Tag Archives: mineral water

Holmes or Tufte? Mineral Water Composition chart

I’ve just watched some lectures on the two major schools of design: Tufte and Holmes.

This was one of them (Vimeo.com)

They’re radically different. Tufte advocates simple data visualisations with a maximum data-to-ink ratio. Holmes likes to add visual elements, pictures and illustrations onto charts, which Tufte calls “chartjunk”. You’ll have noticed the striking difference between these two competing schools when you upgraded your iPhone from the Holmes-inspired, skeuomorphic iOS 6 to the Tufte-inspired, clear and minimalist iOS 7.

iOS and iOS 7 comparison
LEFT: Holmes-style design (iOS 6). RIGHT: Tufte-style design (iOS 7)

Clearly, the Tufte-inspired version on the right looks much better.

Here is a simple introduction to minimalist Tufte design:

Data-to-ink ratio

I’m on the side of Tufte here. I like complicated data visualised in a simple-looking graphic. Looking back at the graphics I made last summer, I decided to update the Mineral Water Composition chart I made last year according to Tufte’s design philosophy.

Here’s the new, Tufte-inspired version:

Water water everywhere v3
Tufte school of design. Click to enlarge (JPEG)

And here’s the old Holmes-inspired version I made a year ago:

Mineral Water Composition by Brand
Holmes school of design. Click to enlarge (JPEG).

Which design do you prefer…? Holmes or Tufte?


Infographic: Mineral Water Compositions by Brand

Mineral Water Composition by Brand
Volvic and Brecon Carreg are the winners.

This one’s more informative than beautiful.

Five aspects determine the taste of water (http://www.finewaters.com/)

  • pH (plotted on x axis)
  • Nitrate content (all were acceptably low, so I omitted this data from the chart)
  • Total Dissolved Solids, TDS (gives water heaviness and a lingering aftertaste, plotted on y axis)
  • Hardness (the hardness equation yields results that correlate with TDS very strongly; I thus omitted hardness and plotted TDS)
  • Carbonation (degree of fizziness, i.e. the presence of bubbles. None of these waters are carbonated).