Posts: 6

Reading #4

by Johanna Drucker

Read the second chapter: Interpreting Visualization :: Visualizing Interpretation. Also consult the relevant 'plates' in the Windows section.

Use the tag “R4” for your post.

Reading #3

by Johanna Drucker

Read the frontmatter and first chapter: Image, Interpretation, and Interface. Also consult the relevant 'plates' in the Windows section.

Pick one of the works cited in the chapter to investigate and collect some imagery and/or context to be included in your write-up. Take your pick of any books/essays/artworks mentioned in the text itself, or highlighted in the red sidebar text in the margins.

Use the tag “R3” for your post.

Reading #2

Subtleties of Color
by Robert Simmon

The use of color to display data is a solved problem, right? Just pick a palette from a drop-down menu (probably either a grayscale ramp or a rainbow), set start and end points, press “apply,” and you’re done. Although we all know it’s not that simple, that’s often how colors are chosen in the real world. As a result, many visualizations fail to represent the underlying data as well as they could.

Read the blog series.
And/or watch the lecture.

Use the tag “R2” when you post your assessment of the readings and the questions raised.


Required Reading

Drucker, Johanna. Graphesis: Visual Forms of Knowledge Production. Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 2014.

Recommended Reading

Tufte, Edward. Envisioning Information. Cheshire, CT: Graphics Press, 1990.

Bringhurst, Robert. The Elements of Typographic Style (v4). Hartley & Marks, 2002.

A Layered Grammar of Graphics, Hadley Wickham, Journal of Computational and Graphical Statistics, Volume 19, Number 1, Pages 3–28:

Graphical Perception: Theory, Experimentation, and Application to the Development of Graphical Methods. William S. Cleveland; Robert McGill. Available here:

Some Graphic and Semigraphic Displays, John Tukey, Statistical Papers in Honor of George W. Snedecor, pp. 293-316 (1972). Available here:

Lev Manovich: Software Takes Command (excerpt)

Ben Fry's Media Lab thesis: Computational Information Design:

Reas, C., McWilliams C., LUST. Form and Code: In Design, Art, and Architecture. New York, NY: Princeton Architectural Press, 2010.