End of the rainbow indeed



Many thanks to Adam Light and Patrick J. Bartlein for their helpful and succinct article, The End of the Rainbow? Color Schemes for Improved Data Graphics, regarding color in data illustration (Eos, 85(40), 5 October 2004). I especially appreciate their point about the use of spectral schemes to illustrate sequential data.

As a science writer and reader, I have often struggled with the Crayola-inspired illustrations that are prevalent today Overuse of color forces the reader into a myopic [paint by numbers] exercise to extract meaning. The situation reminds me of notes that I received just after Microsoft Windows developed the capability to print bit-mapped fonts. For a while, some authors seemed carried away by this new capability and marked each line, each change of voice, with a new font.