Junk charts

The enemy.

I’d like to write a few words about blogs I read regularly and to start this series, I am happy to talk about Junk Charts. 

Junk Charts is the one-man crusade of Kaiser Fung against ineffective charts, who has been working on the blog since 2005. Kaiser is a convinced follower of Tufte, whom he owes his blog’s name. Tufte describes chart junk as whatever clutters graphs and obscures information contained in the chart data. 

To this end, Kaiser collects ineffective, misleading or just plain wrong graphs and redraws them according to sound principles. He fights a current trend that gives too much emphasis on the aesthetics of a published graph, to the expense of its meaning. 

He is now assisted by readers who gladly submit candidates for redesign. I am grateful that no OECD chart ever had the honors of Junk Charts, although a couple of charts which were direct copies of ours have been featured, such as this one.

In 3 years, Junk Charts has amassed quite a diverse community of readers, and posts are always followed by a healthy discussion – just what blogging is about. I have found great tips and ideas both in the articles and the comments.

So thank you Kaiser for Junk Charts and I am always looking forward to the next post!


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