Data visualisation, 17th-century style
We tend to think of information design as an exclusively modern animal, born in the 20th century and growing up during the digital revolution. But when we consider the principles of information design – clarity and economy in the visual representation of data – it’s no stretch to suggest that its origins coincide with the beginning of science, the first systematic attempts to generate data about the natural world. These attempts found formal expression in the Royal Society, founded in 1660 and celebrating its 350th anniversary. Throughout its long history, the Society’s ingenious members have had a creative hand in many of the visualisation innovations that we now take for granted.