I wanted to somewhat extend what Tufte talks about with PowerPoints to graphs (which are often included in presentations). There is a common assumption that graphs effectively organize data to create information. While I don’t deny the potential for graphs to be rhetorical and effective, I find that they are another element that are often redundant or, “phluff” in PowerPoint presentations.
Not only are they often too simplistic and merely a visual regurgitation of bullet points already touched on in a presentation, in terms of design, they often box information within legends or other graph components.
I am trying to find the graphic artist who notoriously made nonsensical digital graphs, but I cannot seem to find the artist’s name. However, extending Tufte’s contributions to graphs also brought to mind College Humor’s “Graphic Truth” articles. Here is one example page that displays satirical graphs. Note, in particular, the pie graph that has no purpose what so ever, which is an exaggerated example of the point I am trying to make.