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In The Functional Art, instructor Alberto Cairo explains how information graphics and visualizations are cognitive tools that extend our perception and how we can use them to see beyond lists of numbers, variables, and phenomena to identify patterns and trends that would be invisible otherwise. The book is divided into four parts: Foundations, Cognition, Practice, and Interviews. Part 1 describes and explains the core concepts of data visualization creation including the different types of graphics used in data visualization and how, when, and why you should use them. Part 2 discusses the psychology of cognition and perception and how scientific findings over the past 30 years should change the way we create graphics and visualizations today. Part 3 gets hands-on as the author shows each step of the creative process, walking the reader through the creation of several of his own graphics as well as through those of other respected designers. Cairo explains, in great detail, all of the sketches, storyboards, planning sheets, and so on that were used to create each data visualization project. In Part 4, Cairo has included a gallery of 10 graphics from 10 leading practitioners that serve as an inspiration for students and professors alike. The book also includes a DVD-ROM containing 90+ minutes of video tutorials that expand on the concepts explained in the book as well as exercises that viewers can use to put their newly found skills to the test.
Table of Contents
Introduction - What Infographics and Visualizations Are
PART 1 - Foundations Chapter 1 - Why Visualization - From Data to Wisdom Chapter 2 - Form and Function - Visualization as a Technology Chapter 3 - The Beauty Paradox - Art and Communication Efficacy Chapter 4 - Exposition, Exploration, And the Complexity Challenge
PART 2 - History Chapter 5 - Here Be Dragons - On the Origins of Maps Chapter 6 - Lights of Reason - the Dawn of Scientific Illustration Chapter 7 - A Scottish Engineer And a Century of Revolutions - the History of Charts
PART 3 - Cognition Chapter 8 - The Eye and the Visual Brain Chapter 9 - Non-sensed Perception Chapter 10 - Images in the Brain
PART 4 - Practice Chapter 11 - The Creation Process in Infographics and Visualization Chapter 12 - Interactive Graphics and Visualization
APPENDIX - Projects from leading practitioners in the field, explained in detail