History of Information Graphics
Sandra Rendgen, Julius Wiedemann
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 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.