While Brinton was passionate about getting things represented accurately, he wasn’t fundamentally against a cartoon approach, such as the one above. He said
“the cartoonist style should not be broadly condemned, for it has tremendous possibilities. There is a great opportunity waiting for the man who can combine cartoon methods with accuracy of numerical statement.”
Getting this balance right is one of the bigger challenges as we come to the end of the Infographic era, and it’s still being argued.
It’s also the crux of the different between, say, Stephen Few and David McCandless. The former argues for functionality first, the latter puts beauty first. Who is right? It depends.