The infographic is, as this book explains, a mode of communication universally loved by newspaper and magazine art directors, data analysts and the ancient Egyptians.
Data visualisation is on the-up it claims, brought on by statistical data becoming more readily available, more demand for the processing of data, and the increased use of visual interactive user interfaces to access digital archives, all backdropped by a communication trend which is ‘shifting towards generally shorter texts in combination with charts and images,’ according to editor Sandra Rendgen.
Well we’d better get on and show some more images then…but not before leaving you with this quote from French cartographer Jacques Bertin whom the book references.
‘A graphic representation is not merely a drawing, but often entails a heavy responsibility when deciding on how to proceed. One does not “draw” a graphic representation in a solid form; instead one constructs it and rearranges it until every relationship with the data has been revealed.’
And another thing. The book is packed with infographic firsts, such as the flow map – a cross between, that’s right, a map and a flow chart - developed by the French engineer Charles Jospeh Minard, who in 1869 developed the technique to show how Napoleon set out to Russia with 422,000 troops and returned with 10,000.
Note that the ever resourceful Florence Nightingale moved this design on, creating a polar area diagram showing the mortality of soldiers over two years during The Crimean War. Other such infographic, based tales abound.
Information Graphics by Sandra Rendgen and Julius Wiedemann is published by Taschen and costs £44.99