A diagram is a graphic repre-
sentation of a structure, situation,
or process. Diagrams can depict the
anatomy of a creature, the hierarchy
of a corporation, or the flow of
ideas.Diagrams can depict the ana-
tomy of a creature, the hierarchy
of a corporation, or the flow of
ideas. Diagrams allow viewers to
see relationships that would not
come forward in a straight list
of numbers or a verbal description.
Visual elements and pheno-
mena such as point, line plane,
scale, color, hierarchy, layers,
and more converge in the design
of diagrams. In the realm of
information graphics, the aes-
theticrole of these elements re-
mains important, but something else
occurs as well. Graphic marks and
visual relationships take on specific
meanings, coded within the diagram
to depict numerical increments, rela-
tive size, temporal change, structural
links, and others conditions.
Information graphics can be
approached in a pure and objective
manner. They also have a role to
play in the realm of expressive and
editorial graphics. The language
of diagrams has yielded a rich
and evocative repertoire within
contemporary design. In editorial
design, diagrams often function to
illuminate and explain complex ideas.
They can be clean and reductive or
richly expressive, creating evocative
pictures that reveal surprising
relationships and impress the eye with
the sublime density and grandeur
of a body of data. Diagrams also can
be used to depict personal histories,
a process that forces the designer to
develop systematic ways to represent
subjective experience