Tufte—A New Style for MintPublished 2 years ago, mid-May under Design
I spent the weekend building a new style for Shaun Inman’s Mint 2 called Tufte Mint. The inspiration and namesake of the style was Edward Tufte’s The Visual Display of Quantitative Information—a fantastic book that chronicles the history and theory of data graphics.
Tufte Mint’s design is focused on maximizing data-ink and minimizing chartjunk and decoration. The graphs in particular have been designed in a style Tufte presents in his book. Keep reading for more info on the design and to grab the free download.
Tufte’s Five Principles in the Theory of Data Graphics
In The Visual Display of Quantitative Information, Tufte (pronounced tuff-tee) provides five principles in the theory of data graphics which I’ve tried to employ in Tufte Mint:
Above all else show the data
The data tables in Tufte Mint have little decoration aside from some horizontal rules, spacing, and typeface selection. I’ve also tried to include a notion of data hierarchy by highlighting certain important figures and changing their typeface to a serif to draw attention.
Maximize the data-ink ratio
The graphs in particular strive to reduce the amount of non-data visuals on the page. Aside from the baseline there are very few non-data elements on the graph. I’ve removed the gridlines behind the graph and the tick-marks to the left in favor of the “invisible line” idea Tufte promotes.
Erase non-data-ink, Erase redundant data-ink, Revise and edit
I spent a lot of time tweaking the design to remove as much un-neccessary visuals as possible. There’s not very much redundant data in Mint to begin with—implementing these last three principles is more appropriate when selecting which pepper to install.
Hit the download link below—installation instructions are included in the .zip.
Thanks to Mr. Inman for building an amazing product and making it incredibly easy to create your own Mint 2 styles. Thanks to Mr. Inglis for his feedback and testing help. Update: 5/22 — Thanks to Mr. Mall and Mr. Croft for letting me know about a rather nasty CSS bug.