July 08, 2009
Information Wheel charts
I was delighted to find this rather nice paper wheel chart just the other day. Made in 1989 by the Wheel Ease corporation in Canada. Its a reference guide for programming the Lotus 1.2.3. Computer.
Paper wheels charts are a way of relaying information in a concise and articulate form. There are many different types, but like the Lotus one here, there is a rotating inner wheel, which has a cut out window. Through the window specific information is retrieved.
The first one I remember, was the one the bookmakers William Hill brought out for a European Championship. Im sure I still have it somewhere.
Theres a stupendous book by Jessica Helfland, Reinventing the Wheel, that documents over a hundred information wheels. All beautifully photographed with a concise overview. Published by Princeton Architectural Press, its now available in paperback. Its well worth a look!
Above are two more larger format wheels that I found some time ago. They were given away with The Book of Knowledge in the 1960s. The Historical chart on the left, documents the reign of each British monarch, while the Geographical Wheel gives population, principal rivers, natural resources and mountains of 90 countries. Below is a detail of the cut out window.