I came to my firm, Market Strategies, as a devout believer in data visualization guru Edward Tufte’s strict design principles. I shunned chartjunk and the blasphemers who used it; I tried to keep my data density high and my data-ink-ratio higher. Requests would come in, especially for infographics, to “add some jazz,” “make it sexy” or “make it pop.”
I thought, how could people disrespect their data in such ways—dress it up in cartoony costumes and house it in statistically inaccurate or misleading graphs? That’s especially since I know how much care went into collecting and analyzing the data. Why not display the data with as much respect and care as they were shown as they were collected?