Choose your slope

Sunday, March 15th, 2009

Good news: More people are reading Bella, fewer people are reading Germany’s boulevard newspaper Bild. The German magazine Der Spiegel seems happy, too. So much so that –24 % is steeper than –31 %. I’ve drawn how it should look (click to enlarge)

Source: Der Spiegel, No. 10, 2009-03-02, p. 87
Der Spiegel, No. 10, 2009–03–02, p. 87

Symbols for worse

Saturday, November 15th, 2008

Symbols are difficult. In most cases they don’t work. Some of them have to be learnt. It takes longer than reading something you already know – e.g. a word.

Awkward symbols make me sad. The arrow is beside the beautiful river Saône, in beautiful Burgundy:

Source: me

Should you follow the arrow?
Do you have to follow the arrow?
Are you allowed to, if you are careful?

And here from the magazine “Der Spiegel” – oh boy:

Source: Der Spiegel 29/2008, 2008–07–21, p. 65

Oh boy, because: Americans are rigorous with everything concerning their flag.
For instance: whoever wants to be president needs to wear it on the revers.
I don’t think that the editors of Der Spiegel are allowed to enter the US any longer.
Even my flag looks best non-shrunk and non-stretched.

And that:

Source: Wirtschaftswoche 27, 2008–06–30, p. 104

From now on: whenever we see three stars, we know the company will soon be part of the DAX stock index.
One means: probably not.
Says the German magazine “Wirtschaftswoche”.
I am not sure.
Will that be accepted?

I believe for most symbols the rule is:
No entry.

A picture triggers more than 1000 questions, not?

Friday, May 30th, 2008

From the chart I read that from 1999 till last year the number of passangers increased to sparkline_passagiere.png 2.2 bn. During the same period there have been lately per 1 million flights  0.75 total write-offs for airplanes. The German journal “Der SPIEGEL” sticks to rule 13 vor demolishing charts: Embellish whatever you want to say with numbers that tell a different story!

In the text SPIEGEL says: For the first time since 1998 (yes!) there are more total write-offs than the year before. “Flying is secure but starts to become insecure is the statistic’s story. And some flight experts see a dangerous new trend”. I never fly. I am only interested in graphs. That should look like that:

The difference between national/international is ignored by the author, so we don’t need it. Scale and guiding lines don’t help either. Values all the more. AND INCLUDE THE MESSAGE. Not bad.

(Chart: SPIEGEL 22/2008, p. 147, Redesign: ME)