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Monthly Design Review - January 2018

This month's review explores the world of infographics over the past two centuries, as it has expanded to take a major role in the visual world around us.



Fritz Kahn (1888–1968) was a German doctor, educator, popular science writer, and information graphics pioneer. This book compiles a comprehensive collection of more than 280 illustrations employing visual analogies and metaphors to demystify science and introduce it to audiences in popular and entertaining ways, with captions such as ""Man as Industrial Palace", “The biology of smelling a roast" and “Car and ear conform to one another.”

To buy the book go to Taschen.

To learn more about Fritz Kahn visit the website created by the book writers.


W. E. B. DU BOIS INFOGRAPHICS at the1900 World’s Fair

“The Exhibit of American Negroes”at the Paris world fair in 1900 enshrined the contributions of African Americans to the US economy, just 35 years after slavery was abolished in the US. The showcase included an illustrated study by the noted sociologist and civil rights activist W.E.B. Du Bois, with 60 handmade infographics meticulously drawn in ink and watercolor by his students at (Clark) Atlanta University.

Digitized by the US Library of Congress in 2014, the images can be found here as well as in online articles on and

To buy the book go to Amazon.


THE TRANSFORMER: Principles of Makeing Isotype Charts (Marie Neurath &Robin Kinross, 2009)

Isotype (International System of Typographic Picture Education) is a system of pictograms designed to communicate complex information in a nonverbal way. Developed in 1936 by a team of sociologists lead by Otto and Marie Neurath, this process of "transforming" data into visual form has strongly influenced the fields of graphic design. The book is the first English-language Isotype manual, featuring illustrated examples and essays, including a previously unpublished essay by Marie Neurath.

To purchase the book visit Hyphen Press.


THE BOOK OF TREES: Visualizing Branches of Knowledge (Manuel Lima, 2014)

Data viz expert Manuel Lima examines the more than eight hundred year history of the tree diagram, from its roots in the illuminated manuscripts of medieval monasteries to its current resurgence as an elegant means of visualization. Lima presents two hundred intricately detailed tree diagram illustrations on a remarkable variety of subjects—from some of the earliest known examples from ancient Mesopotamia to the manuscripts of medieval monasteries to contributions by leading contemporary designers. A timeline of capsule biographies on key figures in the development of the tree diagram rounds out this one-of-a-kind visual compendium.

To purchase the book visit Amazon.


RAW DATA: Infographic Designers' Sketchbooks (Steven Heller+Rick Landers, 2014)

Raw Data presents work by seventy-three of the worlds most innovative information graphics designers. More than just a survey of finished work, Raw Data gets behind the final image to reveal how a stack of numbers can be transformed into a beautiful image rich with meaning and explanation. The book reveals various designers’ methods for developing and fleshing out ideas, from sketching drawings and doodles to digital mock-ups.

Among the international practices included are those who have been leading the way in the infographics revolution (Nigel Holmes, The New York Times ), along with a new generation of designers only just emerging from university (Fernando Hernandez, Tim Hucklesby).

To purchase the book visit Amazon.



Founded by David McCandless, author of two bestselling infographics books, the website is dedicated to helping people make clearer, more informed decisions about the world. All the visualizations are based on facts & data: constantly updated and revised.

Featuring many in-house projects, the visualizations include static and interactive graphics that break down data from news and current events. Most of the infographics, like the site itself, are clean and minimalistic, featuring simple shapes and colors that depict large data sets in digestible chunks. The site also offers direct links to its data sources.

Visit the website at

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