Tufte on data graphics

In first chapter of the reading, Tufte talked about data-ink and graphical redesign. The main idea of this chapter is when make a data graphic, to show the data is priority, and author brings out a concept called data-ink ratio which equals to the ratio between the ink used for data and total ink. Maximize this ratio with reason with result a better graph, with nothing redundant. And the next chapter is about chartjunk. Producing too much vibration in data graph could result distraction. Use grid only if it is necessary, don’t put heavy print grid on both sides of on page. Finally don’t try too hard on decorating. Author talked about the kind of data graphics he liked and the ones he did not like. All of them are reasonable and convincing.


This graph is from my statistic class’s project. We use SAS, author mentioned, a very popular statistic package used for data analysis, I think this could fit author’s requirement of a good data graphic, data is the most important parts, besides data, there is nothing distracting.

Question: Even though the bad example Tufte mention is reasonable ineffective for simple data analysis, however, I found some of those example are very interesting and creative. Could it be right that some time effectiveness could get in the way of creativeness?


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