Appendix A. Additional Resources

Thank you for picking up a copy of Designing Data Visualizations! If you’re reading this appendix, we hope it means you’ve already made your way through our compact tome. If so, then you’ve learned the basics of identifying your goals, selecting appropriate data dimensions to encode, and applying encodings with care. You’re ready to implement!

In order to help you do that, here is a list of tools to consider trying, as well as a reading list—these are the books we keep on our shelves and have pored over delightedly or pulled down regularly to help us with tricky design problems and encoding decisions. We hope they serve you well. Happy designing!


There are myriad tools and language libraries available to help you explore your data or create custom visualizations of it. More appear every day. Here is a partial listing to get you started.

0 to 255 (

A web-based tool to find darker and lighter variations of colors, in order to make coherent palettes and color schemes. Designed to generate colors that are safe for web use.

Color Brewer 2.0 (

A web-based tool for generating palettes of colors. Options include the ability to select sequential, diverging, or discrete palettes, as well as number of colors, and hue families. Also allows selection of palettes that are color-blind compatible, photocopier safe, etc.

Color Laboratory (

This website allows ...

Get Designing Data Visualizations now with the O’Reilly learning platform.

O’Reilly members experience books, live events, courses curated by job role, and more from O’Reilly and nearly 200 top publishers.