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Beer history design

Or How About Sparklines for Data?

Sparklines for Whitbread beer production 1902 to 1914

The graphic above shows Ron Pattinson’s Whitbread production data from 1902 too 1914 plotted as ‘sparklines’ using Excel 2010’s built-in function.

Sparklines are small line graphs without scales or labels designed to give a quick visual impression of a trend over time. They’re another Edward Tufte innovation and he apparently describes them as “data-intense, design-simple, word-sized graphics” — graphs that can be used like elements of type, without the need for plates or “See Fig. 12”.

But is the above graphic illuminating? More so than yesterday’s slopegraph, perhaps, but probably not as much as the traditional line graph below.

Whitbread production 1902 to 1914 as a line graph

Next: the Rock Family Trees approach to understanding the relationships between British breweries.

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