Taxonomy of Data Typography
In order to identify, categorise and improve the combination of typography and visualisation we propose the following taxonomy. We support the idea of three different assignment typography can take in visualisations.
The first and most used form is the use of text for labeling, which is mostly found in cartography. The typography is used for the visualisation, to support and guide the understanding of the information.
The second form, which is commonly found in more artistic fields, is the use of typography as the medium. Text elements are used as visualisation elements in order to represent the data. Either with basic text characteristics such as size, font weight and color or with more abstract text transformations.
The third category is often found in a lyrical environment and can be described as text being used as a source of data. The content of the text represented together with visualisations. The informations, which is hold within the text, is emphasize in various graphical forms.
Obviously this three types can be combined and are often found as hybrid forms.
This form of combination is mostly found in cartography or classic data visualisation form, such as diagrams. Common problem occur with overlapping text elements or the lack of distinction between labeling and background elements.
The reason why examples of this type where typography is used as the medium is commonly found in artistic works is the hindered metering of the underlaying data.
The third form of the suggested taxonomy is often used to enable a more accessible way to the structure or substance of the text. Therefor the qualitative information is transformed into more quantitive values which can be visualised.