Design guidelines


This section is under construction. Please contribute!

The following guidelines are picked up mostly from the books by Edward Tufte and Stephen Few.


  • 3D projection is not recommended (particularly for bar series, ribbons, pie charts)
  • Pie charts are not recommended (difficult to compare values, bar charts are usually better)
  • Minimize the ratio ink/data
  • Don’t use a border around legends
  • Use only one font
  • Don’t use a border (box) around the plot

Grid lines

  • Avoid dark/heavy grid lines


  • Use TickStyle = Outside
  • Don’t use minor tick marks

Category axes

  • Don’t use tick marks
  • Don’t use axis line on vertical category axes
  • Limit the number of subdivisions (not more than 5-6 bar series)

Bar series

  • Use a bar width around 50%
  • For histograms you could use a bar width of 100%