Good and Bad Examples


no hurry, no pause.


Miscellaneous notes for future reference:

Well-designed Textbooks

I have The Feyman Lectures and also Concrete Mathematics; both are beautifully designed.

It is also notable that the Feynman lectures (3 volumes) write about all of physics in 1800 pages, using only 2 levels of hierarchical headings: chapters and A-level heads in the text. It also uses the methodology of sentences which then cumulate sequentially into paragraphs, rather than the grunts of bullet points. Undergraduate Caltech physics is very complicated material, but it didn’t require an elaborate hierarchy to organize. A useful decision rule in thinking and showing is “What would Feynman do?”

Ironically, Donald Norman’s book The Design of Everyday Things has a famously clunky design, with illustrations awkwardly placed distant from their relevant text, mediocre typography and layout, and muddy images.

It would be helpful to provide a few spreads from the books mentioned in this thread. I’ll try to do this in the next few days; other contributors should do the same. – Edward Tufte


Tufte CSS

Tufte CSS provides tools to style web articles using the ideas demonstrated by Edward Tufte’s books and handouts. Tufte’s style is known for its simplicity, extensive use of sidenotes, tight integration of graphics with text, and carefully chosen typography. Source

Tufte’s Criticism of PowerPoint

Tufte has criticized the way Microsoft PowerPoint is typically used.