Access

You are not currently logged in.

Access your personal account or get JSTOR access through your library or other institution:

login

Log in to your personal account or through your institution.

If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support

William Playfair (1759-1823)

Patricia Costigan-Eaves and Michael Macdonald-Ross
Statistical Science
Vol. 5, No. 3 (Aug., 1990), pp. 318-326
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2245819
Page Count: 9
  • Read Online (Free)
  • Cite this Item
If you need an accessible version of this item please contact JSTOR User Support
William Playfair (1759-1823)
Preview not available

Abstract

William Playfair is a key figure in the history of quantitative graphics. He was a popularizer and propagandist, a prolific designer of charts, and a developer of economic and business graphics. He established the line graph (especially the simple surface chart) as an important alternative to the table for the nonspecialist reader. Although his charts were not quite so original as some have supposed, they do contain graphic design ideas of great interest and occasional brilliance. His Commercial and Political Atlas of 1786 was a notable venture; it began his 36-year career as a graphic communicator. Playfair's understanding of the psychology of the graphic method was remarkable; there was an inner coherence to his picture of the reader's psychological needs which is strikingly modern (the paper contains excerpts from his many publications).

Page Thumbnails

  • Thumbnail: Page 
318
    318
  • Thumbnail: Page 
319
    319
  • Thumbnail: Page 
320
    320
  • Thumbnail: Page 
321
    321
  • Thumbnail: Page 
322
    322
  • Thumbnail: Page 
323
    323
  • Thumbnail: Page 
324
    324
  • Thumbnail: Page 
325
    325
  • Thumbnail: Page 
326
    326