The facing pages shown below illustrate not only Tufte's exasperation at bad design and his acerbic wit at its expense, but also the huge range of applicability of his principles. At left is a painting by Ad Reinhardt, which Tufte uses as another illustration of how subtle differences can have great meaning (here in the shades of blue rendered in three nearly imperceptible vertical bands; Reinhardt wanted to focus the viewer's attention on these simple and subtle differences).
Tufte's book seems to me to have immense potential for designing effective museum displays—again, not just on the level of graphic design. Tufte himself designed an interactive informational screen for visitors to the National Gallery in Washington, D.C. (right); but I mean even more than this. His principles can also be applied in the placement of objects relative to each other, to the text panels, to the space, and so on. His chapter "Parallelism: Repetition and Change, Parallelism and Surprise" illuminates the ways that viewers interpret repeated images. This way of thinking could easily be applied to objects in a gallery.