2. About the DVD
  6. Contents
  7. Introduction: Infographics and Visualization
    1. The partnership of presentation and exploration
  8. Part I. Foundations
    1. 1. Why Visualize: From Information to Wisdom
      1. Rational Optimism
      2. Visualization as a Technology
    2. 2. Forms and Functions: Visualization as a Technology
      1. An Information Graphic on Defense
    3. 3. The Beauty Paradox: Art and Communication
      1. Building a Narrative Structure
      2. The Visualization Wheel
    4. 4. The Complexity Challenge: Presentation and Exploration
      1. It’s Not the Style, It’s the Content
      2. Seek Depth
      3. Finding Balance: Density and Multidimensionality
  9. Part II. Cognition
    1. 5. The Eye and the Visual Brain
      1. The Unexplained Eye
      2. Let There Be Light
      3. Foveal, Peripheral Vision, and Animated Infographics
      4. The Lying Brain
    2. 6. Visualizing for the Mind
      1. The Brain Loves a Difference
    3. 7. Images in the Head
      1. How to Open an Airplane Door
      2. Recognizing by Remembering
  10. Part III. Practice
    1. 8. Creating Information Graphics
      1. Brazilian Saints
      2. The Changing Face of Brazil’s Population
      3. Inequality and the Economy
    2. 9. The Rise of Interactive Graphics
      1. Early Lessons on Interaction Design
      2. Structuring Interactive and Animated Infographics
      3. Different Kinds of Interaction
      4. How to Plan For Interactive Infographics
  11. Part IV. Profiles
    1. Profile 1. The Infographics Gentleman
    2. Profile 2. Information Art
    3. Profile 3. All the Infographics That Are Fit to Print
    4. Profile 4. Capital Infographics
    5. Profile 5. Germanic Precision
    6. Profile 6. Visualization in Academia
    7. Profile 7. Quantitative Humanism
    8. Profile 8. Truth and Beauty Operator
    9. Profile 9. The Rising Stars
    10. Profile 10. Visualizing Literature
  12. Bibliography
  13. Index
  14. Add Page
  15. Where are the Lesson Files?