Infographics workshop in Amsterdam

We’ll probably have workshops in Taiwan and Singapore before the end of the year, but it’s never too soon to announce the next one in Europe: next February I’ll be again in Amsterdam (Netherlands) teaching a two-day workshop on infographics for print and online. It’s organized by Graphic Hunters, an initiative by Goof van de Winkel that provides training on graphical literacy, infographic storytelling, online data visualization and more in the Netherlands with international trainers.

Here is some additional information on the workshop, which will take place on February 8 and 9, 2018. No previous experience is required. The course is suited to anyone who’s interested in learning how to communicate effectively through data visualization and infographics. It could appeal to graphic designers, editors, communications or marketing professionals, data analysts and/or researchers. It’s a mix of theory and lots of hands-on exercises where we’ll look at some principles of visual storytelling, design, best practices with charts and maps, tools and key concepts in interactive and data visualization, and more.

The class is taught in a beautiful location (Mmousse) in a downtown canal house on one of Amsterdam’s most beautiful canals, around the corner of the central station. The idea is to have a relatively small group. I did a version of the workshop in the same space two years ago (photo below).

Here is a testimonial (translated from Dutch)

The two day workshop Information Graphics For Print and Online was very inspiring and helped us (myself and my colleagues) very much. The organization of the workshop was excellent. In a nice location with a nice working environment and good lunches! The group of students was great. Large enough to have many different angles. And small enough to have a lot of personal interaction. Additionally, it is very nice to get in touch with people with similar interests (dataviz!), but completely different backgrounds. The course leader provided a wealth of experience and knowledge, and offered space to mess as a group with the matter. In addition to the inspiration, we learned to work with different visualization tools and get better visualizations. The extra that the course leader, Juan Velasco, added, were the aspects of dataviz that make it a classic craft. Or even an art form. Rid of all the fancy tools you can use today, and then you come back to the essence again. I recommend it to everyone!”

If you are interested in attending, please contact Goof van de Winkel at info@graphichunters.nl.

Finally, you’ll find a cool note on Graphic Hunters’ website: since they work with trainers from abroad who travel by plane to the Netherlands specifically for the training, CO2 emissions from these trips are compensated by Graphic Hunters by contributing to Trees for All. Great idea!

 

 

 

 

Workshops and speaking in Beijing, Shanghai and Singapore

Last month I had a great long trip to Asia with some speaking engagements and workshops.

The first destination was Beijing. My friend Ying Wu, Visual Director at People’s Daily Media Innovation (PDMI) and an internationally recognized designer (formerly of the Boston Globe) invited me to speak about infographics and data visualization at People’s Daily headquarters. People’s Daily is the largest newspaper of China, and the official newspaper of the Chinese Communist Party, providing direct information on government policies and viewpoints.

I was struck at how technologically advanced People’s Daily and PDMI are. The new headquarters of People’s Daily in Beijing’s Chaoyang District are one of the most modern newsrooms I’ve had the pleasure to visit. I had a video interview and then a nice talk and conversation with staffers discussing infographics, data, the challenges of their work and where they are headed.

The following day I visited the Communication University of China (CUC), the top journalism school in China. Students there had great interest in news infographics and data journalism, and they asked really good questions.

After Beijing, I traveled to Shanghai to conduct a two-day workshop for DBS Bank staff. We had been working with DBS with similar workshops in Singapore, Hong Kong, Jakarta, and Mumbai before. The idea is to show the value of infographics and data visualization as a tool to bring insight, clarity and communicate complex information and data in a visually engaging and revealing way, both to internal stakeholders and to the general public.

The last stop was in Singapore. We were there once again (9th time, I think) teaching a public workshop on infographics hosted by our friends of Methodology (they also organize the DBS workshops). Methodology develops great education programs, workshops, conference and media about creative ideas and design processes.

The final two days in Singapore I had the opportunity to conduct a workshop on interactive  /mobile infographics for staff working at the different media publications of Singapore Press Holdings (SPH). SPH is the publisher of The Straits Times, Singapore’s largest newspaper (founded in 1845) and clearly one of the best in South East Asia. They do excellent infographics and dataviz both in print and online. It was great to spend time with them as well as with members of Lianhe Zaobao (the flagship Chinese newspaper in Singapore), The Business Times, AsiaOne and other SPH media organizations. The workshop was organized by WAN-IFRA, the World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers

 

Free data journalism courses in Learno

Here is a very useful quality resource for anyone interested in data journalism, data visualization and journalism on the web. LEARNO.NET is a website with free video courses for media professionals, journalism students and “anyone with a public-interest mission and a journalistic mindset”. LEARNO.NET is an initiative of the European Journalism Centre (EJC), a non-profit foundation dedicated to strengthen journalism by providing tools and resources, including training.

EJC also runs DataDrivenJournalism.net, a hub for news, resources and networking in data journalism.

Many of the available courses are related to data visualization and infographics, with a focus on how to effectively work with data and produce compelling data stories. They range from simple introductions to advanced skills. Instructors are among the very best in their specialties, including Alberto Cairo, Maarten Lambrechts, Simon Rogers and more.

The list of available courses is short but very compelling. Three are very recent:
Cleaning Data in Excel, by Maarten Lambrechts
Data visualization, journalism and the web: mistakes we made so you don’t have to, by Jonathon Berlin
Going viral using using social media analytics, by Stijn Debrouwere

And these are the rest:
Doing journalism with data: first steps, skills and tools, by Paul Bradshaw, Alberto Cairo, Steve Doig, Simon Rogers and Nicolas Kayser-Bril
Charting tools for the newsroom, by Maarten Lambrechts (upcoming)
Verification: the basics, by Craig Silverman and Claire Wardle
Managing data journalism projects, by Jacopo Ottaviani
Google search for journalists, by Nicholas Whitaker
– Bulletproof data journalism, by Stijn Debrouwere

It’s great initiative and we are hoping to see more courses in the near future.

 

 

All the online winners of the Malofiej Infographics Awards

We just found a fantastic site by J. A. Álvarez (@infoiguacel) that compiles all the online winners of the 25th edition of the Malofiej Infographics Awards. You can filter by type of award, country, and readership. What a source of inspiration! Big thanks to @infoiguacel for putting this together.

The winners of the Malofiej Awards were announced a couple of weeks ago. The Malofiej Summit is held every year in Pamplona (Spain) and is still, in my opinion, the best event in the world if you want to know what is happening in the field of information graphics and data visualization. Since they are for the most part journalistic work, the graphics have a strong focused on being clear, explanatory and insightful to clarify news events. They are the “Pulitzer of Infographics”. It includes the competition of print and online infographics (over 1300 entries from 134 organizations in 31 countries participated), a 2-day conference that attracts professionals from all over the world and a three-day workshop called “Show Don’t Tell”. The workshop for professionals is taught by Fernando Baptista of National Geographic, Xaquín Gonzalez from The Guardian and John Grimwade from the University of Ohio. It doesn’t get any better than that! I was fortunate to be an instructor for the workshop for 10 years.

This year there was also a workshop for students, taught by Michael Stoll, Professor of the Augsburg University of Applied Sciences.

There is a special bonus from Malofiej. Every year they publish a fantastic book with all the award winners. There is no better source of inspiration for print and online infographics and to see the state of the art, trends and work from different countries.

This year the top prizes (Best of Show) went to Corriere della Sera (Italy) and The New York Times (USA), for the print and online categories respectively, with the graphics ‘Journey of Foreign Fighters’ (shown below) and ‘Olympic Races Social Series’.

Over the years, we at 5W have been lucky to win a few Malofiej Awards (from our previous jobs at the NY Times, National Geographic, Fortune or directly with 5W’s work. Here is my Terracotta Warriors graphic for National Geographic (in collaboration with Pure Rendering GmbH) that won the Best of Show a few years back:

By the way, everybody asks this: what does Malofiej mean? Alejandro Malofiej was an Argentinian cartographer considered to be a pioneer in infographics, who died in 1987. The event was named after him as a tribute. The 25th anniversary is an important milestone. Here is a video tribute to Javier Errea, the President of the Spanish Chapter of SND, who has been the head of Malofiej for the last 17 years. A well deserved recognition!

 

Our Infographics and Data Visualization Workshop in Washington D.C. (Dec 1-2)

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slideshow-5w-academy-washington

5W Academy is heading to Washington, D.C. soon for our next Infographics and Data visualization workshop in the US. It will be on December 1-2.

We received great feedback from our D.C. workshop back in October 2015. A combination of local and out-of-state participants from government agencies, design studios, NGOs and other organizations got together for two days.

Workshop2

Our previous workshop in Washington, D.C.

The two-day workshop is a comprehensive introduction to the creation of infographics and data visualization. With a mix of theory and practice, the workshop is aimed at professionals and students interested in developing the skills to produce engaging, insightful visual storytelling with their content. No previous experience with infographics or specialized software is required.

We will learn how to gather and prepare data, the Do’s and Dont’s of working with numerical information and charts, and the principles of visual hierarchy, color, typography, illustration, and narrative to create impactful infographics.

Attendees will sketch out infographics, storyboard motion graphics and create / publish their interactive data visualizations and web maps with the help of Tableau Public. The class will discuss award-winning projects and offer an overview of tools and strategies for creating infographics and data visualization.

Infographics are a universal language. Our most recent workshops in NYC (March), Amsterdam (June, hosted by Graphic Hunters) and Singapore (July, hosted by our friends at Methodology) were great experiences and it seems the demand keeps increasing.

Workshop n Amsterdam, June 2016

Workshop n Amsterdam, June 2016

Workshop in Singapore, July 2016

Workshop in Singapore, July 2016

Learn more about the instructors and schedule in our page or register directly here. We hope we’ll see you soon in DC!

Teaching Infographics

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We’ll be in New York on March 24-25 with our well received workshop on principles of infographics and data visualization. How is it different, and what do our participants learn?

Infographics and data visualization have experienced significant change since we started 5W Infographics back in 2001. And certainly since we published our very first infographics, which takes us all the way to the late 80s! If you were thinking of infographics  and dataviz as a new field, you may want to think again.

Some of these changes are profound, in good and bad ways, and they are a big part of the reason why at 5W Academy (our educational branch) we think infographics and dataviz education are important precisely now.

Individuals and corporations have now access to massive public and private data sets, and new software applications allow us to visualize them. But that’s not the same as having the ability to a find relevant story behind the data, and the skill to visualize and design it efficiently.

We also see countless of unfortunate examples of infographics that are little more than empty decorative designs around a few numbers, the product of marketing departments with the only purpose of making content viral. It’s just pretty clickbait that gives a bad name to infographics. These have become so pervasive that sadly, many people think of that type of content first when they think of “infographics”, a trendy word now. But in nearly all cases they offer absolutely nothing in terms of revealing insightful patterns and trends behind numerical or special information.

Data visualization is not new. It’s actually been around us for hundred of years, and many of the principles behind it stand the pass of time. It’s good to look back at some of them.

At 5W we started working with infographics in the field of journalism, where focus and accuracy are paramount. During long years as staff members for newspapers like El Mundo (one of the European infographics pioneers) and The New York Times, or magazines such as Fortune and National Geographic, we were trained to seek first and foremost data sets and information that was both accurate and relevant to our readers. To find focus and to visualize that content in a visual way through charts, maps, and illustrated infographics that would offer new visual insights for our readers. With stiff competition for space in the news pages, you need to prove you can inform (not decorate) in a way neither the best writers or photographers can with the tools of their craft alone.

Today it often seems like the word “infographics” has been hijacked by marketers with inadequate understanding of data visualization principles and sometimes dubious or biased agendas; and often the term “data visualization” or dataviz has been appropriated by software wizards and digital designers more fascinated by the fact they can visualize large amounts of data than by how they can extract and explain a revealing story by visualizing the core message behind it. The result is cool but empty data art that tries to pass as information or incomprehensible “data dumps” that look fascinating but lacks proper editing and design basics and just confuse anyone with an honest intent of making sense of it.

The purpose of our workshop is to explain the principles that enable us to create powerful visual stories that illuminate concepts for readers in engaging ways. And to practice them hands-on. We haven’t found a workshop that looks at all the different tools of infographics and dataviz at the same time: the Do’s and Dont’s of plotting numbers and statistics with charts; geographic and thematic cartography; illustrations and pictograms; design, hierarchy and color; and exploring creativity with those tools.

In our next post we’ll look in detail at the content and schedule of the two-day workshop.

New workshops in NYC and Singapore

NYC_Singapore

5W Academy is heading to NYC for our next Infographics and Data visualization workshop in the US. It will be on March 24-25.

We received great feedback from our Washington, D.C. workshop back in October. A combination of local and out-of-state participants from government agencies, design studios, NGOs and other organizations got together for two days.

This two-day workshop is a comprehensive introduction to the creation of infographics and data visualization. With a mix of theory and practice, the workshop is aimed at professionals and students interested in developing the skills to produce engaging, insightful visual storytelling with their content.

We will learn how to gather and prepare data, the Do’s and Dont’s of working with numerical information and charts, and the principles of visual hierarchy, color, typography, illustration, and narrative to create impactful infographics.

5W_Academy copy

Attendees will sketch out infographics, storyboard motion graphics and create / publish their interactive data visualizations and web maps with the help of Tableau Public. The class will discuss award-winning projects and offer an overview of tools and strategies for creating infographics and data visualization.

At the same time, we are keeping busy in Asia. We’ll be back in Singapore on February 18-19 for “The Power of Infographics 4”, the fourth edition of a workshop that has proven really popular. The workshop is organized by Methodology and partnership with German leading art/design book publisher Gestalten.

Also in Singapore, we were invited to do back-to-back workshops on March 8-9, March 10-11 and possibly also March 14-15. The organizer is Maitre Allianz, a leading training services company.