Charts, diagrams and maps that make a difference – how to do it right!


Training workshop in visual communication for environment and sustainable development

Making a chart or a diagram is not hard. But making powerful, engaging and easily understood graphics in science communication is a true challenge. With environment and development issues, our task becomes complicated by an almost infinite depth and complexity. Finding the right balance between academic correctness and oversimplification is not easy.

Learn how to make the kind of visual material that is picked up by bloggers, used in press releases and ends up in presentations!

In our full-day training workshop, you will learn how to create charts, diagrams and maps that capture your audience's attention and expand the reach and impact of your information.

Our workshop is designed for anyone who works with environmental and sustainable development issues, from researchers to journalists.

The workshops organized by Nordpil, brings in extensive experience in maps, charts and diagrams and other forms of visual science communication - as well as experience in environmental and sustainable development issues.

Workshop program

The workshop consists of a full-day intensive program split into separate sessions. Rather than focusing on technical proficiency in software handling, the workshop takes a platform-agnostic perspective and focuses on the background and theory as well as the what to achieve (and why), but not necessarily the how.

The day ends with a show'n'tell session where we view, discuss and analyze examples of good and bad visual communication, with samples provided by the participants and the organizers. The samples are drawn from popular media, newspapers and the work of the participants.

All teaching material presented in the workshop is shared with the participants, to minimize the need for extensive note-taking.

The instruction is available in English (primarily) and Swedish. We are willing to work with interpreters if needed.


Please see below for planned workshops and more information on their participation costs. For custom workshops or for a general quote, please contact us and we will contact you with a rough quote.

Custom workshops

We are very happy to customize the workshop program to cater to the needs of your organization. Please drop us a line to start the discussion, and we will contact you shortly. Some possible ideas for a workshop:

  • So you want to go deeper? We can easily expand the program over several days and focus on more detailed examples and case studies.
  • Other channels of communication? Using our network of partners, we can easily add modules with sessions on subjects such as writing, social media or communicating on the web.
  • Specializing on a theme? Narrowing down the thematic scope will allow the workshop to focus on issues directly related to that theme. Possible themes could be government communication, international assessments, poverty, climate change or water issues.
  • Hands-on training in actually preparing the graphics? With a computer lab, or using the participants' laptops, we will look at how to create graphics similar to the show'n'tell examples covered in the workshops, and how we can change the presentation depending on the messages we want to communicate. Possible software includes Microsoft Office (Excel), Open Office Calc, Adobe Illustrator/Photoshop, ArcGIS and others.


Please bookmark and come back and visit this page for updated information, or sign up for our mailing list to receive the latest dates. Would you like us to hold a workshop in your city, or at your institution? Please let us know, and we will take that into account!

  • There are currently no workshops scheduled.

Our methodology and references

We have taken the inspiration for the workshop program and the methods we teach from a variety of sources - most importantly from our own experience and backgrounds in working with communicating environmental and sustainable development issues.

Keywords in our visual communication philosophy are: simple, clear, focused and interesting.

Books that we recommend, and that have inspired us, are primarily the work of Edward Tufte, as well as Designing Better Maps by Cynthia Brewer and Communicating Science Effectively: A Practical Handbook for Integrating Visual Elements by Thomas et al.

To view examples of the graphics and communication products that Nordpil work on - please see the Nordpil portfolio page.

Would you like more information on how to improve your visual communication? Here are a few starting suggestions:

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