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What Are Data Visualization Style Guidelines?

Examples from the Google and London City Intelligence style guides
Examples from the Sunlight Foundation and Consumer Financial Protection Bureau data viz style guides
Spreadsheet with examples of data visualization style guides

Data visualization style guides defined

Examples of data visualization style guides

Non-profit

Sample pages from the Sunlight Foundation data viz style guide showing what colors are used for and the basic structure for charts
Sample pages from the Cato Institute data visualization guidelines which detail how viz should and shouldn’t be used

Government

Examples from the CFPB design manual which show how project values should be visualized and how to write alt tags for graphs
Sample pages from the City Intelligence Data Design Guidelines which show different color schemes for data viz

Journalism/News

Sample pages from Dallas Morning News Stylebook detailing colors and styles for maps and the process to create graphics
Examples from the BBC GEL for types of labels and how to design for different devices

For Profit

Examples from Google Material Design for how to use or not use data visualization and how to format dashboards
Samples from V1 of the IBM Design Language that show the intention of data visualization and different chart types

Other types of style guides

family tree of style guides, all which fit into the broader design system
Design systems incorporate other types of style guides, including data viz style guides
Homepage and the different sections of the United States Web Design System
Example from Linkedin of how to use the logo properly.
Example from MailChimp’s guide on how to properly use abbreviations
Patterns from BBC GEL that show how components work together
Example from FT Visual Vocabulary of different chart types

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Amy Cesal

Amy Cesal

Amy Cesal is a data visualization designer. She is a co-founder of the Data Visualization Society and serves on the board.

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