@Rich: I have a book on GUI design in my office that covers both web-based and industrial-controller interfaces -- I can;t remember the name off-hand, but I'd say it's a "must read" for anyone who is creating user interfaces. If you remind me on Monday I'll root around and find the title.
This concept (information design) applies to much more than just charts and graphs, and extends to the creation of any human interface. Unfortunately it seems that few interface designers understand or appreciate it, as evidenced by examples like this cringe-worthy headphone amp front panel, or my cable provider's inconsistent on-screen "Delete" function, which, after I press it, sometimes defaults to "Yes" and sometimes "No", depending on what it is I'm trying to delete (WTH??). I can also think of many websites that would have benefited from some understanding of this concept. ;)
@DrFPGA: Consider the classic graphic, by Charles Joseph Minard, showing Napoleon's army in the Russian campaign of 1812.
VERY interesting -- I'd not seen this one before. I remember hearing about some guy writing a book about innovative ways to present information using graphics --- I'd really like to see that book, but I can't remember anything else about it...
Graphics that show a complex concept in a simple way are works of art. Consider the classic graphic, by Charles Joseph Minard, showing Napoleon's army in the Russian campaign of 1812. It shows the location of the army (2 dimensions in space), the date (time), the temperature, and the size of the army all in a simple graphic. Wow!
I have to say that I'm really getting into this "Infographic" concept -- I love the way you can compress so much information into such a small space. Also, it's visually appealing (at least to me) -- I like scanning around the graphic and saying to myself "Oooh, that's interesting," or "Well, I never knew that before!"