Appendix B Style Guide

A Data Presentation Style Guide is a shared document that helps everyone in an organization create high-quality, consistent data presentations. The document provides a starting point for anyone creating a report, dashboard, or analytical interface regardless of the tool being used. In fact, the style guide helps to smooth out the inevitable differences across tools. The following table of contents provides a sample of the content that may be covered in a style guide.

  • Chart selection—Guidelines for selecting the right chart for the data and your message.
  • Layout—Design principles for laying out charts and other content on the page, including using gridlines and whitespace.
  • Typography—Font sizes and weights for headings, body, labels, and notes text.
  • Color—Categorical, sequential, and divergent color schemes to be used in charts.
  • Number formatting—Formats for dates, decimals, currencies, and large numbers.
  • Basic charts—Bar, line, scatterplot, bubble, and pie.
  • Tables—Formats for table text, borders, headers, text alignment, and emphasis.
  • Advanced charts and graphics—Styling for maps, bullet charts, two-axis charts, sparklines, treemaps, and other advanced visuals. Guidance on when to use these graphics and which ones to avoid.
  • Common widgets—Key metrics, selectors, sliders, input areas, and tooltips.
  • Legends and labels—Rules and styling for chart legends and labels.

This appendix includes six sample pages based on style guides that we have produced for ...

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