“A table is nearly always better than a dumb pie chart; the only worse design than a pie chart is several of them…Given their low density and failure to order numbers along a visual dimension, pie charts should never be used.” – Edward Tufte, “The Visual Display of Quantitative Information”
We here at Data Without Borders fancy ourselves relatively savvy data visualizers. We have been doing data visualizations for some time, and have worked with many different kinds of data. We believe that a carefully crafted visualization is the most powerful way to convey insight from data. That said, one visual device we would never use is the pie chart. As Tufte eludes to in the above quotation—they suck.
In our eagerness to pull together Data Without Borders, however, we violated our own cardinal rule when designing the DWB logo. As you can see, while the logo is compelling, at its core it is a pie chart. It took us a few weeks to admit it to ourselves, but this error must be corrected. Unfortunately, none of us are designers. Put us in front of gigabytes of data and an R console, and we can make it sing. But, put us in front of Photoshop and Illustrator and we are useless.
We need your help.
Today we are announcing the Data Without Borders Logo Contest. Starting right now, we are accepting logo submissions. Here is some basic information:
- The logo should convey the core mission of DWB: bringing together data scientists with non-profits and NGOs to generate value for both communities. But most importantly, to serve humanity through data analysis.
- The contest starts now, and runs until 12:00 AM September 6, 2011.
- Submissions should either be in PDF or PNG format.
- NO PIE CHARTS!
Along with being showered with accolades by the DWB team, the winner will win a $100 Amazon Gift Card
Please send entries to email@example.com, and please contact us if you have any questions at @DataNoBorders or DWB on Facebook. We’re really looking forward to seeing what you guys come up with and, seriously, no pie charts.