Andrew won a ticket to see Edward Tufte from this very blog. As a way of saying thank you he's written a review. In the interests of balance I thought you might like it.
This is not a map
This is what was waiting for you, balanced uneasily on your seat, as you arrived for Edward Tufte’s talk at the Royal Geographical Society. Respectfully re-produced, on a smooth 220gsm uncoated stock, it’s a graph showing the fate of the 420,000 French soldiers as Napoleon led them in a suicidal march on Moscow in the freezing winter of 1812. It’s a nice giveaway, and there’s a free elastic band, too.
Tufte doesn’t come to the UK very often. He’s been busy advising Barack Obama that his website design should be invisible, and “91% of every single screen should be content, and navigation is not content”. “Graphics should not be a special occasion”, he emphasised, after a faltering opening, because “Content doesn’t care what it is”.
He doesn’t seem to like designers very much; they worry about process too much at the expense of content. His ideal website design was a “well considered news site”, as practised by the New York Times. Tufte thinks touch screen technology will change our relationship with data, as it will give us back the “physicality of a gesture”.
His view of powerpoint (“It sucks”) seemed too easy, but his comment, “In only two industries do they regard their customers as users...” hung in the air, accusingly.
Tufte has been active in this area before 'infographics' became a common noun, and gaps in newspapers were filled with bar charts for figures that don’t need explaining, so when he says, “This is not a map”, and holds the piece of paper aloft, the room goes quiet; the elastic bands stop twanging.
He’s already explained at length why this is probably the best statistical graphic ever drawn, but he pauses for a second, and says, “This is an anti-war poster”.
year, at the D&AD Awards ceremony a few of us realised we were going but not as part of a large group. To
avoid having to sit next to some blithering idiot we arranged to sit
together. It was great, we filled a whole table and had a ball. We even managed to win three yellow pencils and a black. (Can't guarantee that this year.)
We're going to do the same this year. There are three us already, if you'd like to sit with us drop me a line firstname.lastname@example.org
Most design blogs post loads of images of nice graphics design work. I'm not really into that, but I often think that most you are. I listened to Start the Week last week. I hate Start the Week. But I might like it if it was pictures of nice graphics design work.
So here's a few pics from The Design Disease Flickr pool. If you like this, I might time a post to go live every Monday morning at 7am. Or I might get bored.