Good design without mercy: all unnecessary removed

Legends are mostly unnecessary. Instead: get to the data. Look, that’s what they’ve done here for the dollar and percentage signs. And for the scale info.

Source: Wall Street Journal, 2006–11–21, p. C4

Also unnecessary: repetitions. One dollar sign and one percentage sign are enough.

You can reduce skillfully: 2000, 02, 03 etc.

Reference lines really can help sometimes. If they visually increase the relative deviations. That’s what they do in the middle graph.