Ex libris


Pictures may be worth hundreds of words, but only if you get the pictures right.  Tufte discusses how this may be done, analysing dozens of exemplars to identify the features of successful communication through illustration, art, graphing, and diagrams.


Inside, it is beautiful, stuffed with surprising and unfamiliar images.  To name a few:

  • a presentation which obscured the prevalence of damaged O-rings (the ‘disappearing legend’ problem);
  • the schematic ultimate weed (‘has no redeeming features’);
  • the title page of Hobbes’ Leviathan;
  • a streams-of-story diagram for the history of pop and rock (with omitted musicians carefully noted);
  • computer-simulation of the development of a storm.

And the book cost less than a sandwich.

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