These are some basic chart types in Excel. You can play around with these by downloading the file here.
Stephen Few, Data visualization Guru and author, mentions a few rules for creating charts on his website PerceptualEdge. Some good reads are:
Practical rules for using colors in charts
Godin’s Silly Rules for Great Graphs
Stephan has, over the years, written on many facets of presenting data in a consice and *simple* manner.