Autumn 2023

The data card trick

Critical Visualization: Rethinking the Representation of Data

By Peter A. Hall and Patricio Dávila, Bloomsbury, £75 (hb), £24.99 (pb)

Data visualisation occurs at the intersection of design and data. It is a practice that grew from statistics, scientific communication, and cartography – three streams that claim to represent the objective truth. If columns and rows of data are truth, then visualising data is making truth visible. Many data visualisation books offer the designer guidance, tools and methods to create the best visual design from the data on hand.

Critical Visualization is less about how to visualise and much more about how to critique the data we consume. It is not another book that starts ‘Today we are drowning in data’ followed by a set of instructions on how to arrange charts into convincing narratives. Instead, the authors start by challenging the objectivity of data …

Paul Kahn, information designer, lecturer at Northeastern University, Boston, US

Read the full version in Eye no. 105 vol. 27, 2023

Eye is the world’s most beautiful and collectable graphic design journal, published for professional designers, students and anyone interested in critical, informed writing about graphic design and visual culture. It is available from all good design bookshops and online at the Eye shop, where you can buy subscriptions and single issues.