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History of Information Graphics

Hardcover with six fold-outs, 9.7 x 14.6 in., 8.34 lb, 462 pages
US$ 80
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From cosmic charts and da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man to the New York subway map: trace the history of visual data from the Middle Ages to the digital era in this XL compendium. Featuring some 400 infographic milestones across technology, cartography, zoology, and more, this is an unprecedented reference work for designers, history buffs, and anyone thirsty for knowledge.

Customer reviews (8)

Data Trails

An XL-sized compendium on the history of knowledge
In the age of big data and digital distribution, when news travel ever further and faster and media outlets compete for a fleeting slice of online attention, information graphics have swept center stage. At once nuanced and neat, they distill abstract ideas, complex statistics, and cutting-edge discoveries into succinct, compelling, and masterful designs. Cartographers, programmers, statisticians, designers, scientists, and journalists have developed a new field of expertise in visualizing knowledge.

This XL-sized compendium explores the history of data graphics from the Middle Ages right through to the digital era. Curated by Sandra Rendgen, some 400 milestones span astronomy, cartography, zoology, technology, and beyond. Across medieval manuscripts and parchment rolls, elaborate maps, splendid popular atlasses, and early computer-based information design, we systematically break down each work’s historical context, including such highlights as Martin Waldseemüller’s famous world map, the meticulous nature studies of Ernst Haeckel, and many unknown treasures.

Hot on the heels of the best-selling Information Graphics and Understanding the World, this third volume fills the gap as an unprecedented reference book for data freaks, designers, historians, and anyone thirsty for knowledge. An enthralling exploration into the teachings, research, and lives of generations past.
The author

Sandra Rendgen studied art history and cultural studies in Berlin and Amsterdam. Her work both as an editor and in developing concepts for media installations concentrates at the interface between image culture and technology, with a particular focus on data visualization, interactive media and the history of how information is conveyed. She is the author of TASCHEN’s Information Graphics and Understanding the World.

The editor

Julius Wiedemann studied graphic design and marketing and was an art editor for newspapers and design magazines in Tokyo before joining TASCHEN in 2001. His titles include the Illustration Now! and Record Covers series, as well as the infographics collection and books about advertising and visual culture.

History of Information Graphics
Hardcover with six fold-outs, 9.7 x 14.6 in., 8.34 lb, 462 pages

Customer reviews (8)

magnificent book

Noemie, October 28, 2021
This book is fantastic, as much in its format, as in the richness of the content! The resources are interesting and richly commented. Thank you for this book!

Better understand data!

Fabrice, October 27, 2021
Data is becoming increasingly important in our lives, but it is often too complex and obscure to be accessible. By giving them an intelligible and meaningful form, data designers make the knowledge they reveal reachable. This work of shaping and clarifying data is as old as that of writing. This book marvelously retraces the history of data representation and sheds new light on the increasingly important role of data visualization.


A. Gondim, October 27, 2021
Tres informatif, je recommande, c'est le deuxième de cette série que j'achète

Concrete knowledge

Marco Fratini, October 27, 2021
This beautiful book on infomation graphics makes us understand how something as abstract as knowledge is actually concrete and representable, if you look at the phenomenon with the depth of human history.

Amazing book, so much to see and learn

Niek, October 27, 2021
This book is huge! Both in size and also in content. A great visual journey through the history of infograhics. It will draw attention of anyone seeing it lay on your table and is great to browse through for many hours. Do keep in mind that some of the actual info in the graphics is outdated, but still an absolute joy to read and look through.

Sehr vielfältig

Sebastian, November 02, 2021
Hier sieht man sehr eindrucksvoll auf wie viele unterschiediche Art und Weisen Informationen illustriert und veranschaulicht werden können. Meiner Meinung nach nicht immer ideal oder leicht verständlich, aber stets originell, einzigartig und professionell. Das Buch eignet sich gut als Inspirationsquelle und zeigt auch die Entwicklung der Infografiken von ihren Anfängen bis heute sehr anschaulich. Manche Grafiken sind echte "Ungetüme" die man lange studieren muss, andere sind simpel und on point.

Un livre qui fait découvrir un univers curieux

Michel, October 29, 2021
Voici un livre inhabituel qui ouvre une vision sur l'univers du graphisme depuis les temps anciens jusqu'à nos jours. Le sujet étant peu courant il permet une large découverte digne d'intérêt. Les illustrations sont judicieusement choisies, commentées et mises en valeur. A recommander pour tout esprit curieux.


Fabio Iso, October 28, 2021
Ottimo testo per visualizzare graficamente l’evoluzione delle rappresentazioni dei dati, oggi estremamente utili. Secondo me si completa perfettamente con Information Graphics.