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The Dangers Humour of Poor Information Graphics

With the war supposedly getting underway this week, I thought we’d perhaps critique a bit of our fine government’s propaganda.

If you haven’t noticed yet, a surprisingly aesthetically pleasing government site recently went up to warn us all of the impending apocalypse. It’s complete with patriotic colors, well thought out navigation, and pretty but cryptic info graphics.

Fortunately, a kind soul has taken the time to translate these for us.

(Apologies to those who have already received this in your in box 10 times.)

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PUBLISHED ON Mar.19.2003 BY darrel
armin’s comment is:

There is this parody too.

On Mar.19.2003 at 09:03 AM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

Funny stuff. I am enjoying Tufte's wonderful maps and diagrams in The New York Times, there was a wonderful map of Iraq in today's issue.

On Mar.19.2003 at 10:03 AM
graham’s comment is:

the translations are v. funny. especially the terrorist arrow.

On Mar.19.2003 at 11:02 AM
armin’s comment is:

There must be a reasonable explanation, other than the artists have no sense of scale, as to why all these types of diagrams are so absolutely screwed up.

Maybe you've all seen this. Airtoons. A parody of airline safety cards. funny stuff too.

But these things are everywhere. Here in Chicago's subway there are safety banners all over the place and one of the diagrams has a purple bellboy (right, like the ones in hotels) pointing you to safety. If the train is going to crash I don't want no bellboy in charge.

On Mar.19.2003 at 01:31 PM
Darrel’s comment is:


Do you know if any of these Tufte maps are online anywhere?

On Mar.19.2003 at 01:55 PM
Su’s comment is:

My favorite is the one of the guy under rubble waving a flashlight about.

Somebody captioned it, "Woot! Woot! Disco disaster!"

Think it was a YayHooray.

On Mar.19.2003 at 02:56 PM
Kiran Max Weber’s comment is:

I remember hearing a while back that Tufte is a design consultant for The New York Times. Since then I naively assume he has a say in all their information graphics. Perhaps he does, perhaps he doesn't. Does anyone know his role at the newspaper?

You can get an idea of what I was referring to here. Mind you it is much prettier in print, taking up almost half a page in the paper. Check out his site too.

On Mar.19.2003 at 03:10 PM
Get Canned’s comment is:

Here is more parody . I laughed out loud.

On Mar.20.2003 at 09:36 AM
armin’s comment is:

>Here is more parody .

Isn't that the same stuff as Darrel's original post?

On Mar.20.2003 at 10:04 AM
Get Canned’s comment is:

>Isn't that the same stuff as Darrel's original post?

Yes it is... sorry, I missed the link.

On Mar.20.2003 at 10:14 AM
armin’s comment is:

>Yes it is... sorry, I missed the link.

I just wanted to make sure I wasn't going wacko.

On Mar.20.2003 at 10:28 AM
Michael S’s comment is:

Here's a link from Wired http://www.wired.com/news/culture/0,1284,58126,00.html

On Mar.20.2003 at 10:40 AM
tracy’s comment is:

funny, funny stuff...

wiping tears from my eyes

On Mar.20.2003 at 07:25 PM
BRIAR’s comment is:

Here is something else that the government is designing. These are the leaflets that we are dropping in Iraq.

On Mar.23.2003 at 10:34 AM
Darrel’s comment is:

Oh man. Those leaflets are pure yummy propaganda.

And badly typeset propaganda at that.

Gotta love it.

On Mar.24.2003 at 08:56 AM