A few years back the team at the Financial Times created the Visual Vocabulary tool, download from Github - a typology inspired by the Graphic Continuum.

I’ve been using different tools for a while with my students, but I now start with them with the Visual Vocabulary as it is simple but really useful to help understand how to communicate with the right type of chart or visual.

Alan Smith, Executive Editor and Head of Visual and Data Journalism, wrote this really interesting post on the FT site explaining why the Visual Vocabulary started, have a look at the image of it - now explainers next to each graph type back at the start.

I’ll build up this section over time, showing some ggplot2 recipes for making some of the different types of chart that fall within the categories:

  • Deviation
  • Correlation
  • Ranking
  • Distribution
  • Change over Time
  • Magnitude
  • Part-to-whole
  • Spatial
  • Flow