In the 363-page book, Cairo shows examples of infographics to help explain the planning and execution of infographics and visualization. Cairo also shows poor examples and what can be done to improve them.
Early in the book, Cairo uses the following analogy to clarify the purpose of art used in infographics. A journalist might use literary devices in her writing style to serve as tools to help convey information and enhance a reader's subsequent inquiry and discovery. These tools are similar to information visualization used as a tool to augment understanding.
The author devotes a chapter to highlight experts in the field that he interviewed for the book. Two of the experts, Juan Velasco and Fernando G. Baptist, created Building Gobekli Tepe at the National Geographic magazine.
Another fascinating part of the book describes the brain and how it processes visual information. What surprised me the most was learning that we see abstract representations of persons, places, and things better than realistic representations.
The video lessons cover topics, such as principles of design, the process of designing an infographic, components of interactivity, and the importance of designing accurate and attractive infographics with visualization for deeper understanding. In Lesson 3, Cairo describes the process used by experts in the field to create infographics.
I would recommend The Functional Art because I have read several books on the subject and none of the other books came close to offering the detailed description, analysis, and details of effective infographics development.