Stephen Few has a rare talent for explaining apparently opaque concepts in simple terms, but without simplifying the subject. This book starts from the *very* beginning and provides the reader with a solid understanding of the basics of chart design, including when to use a table vs a graph, what types of tables and graphs to use for what kinds of data, and why certain graphical features are more effective than others. Throughout, Few maintains a plain, readable writing style that is never patronizing even when spelling out seemingly obvious points (e.g., use a table if you need to look up a specific value). His patient tone and simple presentation end up guiding you through some unexpectedly sophisticated waters of design almost without your even realizing you've gone anywhere.
In addition to the design coverage, Few covers some (very) basic statisics, how to adjust for inflation, rgb values of a nice selection of colors to use in graphs, how to make box graphs in Excel, and many other workaday details that make the book immediately useful. Most of the charts in the book are made in Excel, showing that you don't need advanced design software to make attractive, clear charts.
The book itself is a beautiful large hardback. This is the source of my one complaint: its large size makes it somewhat difficult to just pop off the shelf and flip through to find something.
If you want to learn how to design good tables and graphs, get it.
- Hardcover: 371 pages
- Publisher: Analytics Press; 2 edition (1 June 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0970601972
- ISBN-13: 978-0970601971
- Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 3.6 x 27.9 cm
- Boxed-product Weight: 1.6 Kg
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 24,580 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)