Book Review: The Functional Art by Alberto Cairo
Ever wondered how to create stunning inforgraphics and how to show what you found in your data? Alberto Cairos “the functional art” is for you.
The world of datavisualization seems to know two kinds of books: The books talking lengths about the theory of how to display information visually and the books helping you to visualize data in framework X. Rarely are there books addressing the third part: How to tell a story and how to convey Information to an audience. Lucky us, Alberto Cairo’s “the Functional Art – an introduction to information graphics and visualization” fills exactly this gap.
The book gives a thorough introduction to infographics from how to conceive them to how to create them and the skills you’ll need. It uses examples from Alberto Cairos work and he dissects exactly how they were conceived, shows initial sketches and steps in between and talks about the decisions made in the process creating the infographics.
The book is not an Alberto Cairo showcase as it might sound above – the second section of the Book is filled with interviews of influential people around data visualization and has them talk about what they do, how and why – it also showcases some of their work
Overall it’s enjoyable and inspiring to read. Recommended if you want to get into infographics and data visualization and need a reference for ideas. If you need a more indepth introduction Alberto Cairo also runs online courses with the Knight Digital Media Center