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The Minister of Information


A classic Tufte case study.
In Beautiful Evidence, Edward Tufte remakes a crude graph that first appears in Carl Sagan’s The Dragons of Eden. In the original, at right, bunched-up labels mislead the reader, making inappropriate visual connections (the Tyrannosaurus looks too close to the gorilla, for example), and the heavy frame dominates the composition. In the redesign, those busy little lines connecting data points to words are gone, and the frame and grid recede. In their place, the facts come to the fore, and lightness is allowed in (as is a bit of restrained whimsy, in the form of Babar).


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