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Personal reflection: Tufte’s messing with my head

Posted by on Jan 25, 2010 in Blog, theory, tufte | No Comments

My eyes have been opened by the readings I’ve been doing from Tufte. While I only assigned myself “Visual Explanations,” I’m beginning to feel as if I want to soak up as much of his work as possible.

So, I went to my advisor’s office (Rich Gordon), where the walls are lined with what feels like an infinite number of CAR/data/viz/new media books, and procured Tufte’s other three works.  I’ve been perusing them — read “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information” from cover to cover, and have only skimmed the other two so far. 

As I’m working through the books, I’ve been thinking about the similarity between that material and principles of visual art I’ve been reading up on for my beat in Arts Journalism class.  The comments about colors, spacing, conveying the most information in a little space, not including lines that distract from the main point, it applies to the message of visual art as well.

I have a hard time summarizing all that Tufte covers, I truly believe you have to read it (and see the examples) to get it, but as always, the more I read, the more I realize I don’t understand.

But I do see myself looking at ads on the El, signs on the front of buildings, and hearing examples from Tufte in my head.

Example #52681 of how I’m slowly going insane…or becoming more aware of the field, and thus more aware of my world, take your pick.

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