02 Graphic Design Principles for Information Visuallisation

From Lev Manovich’s article, the most important thing for designer is to focus on how to convey information to audience clearly and easily. Obviously, before setting about a data visualisation designer has to completely understand what is the most essential information as well as the relations between each data or information like classification, so that designer could choose design element to present the data clearly. Besides, each design elements such as colours, fonts, grid need to be limited.  For instance, It’s Not Your Imagination. Summers Are Getting Hotter, a projected did by Nadja Popovich and Adam Pearce shows summer temperatures from 1951 to 1980 and 2001 to 2012 in the Northern Hemisphere. 屏幕快照 2018-02-04 20.23.15

Audiences can easily tell dark blue means extremely cold, blue means cold, orange means hot, red means extremely hot and even grey means past period by common sense. Moreover, it gives audiences a chance to compare the temperatures in past ages and in present through colours, which is the connection between different datas. As we known, they want the audiences notice temperatures in recent years not the far past years(1951-1980), so they only use coloured histogram in 2001-2012.

Another example is Nicholas Felton’s 2012 annual report.

01@2x (1)

He only used four colours to design this report. When someone contacts with more people, the yellow dot which presents him get bigger. Audiences can tell interpersonal relationship by the size of dot. And the imaginary line shows the contacted object, and full line avoid misunderstanding. Like the principle of graphic design, since the full line is not much used as the imaginary line in the data part, he just use imaginary line to break the text into 3 paragraphs.Besides, he used two different types of fonts which make the whole design look tidy and clear.

Siegel’s lecture shows many interesting examples of visualisation that are not limited on 2D graphic paper but also interactive projects.  A good project needs to invite people to guess, to think, to ponder. And audiences are pleased to interact with design which based on sounds, moving image or even physical staff in this dazzling age.


Aaeron Siegel’s video “Making Visible the Invisible” from 2012, which provides an introduction to data visualisation within art, design and exhibition contexts. https://vimeo.com/52832102

Felton, N. (2012). Feltron.com. [online] Feltron.com. Available at: http://feltron.com/FAR12.html [Accessed 4 Feb. 2018].

Google Docs. (2012). 5 Minute Guide: Graphic Design Principles for Information Visualization. [online] Available at: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1CVbRgxAby5AdS6ERCmAde69v7_gXSWoK-YcJZzs-KKY/edit [Accessed 4 Feb. 2018].

Popovich, N. and Pearce, A. (2017). It’s Not Your Imagination. Summers Are Getting Hotter.. [online] Nytimes.com. Available at: https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2017/07/28/climate/more-frequent-extreme-summer-heat.html [Accessed 4 Feb. 2018].



Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s