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Yanaba's avatar

Graphic designers: best book to teach making scientific infrographics?

Asked by Yanaba (655 points ) October 27th, 2011

I need to buy a book on how to make infographics as a birthday present for my significant other. He is a biophysics student and so far has been pretty successful, except he always has trouble explaining his work to others even in his field, because their eyes glaze over. I think with infographics, he could do so much better when he applies for grants or presents to his department.

What is a good book that will teach him/us how practically to make infographics, which tools and models to use, programs to buy, etc.? Every book I look at seems to have a whole speech in it about why using infographics is a good idea, followed by 50 pages of examples. Examples are ok, but I don’t want to pay money for lots of filler about why infographics are good and examples of them being good in irrelevant contexts—I already know all that.

Here are books I have looked at so far. Here is what I would like to learn how to do. Thanks so much for any more methodical suggestions!

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3 Answers

gorillapaws's avatar

I know Information is Beautiful is a great free site with examples of the kinds of things you’re talking about. They have a book too I believe, but as you point out, it’s not a tutorial.

To a certain extent, copying examples is a good place to start. It sounds more like he should read basic graphic design books and then apply it to the sciences using those types of examples as templates. Copying talented people is a good way to learn how to do things. Also, it’s going to take a lot of time and energy to get good enough to produce that level of quality, just as it would take a lot of time and energy for a graphic artist to learn how to do doctoral level scientific research.

jaytkay's avatar

The Visual Display of Quantitative Information by Edward Tuft is a classic.

link

Yanaba's avatar

Thanks guys.

@gorillapaws The Info is Beautiful book does look great from an aesthetic point of view but I didn’t know there was a website too—that’s great, I’ll check it out. There is time, anyway :)

@jaytkay Oh, that is probably what I will do then, thanks for the heads-up! It isn’t really a tutorial either but I guess you can’t go wrong if you start at the beginning. Bonus.

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