The visual display of quantitative information is a fascinating field. Here's an example, borrowed from Andrew Gelman's blog, Statistical Modeling, Causal Influence, and Social Science.
First, check out this chart showing the evolution of Crayola crayons colors over the decades. It's pretty satisfying, no?
But now look at this enhancement. Doesn't it work much better?
Proving what? Perhaps that the context for the information provides clues as to the relative effectiveness of various visual displays.