Information Design Handbook

By Nancy Duarte

The Information Design Handbook cover by Jenn and Ken Visocky O'Grady
The Information Design Handbook

There’s a lovely new book that just came out called The Information Design Handbook by Jenn and Ken Visocky O’Grady. it is similar to mine but they focus on the principles of information design (their book is square too which is cool!)

Most of the content in the book can apply to slide design. Here are some that stood out as being readily applicable to presentations:

Grouping design principles. An image of dogs are shown with one side showing them with a family, and the other in black and white showing them in a cage.

Grouping is a design principle that wasn’t covered in my book, but it’s a good one. When you arrange information, their proximity and placement lead the viewer to believe they belong together. Meaning can dramatically change the context of content. In the example to the left, our emotional response to the dog image changes dramatically when it is placed with an image of a young family or converted to grayscale and paired with a photograph of a cage.

They also referenced a fascinating study on the ClearviewHwy type design project. The objective of the study was to create a font used in freeway signs that increased the distance of legibility. The goal was to improve safety and increase the distance of visibility for the visually impaired. This is important as the average age gets older every year. So, if my premise is true that slides are like road signs, looks like sans serif has won again!

A nice nod to Richard Saul Wurman’s LATCH theory of organization is a must-have in a book like this. I covered it in an earlier post.

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Nancy Duarte

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