As much as I enjoyed learning about Chartjunk Ducks, and Mob Bosses walking free, I think the more fundamental ideas presented in this chapter are the primary strategies used to envision a 3-D task from a 2-D medium.
To escape this flatland we primarily used 9 strategies:
1. Molted Toad Skin-The exterior surface is laid as flat as possible. We see this commonly with world maps which avoid distortion of proportion in the landmasses near the poles.
2. Perspective Drawing-Understanding depth by altering the size and limiting information to a single point of view can provide a solid understanding of three-space reality
3. Making Models-Whether using CAD, or folded paper, making models provides practice understanding the hands on manipulation of 2-D to 3-D and visa versa.
4. Stereoscopic viewers- Classic stereograms which can create an illusion of three dimensionality using two images, can be a struggle to view properly or quickly by many, are rapidly being substituted by more easy-to-use modern versions of the art with computer visualizations, stereo images, holograms, and 3D televisions.
5. Labeling multiview drawings- Like Galileo's sunspots, labeling features in a 2-D perspective drawing can be combined and compared with other drawings from other times or locations to complete the picture of information. This conglomeration of many viewpoints can reveal new information as profound as discovering the rotation of celestial bodies. Organizing these images using some form of natural mapping can make understanding the relationship between the adjacent images easier to understand. An example of this would be the standard multiview drawing method in drafting which shows 3 views as they would be oriented as if the object were unfolded as in the molted toad skin method, meaning having the top view overhead, and the side view to the left or right of the object's front view etc.
6. Repeating images over time-This step by step method can show how the image/object should look after each phase of the process. Many at home assembly instructions for furniture or K'Nex use this method.
7. Layering information-Similar to multiview drawings with with time or another 4th variable thrown in as an additional layer. Somehow the layer is coded in such a manner that it can be distinguished from the covering layer. The cons of this technique is mentioned on pages 79-81 of Katz's book Designing information. However, we see examples of this in drafting where we see hidden lines as dotted lines or we see lines that should be hidden through translucent objects. Slight distortion of lines and contours that should be hidden unless the object were transparent indicate depth.
8. Encoded Symbols, icons, and dingbats- In drafting we see centerlines, fillets, or welding symbols used to indicate meaning where words are too cumbersome. The downside of symbols is that it requires reference to a key or memorization, especially if the symbol meaning is not intuitive.
9. The Table/Spreadsheet/Paperwheel Lookup approach. -This is best for specific pieces of information that only need one step. Imagine trying to machine every hole in an aircraft based on several specifications given for countersinks, screw pitch, angel, width, length etc. You could rely on a reference tool like a table/paperwheel to determine the specifications for specific details given certain inputs. Tables serve as a function, that provides certain outputs given various inputs. This is helpful when there is not enough room on an information graphic to indicate every input in every scenario.
Other examples cited in the reading such as Tomlinson's The Art of Dancing are simply combinations of the previous strategies, in this case 2,7, and 8 respectively perspective drawing, layering, and symbols.
I believe that no one strategy is most important but instead the artist's discretion of how she uses them is key. Designing information requires a keen understanding of each of these fundamental strategies for escaping flatland.