The Court Technology and Trial Presentation Blawg features articles, reviews and news of interest to lawyers and other legal professionals. This blog is published by Ted Brooks, a Trial Presentation and Legal Technology Consultant, Author and Speaker. Ted's trial experience includes the Los Angeles Dodgers divorce trial, People v. Robert Blake murder trial, and a hundreds of high profile, high value and complex civil matters.

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Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Edward Tufte: The Godfather of Information Graphics

In a recent post by Matt Shipman, "Chart junk? How pictures may help make graphs better", he states, "Some experts describe these graphic embellishments as "chart junk," which they argue detracts from a graph or chart's effectiveness."

The "expert" he is referring to is none other than Edward Tufte, as that is one of his favorite and most-quoted terms.

Having been one of the fortunate ones who have had the opportunity to attend Tufte's seminars and read his books, I can tell you that while he may not condone the practice of gratuitously inserting graphic illustrations into demonstrative exhibits, I do believe he would understand and agree with the principles of proper layout, color usage and contrast to bring out a particular point.

Upon checking his web site, I noticed that he is offering some seminars in the coming weeks. I would strongly encourage anyone involved or interested in visual communication to attend. 

I still recall when I found out that my former law firm (Brobeck) was sending me to this course, I was a bit disappointed, not really having an interest in learning more PhotoShop or PowerPoint techniques. In retrospect, I am so glad I was able to attend, and I rely on this material in nearly every trial in which I am involved.