Book: History of Information Graphics

In the age of digital distribution, when news travels ever further and faster and media outlets compete for a fleeting slice of online attention, information graphics have swept center stage. This far-reaching compendium looks at the rich history of this infographic form, tracing its evolution from the Middle Ages right through to today’s computer-based visualization.…

Read More

Historical Infographics: Raise the Bar

In today’s world of visualization, the bar chart is one of the most widely used statistical diagrams. William Playfair, an ingenious rogue Scotsman, is often credited with having invented this type of diagram around 1786. But was he really the first to work with this method? Where did he draw his inspiration from?   William…

Read More

Review: W.E.B. Du Bois’s Data Portraits

The Library of Congress holds a collection of hand-drawn infographics about the life and progress of the African-American population. The series was prepared by the sociologist and civil-rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois with a group of his students and alumni for the Paris World Fair in 1900. A stunning new book from Princeton Architectural Press…

Read More

Review: Numbers and Nerves

»We know from the start that we are creatures of compassion and feeling, but also animals of analysis and measurement. Which way of seeing and expressing the world actually achieves our desires, meets our needs, and satisfies our lives to a greater extent?« Statistical analysis provides a very specific way of understanding large scale phenomena. Statistics…

Read More