How to tell the truth in charts

The book, closed, with a postcards on top introducing the book. Two clementines and a pen on the table next to it.

A review of How Charts Lie, by Alberto Cairo Charts are never neutral; they are rhetorical devices. Their creators select the data, the framing, and the encoding much like orators do with verbal language. They choose a perspective and, ideally, the readers question it. But not all designers and readers are skilled at or even aware […]

The case against electoral maps

If there is one type of visualization that the world has been looking at lately, it’s US electoral maps. Ever since Trump paraded his favourite map of the 2016 election results, the dataviz community and beyond has been discussing better ways to represent accurately the results of the election. But if anything, what the election […]

The best visualizations and charts (so far) to understand the coronavirus (COVID-19)

Voilà: has not yet published a single chart about the COVID-19 pandemic yet, despite being specialized in data visualization. This is because the subject is currently best left to the specialists. The data is much less reliable and comparable than one might assume and the subject of epidemiology is highly complex. If we do give […]

How we rebranded an information design firm

How do you build a brand — which is meant to differentiate and associate — for a firm in a field that is still relative new and unknown by its potential clients? This was the tension at the heart of the rebranding. Should we incarnate the field, at the risk of being generic among our […]

From Voilà to Voilà:

Today is a big day at the end of a big year for Voilà:.  After six years of operation, it was time to grow from a one-person outfit to a proper company. We are now making this official online. I always wanted to do more and do it better than I could by myself. I […]

The genius of Hans Rosling, frame by frame

Hans Rosling, a Swedish professor of global health, was known for his TED Talks that revealed him to the public eye. He famously used moving bubbles on a chart to show development trends that surprised his audience. He passed away three years ago, after having inspired people in multiple fields, including data visualization. He is […]

Dataviz Book Review: Show Your Work, by Austin Kleon

Welcome to two of my 2020 resolutions: reading (and finishing) books and writing about the experience. A slow and distracted reader, I often neglect as much as I abandon books. As a perfect example, our first instalment will be Show Your Work, by Austin Kleon (“a writer who draws”). This book probably requires three hours […]

Voilà: 2019 Party in 5 photos

What do you do when a company has moved into new offices, tripled its staff (!) and is turning six years old? You throw a party and you make speeches. We wanted our community to know where we stand now and what we have to offer. But mostly, we wanted to say thank you to […]

What happened when I used an inclusion rider at a data conference

This is the blog post that I wish I would have found when I got invited to speak at a data conference and decided to send them an inclusion rider for women and minorities. I hope this is how you found it. (Also, obviously, I’m virtue signalling and if that bothers you, you can stop […]

A golden ratio for line charts with truncated y-axis

While we hold that bar charts should start at zero, there is no such expectation for line charts. But you’ll always find someone on social media to denounce a “dishonest” line chart that enhances the variations by truncating the y-axis. There is usually ample pushback, but it often leads to the question: Where should it […]