Small Multiples

fig 1, 2, 3 – Mini travel guides

Above are some mini travel guides. Each one includes information about what to do and where to go when travelling around various cities. This visual information is all presented in a concise way, a method which aligns with Tufte’s small multiples theory. This method of designing graphics is an efficient way to present information to the audience without it becoming too complicated. Travel guides are often presented in more detailed formats such as books which may be too overwhelming to the audience.  

They are part of a series of travel guides which all have this similar layout. Their design consistency aligns with Tufte’s small multiples theory.  By seeing similar designs that don’t have many changes, the audience is able to understand the information as they will already be familiar.

fig 4 – 15 tips to become a sustainable traveler 

This travel graphic is also a good example of Tufte’s small multiples theory. The graphic designer has divided the information about travelling sustainably into sections of the same size. These small sections coincide with Tufte’s idea of illustrations being ‘postage-stamp sized’. 

All of these sections are designed very similarly despite showing different information. This consistency shows how, by only changing a small variable in the graphic (in this case, the illustration and the text), the audience are able to understand the different information coherently. By changing the information but keeping the constancy of the design, this ‘puts the emphasis on changes in data’ Tufte, E (1990).

Overall, these graphics all show how, by refraining from making the information overly complicated, it can convey information with clarity. 


(fig 1, 2, 3) So she roamed (n.d.) Handy dandy mini travel guides. Available online: [Accessed 14/10/2020].

(fig 4) Nomads RTW (n.d.) 15 sustainable travel tips to become a responsible traveller. Available online: [Accessed 14/10/2020].

Tufte, E. (1990) Envisioning information. Cheshire: Graphics Press USA. 

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