Visual Storytelling: Inspiring a New Visual Language (英語) ハードカバー – 2011/9/28
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A new visual language that is both informative and entertaining is emerging at the nexus of information graphics, illustration, and tactile design. More and more data is being collected. We can access ever more information at any time and from any place. The fundamental challenge now is how to extract the most valuable news, the most surprising findings, and the most relevant stories from the flood of information that is available to us. A new generation of designers, illustrators, and data journalists is addressing this challenge head on. They are developing a variety of new visual forms to depict information that can be classified as visual storytelling. The main idea behind visual storytelling is to take familiar image contexts and use them in a new way. By penetrating meaning and creating associations, abstract correlations can be visualized in a manner that is both easy to understand and aesthetically innovative. Today, visual storytelling is being used intensively in newspapers, magazines, websites, advertising, business reports, and museums. With its collection of inspiring, insightful, interactive, and entertaining examples, the book Visual Storytelling reveals how the contextualization of information is pushing the envelope of today’s design and aesthetics.
The book then goes into some interviews with groundbreaking designers (Visual Storytellers), economically balancing information with examples. The questions asked are essential for understanding the work presented and help the person being interview to elaborate on how or why the design became the solution they used.
The Visual Stories section of the book presents the topics "Breaking News", "Science", "Geography", "The Modern World", and "Sports" and is a very good way to introduce an intermediate class of students into thinking about how to address their audience with very specific goals or to get you thinking about how you are receiving information. If the information is presented in a manner the audience finds unappealing there are enough avenues of information that they will seek it elsewhere. If most people come to the decision of seeking the information elsewhere the design has lost its appeal and does not succeed and that is the message, not that experimentation is the answer, but success is.
Overall this book is a great read for graphic designers and visual communicators and could even be interesting to novices. It also makes a great reference book when contemplating solutions or stuck being stuck in one solution that isn't working. I also find it a very good textbook for an intermediate design course.
Like another reviewer said, this book exceeded all expectations. It was filled with gorgeously designed diagrams, and included interviews with design studios and some featured artists. The interviewees were quizzed on their opinions of infography as a field; their work process; the relationship between their data, the graphic, and the news; and so on. If you were expecting a straight-up tutorial on how to create infographics, you might be disappointed as the purpose of this book is somewhat different.
Visual Storytelling is more like an extensive gallery, filled with hundreds of works cataloging topics from natural disasters to social trends. And it succeeds in this goal. Though, much like the information-heavy world that these graphics aim to capture, the book can be overwhelming with all of its contents. It is representative of diverse subjects and artists from around the world: Italy, Germany, Japan, and many others. There were some non-English diagrams that unfortunately did not have an attached translation, and which I was only able to appreciate in a purely aesthetic sense.
I love how this book can be treated as either a graphic design book, or as a beautiful almanac of factoids. Either way, Visual Storytelling is a book meant to be digested and examined in great detail and at length.
It's quite hefty, and makes overseas shipping an ordeal, but if you have the resources and the interest in visual design, you should definitely look into obtaining this book.