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Real-World Project

As you've read in this chapter, you can do a great deal to jazz up a graph: add color, use patterns and gradients, combine different graph types, use graph designs for columns, and replace standard data markers with graph designs. It's probably not a good idea, though, to use all these techniques on each graph you create—too much of a good thing and all that. Try choosing graph enhancements based on the kind of graph you're creating and the intended audience.

For example, an area graph lends itself to the use of smooth, colorful gradients in the shaded areas (see Figure 18.25), whereas a radar graph is a good place to try out different data point markers (see Figure 18.26). Experiment and have fun, but always remember the point of what you're doing—to communicate information to the reader, quickly and clearly.


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