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Beautiful Evidence Hardcover – Jul 2006

4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 213 pages
  • Publisher: Graphics Pr; 1st Edition edition (July 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0961392177
  • ISBN-13: 978-0961392178
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 22.2 x 27.3 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 Kg
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #104,248 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Customer Reviews

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
Bloggers and particularly web and print designers consider Edward Tufte a guru. He's a professor emeritus at Yale, a sculptor, and perhaps the world's foremost authority on how to be clear and accurate when presenting complex information visually. Beautiful Evidence is his latest book. It is a lovely book, a manifesto, a screed, very personal, and also, in its own elegant way, a bit of a mess.

The book is full of brilliant ideas and strategically repeated concepts. He has two overarching messages:

1. That human beings are very good at understanding and interpreting remarkably dense and complicated representations of information, from large statistical tables to vast and precise visual maps, so we deserve to see that kind of detailed data analysis rather than the facile and trivial "chartjunk" so often generated by PowerPoint and other low-resolution tools.

2. That visual representations work best when treated as an integral part of every piece of work, so that diagrams, photos, charts, tables, and graphs should appear within the text they're part of, rather than abstracted away because of the false limitations of printing or display technology.

The book is also a lovely piece of design that takes its own advice, ensuring that the many example photos, charts, tables, and diagrams sit right where they should, near the text that discusses them--sometimes even being repeated in several locations so you never have to flip back and forth to find what Tufte is talking about. I learned a ton.

On the other hand, Beautiful Evidence is surprisingly slapdash.
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Format: Hardcover
Full disclosure: I am a Tufte fanboy. I want everyone to read Tufte. Of all my book collection, I think they might be the ones I'd save first from a raging fire.

If you're familiar with Tufte's previous books, which have something of a 'handbook' feel to them, this one is a more erudite, extra-disciplinary, philosophical extension. The ground is less familiar, less quantitative, ranging more freely into other fields, especially the visual arts.

If you're not familiar with Tufte, this might or might not be the book to start with. If you're interested in his work on information design and the presentation of data, I would suggest perhaps not starting here. Buy Envisioning Information or Visual Explanations first. But if you're interested in his work as a sculptor or his views as an art critic, this is the one for you. If you're interested in book design and typography, or just want to read something original and thought-provoking, any of Tufte's books will fit the bill equally well.

Second thoughts, whoever you are, just buy this book and lose yourself in Tufte's beautiful world.
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Format: Hardcover
Tufte's books are a fantastic read for technical and non-technical readers. Beautiful Evidence shows us how to use facts and numbers in a more compelling way.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars 74 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Repeat and Tackle on Previous Work Sept. 21 2008
By Daniel Lobo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Good volume for those who may want an slightly deeper insight into visual communication. For the most part the analysis is well crafted, with stimulating insights. Sometimes a bit too repetitive, and obsessed with its own neurosis. For instance in the struggle against Power Point presentations, while I agree with him on most of the analysis, like Tufte also points out quickly early on it is not about PowerPoint but about the use given to it and the paradigm associated. He could be much clearer since I believe that the most important points are not about the software. Also I disagree with his interpretation of intellectual ownership, I also think that rights should not be given exclusively away but do advocate for a public, open, and shared cultural production. But that is another conversation...

All in all, it is a recommendable book, which - even if a little bit too hyped up for what it is supposed to offer - still offers a valuable read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars July 22 2016
By Randall Reed - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are serious about information graphics and the visual display of information, Tufte is essential.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars The least of the Four Books June 20 2008
By D. R. Pitts - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book does not hold up in comparison to the first 3 from Tuft. This appears to be made up of a number of unconnected papers. The most important in my opinion is the introduction of sparklines. It's worthwhile to revisit Minard, The inclusion of the work on Powerpoint is OK, but the inclusion of Tufte artworks/sculptures seemed a little self serving and left me confused as to the point. The production qualities of the book are superb, but the content inconsistent
4.0 out of 5 stars Nice. Oct. 25 2016
By Baba Yaga in the City - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Cool book, well packaged. I am using it for teaching purposes.
0 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Another Amazing Tufte Publication Nov. 5 2007
By K. Scott Proctor - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is yet another amazing Tufte publication. Consistent with Tufte's earlier publications, this book is composed beautifully, in terms of the quality of paper stock, ink and clarity. The book is as much a work of art as a treatise on the principles of evidence and analytical design.

"Beautiful Evidence" codifies a number of principles laid out in earlier Tufte publications, such as those of analytical design, as well as extends Tufte's unique perspective into topics such as Sparklines.

For those interested in optimizing the presentation of information...and recognizing when information may be presented in a manner that should raise questions and concerns, there is no better source than Dr. Edward Tufte, in my opinion.

I attended one of Dr. Tufte's day-long seminars a number of years ago and found his "in person" explanation of presenting and interpreting information to be exceptionally good. As such, I highly recommend both this book and Dr. Tufte's seminar to all readers.