Edward Tufte Course Review

I attfinished one of Edward Tufte’s seminars this particular day, entitled Presenting Documents and Indevelopment. Tufte is known for his four publications on analytic indevelopment style.

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Beautiful Evidence, The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Envisioning Information, and Visual Explacountries. He’s the man that coined terms prefer “chartjunk” and also “data-ink-ratio”.

Edward Tufte occupies a revered and also solitary place in the world of graphic architecture. Over the last three decades, he has actually come to be a type of oracle in the thriving field of information visualizationthe exercise of taking the sprawling, messy cosmos of information that makes up the quantitative backbone of daily life and turning it right into an understandable story.

— Washington Monthly

He’s a legfinish in the info-architecture people, though prefer any luminary imbued via solid, polarizing opinions, I think a lot of human being tfinish to learn from the spirit of Tufte’s teachings rather than follow all his advice to the letter.

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His 4 books have collectively been dubbed a Strunk and also White for architecture. Tufte works by reflecting both exceptional and also horrid graphics he’s uncovered, enhancing upon the latter, and his ethics take on the meditative quality of Zen koans…


Today’s design template was techniques for connecting and also presenting evaluation of information; or “turning information into presentable conclusions,” Tufte’s meaning for analytical thinking. Tufte values emphasis and also analytical believed as opposed to more persuasive techniques that, to his thinking, disrespect an audience. His tactics are not around flashy “info-graphics” intended to grab attention and also press a message; rather Tufte’s brand of indevelopment style is premised on holistic communication techniques that describe our well-off, multivariate world without resorting to reduction, oversimplification, and dumbing-dvery own. Analysis and presentations that ostensibly expose reality rather that advancement a see or agenda. His methods premean that the audience is disposed to connect through the content being presented and will put forth the requisite effort to engage. Actually acquiring an audience to this suggest is left as an exercise to the reader.

For a man lauded as a understand of indevelopment visualization, Tufte spent an outsized percentage of the talk extolling the virtues of the written word. My mind preserved jumping to the famed Dieter Rams mantra of, “as little bit style as possible.”

Don’t use a graphic once a sentence is much better.

— Edward Tufte



Galileo offered sketches of his observations inline through message.

In truth, the after-lunch percent of the seminar, around 2 hrs, was dedicated in huge part to just how graphics, video, numbers, and the created word can and also need to be composed as one systematic whole, rather than as sepaprice artifacts. In Tufte’s words, “execute whatever before it takes…” to properly interact the indevelopment. One instance of many being Galileo’s use of little sketches within the lines of his sentences. The core of the communication is the composed word, but it is seamlessly supplemented with graphics. Tufte (per usual) highlighted the oft-lauded Minard map of Napoleon’s March via Russia for its influential usage of message together with graphics in a single meaningful complace.