The New York Times has the best illustrated charts I have ever seen. They are visually clear, easy to understand with good copy writing to explain the message behind a story. Note the use of blues and orange shades to give visual contrasts.
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Aeternus Consulting offers an excellent workshop Storytelling with Data Visualization using Beautiful Excel Charts. This workshop is aimed at students visualizing thesis data, managers and analysts needing to communicate in a data-driven way and leaders informing their board to drive actions.
Related Link: Making Charts Beautiful with Microsoft Excel