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A Velasco Design Group Company

5W Academy - Information Graphics and Data Visualization

Upcoming event: San Francisco, CA

Information Graphics and Data Visualization

2-day workshop: Thursday, May 10, 2018 - Friday, May 11, 2018

Early bird*
Registration fee: $750

Register here

*Valid until April 4 ($850 thereafter)

Following the success of our previous workshops in Europe and Asia, we are pleased to announce a new 5W ACADEMY workshop in San Francisco.

This two-day workshop will explain the role of infographics in visual storytelling and guide you to create your own, in print and online. Attendees will do practical sketching exercises for infographics, charts, maps and storyboards, and create interactive data visualizations with the help of Tableau Public. We'll see the process behind award-winning infographics and learn about gathering and preparing data, using hierarchy, color, typography, illustration, and narrative to create effective and impactful visual presentations.

The class will offer an overview of essential tools and strategies for creating engaging infographics and data visualization. Multiple award-winning projects will also be explained.

This workshop is a two-day practical guide for working designers, entrepreneurs, journalists, educators, and professionals who are interested in developing the skills to create print and interactive information graphics. It will include theory as well as practical exercises.

by the end of this course, you will be able to:

  • learn from past and current examples to understand the relevance of infographics and data visualization in visual storytelling.
  • judge and choose the best sources, data types, and visual formats for your projects.
  • conceptualize, plan, sketch, and design engaging infographics with multiple elements for print and online audiences.
  • enhance your graphics narrative with well edited text to present a clear message.
  • plan or storyboard interactive graphics and learn the fundamentals of producing animated and interactive graphics.
  • expand your knowledge about the most-up-to-date tools and resources available to create infographics and data visualizations.

The instructors

Juan & Samuel Velasco

Juan & Samuel Velasco photo

In 2001 Juan and Samuel Velasco founded 5w Infographics, an award- winning design and consulting company that specializes in information-driven projects. Today, we have offices in New York, Washington DC, and Madrid.

Juan Velasco was the Art Director of National Geographic magazine from 2008 to 2014. Previous to National Geographic, he worked as a graphics artist for El Mundo (Spain) and as the Graphics Art Director for The New York Times.

Juan has won over a hundred Society of News Design and Malofiej awards, as well as awards from the SPD and AIGA. He was a Pulitzer Prize finalist as part of a team at The NY Times.

Samuel Velasco was one of the original founders of the daily newspaper El Mundo (Madrid), in 1989, whose art department quickly became the center of a “boom” of infographics in Europe. From 1990 to 1996 Samuel won more than thirty awatrds for his work at El Mundo.

In 1996, Samuel became an Art Director at Fortune magazine. During this time, Samuel also worked as a freelance infographic artist.

Day One

  • 1The role of Infographics and data visualization in visual story telling

    • The role of infographics to summarize complex stories, find the key message and present it in an impactful way.
    • Successful visual structure and story flow.
    • Identifying opportunities for infographics in text-driven reports and presentations. Making visual choices.
    • Information and visual insight versus decoration.
    • Choosing the right focus, angle and level of complexity for your audience. Making it relatable.
    • Providing context and adequate comparisons.
    • Speed sketching exercises
  • 2Using charts

    • Chart types and when to use them.
    • Working with numbers. Key concepts visualizing data.
    • Math for graphics: calculating percent change, rates, indexing, adjusting for inflation, mean and median, etc.
    • Design of charts. Scales. Data distortion and distraction.
    • Sources of information.
    • Chart exercises
  • Lunch break
  • 3Using maps

    • Geographic maps. World maps, regional maps, city maps.
    • Thematic or data-driven maps. Types.
    • Map design issues. Editing, typography, hierarchy.
    • GIS. Tools and resources for maps in print and online.
  • 4Infographics design

    • Hierarchy and content organization, typography,integration in the page.
    • 10 rules to design infographics with multiple elements.
    • Using color strategically as a layer of information.
  • 5Hands-on group exercise: sketching out a print infographic with multiple elements

    • This exercise emphasizes brainstorming and sketching out visual ideas. Groups will sketch out (by hand) an infogra-phic with multiple components, based on real data and participants’ research. During work, we’ll discuss the content/editorial choices, approaches to showing the data and telling the story, visual choices and design issues. Groups will present their exercises to the class for discussion.

Day Two

  • 6Creativity and styles

    • Examples of good ideas for graphics that bring insight.
    • Showcase of best graphics, old and modern.
    • Overview of styles and techniques.
    • The best software tools and what each is used for.
  • 7Online / interactive infographics

    • Graphics on desktops, smartphones and tablets. Differences.
    • Trends. How readers interact with screens.
    • Key concepts in interactivity and navigation.
    • Motion graphics with Adobe After Effects.
    • Interactive data visualization with programming: D3 and other tools.
    • Interactive data visualization without coding: Tableau.
  • Lunch break
  • 8Hands-on: creating interactive graphics and maps in Tableau

    • We’ll use Tableau to import Excel datasets, create interactive data visualizations and maps and publish them on the web. Participants will learn about adding user navigation, filters, mouse-over tooltips, creating exploratory dashboards with multiple elements, etc.
  • 9Hands-on group exercise: designing interactive graphics and animations

    • Participants will sketch out (in paper) digital versions of the infographic sketched out the previous day, and will present two plans:
      • An interactive version, with emphasis on user experience and navigation, and showing ideas to add interactivity to content.
      • A storyboard for a motion graphic for the same story.
  • 10Efficient workflows

    • A closer look at real world workflows: handling data in Excel and exporting to Illustrator or Tableau, using Tableau and D3 files in Illustrator, enhancing images with Photoshop and adding them to graphics, or adding graphics to PowerPoint.
  • 11Q&A: bibliography and resources

    • We’ll answer any questions and provide a list of books, blogs and resources for those interested in expanding their knowledge.


Payment are processed through using PayPal or a range of Credit Card types. If you or your organization prefers to make a booking through an invoice process (electronic payment transfer or check) please email to progress your registration.


The event will take place at
655 Montgomery Street. Suite 400
San Francisco, CA 94111

Class size

The maximum class size is typically around 25-30 people. This helps to create a supportive learning environment with plenty of one-on-one instruction as well as facilitating energetic dialogue within the group.


The workshops will commence at 9:30 am and finish around 5:00 pm. There will be short breaks in the morning and afternoon sessions and a lunch break of around 50 minutes.


You are encouraged to bring a wireless-enabled laptop and to be possibly prepared to share your workspace with others. It will be useful if you have Microsoft Excel and a pdf reader installed. No other technical prerequisites exist. Power points will be available for charging.


Drinks/refreshments are typically available on arrival. Lunch is not provided but the venue will be located with convenient access to nearby facilities.

Student cancellations

100% refunds are offered for student cancellations UNLESS the event is less than 20 days away in which case a 50% refund will be offered. If you wish to transfer your booking to another delegate, that is fine, but please inform us if this situation arises.

Event cancellations

In the rare event that a training course has to be cancelled due to unforeseen circumstances you will be offered a 100% refund. Refunds will be limited to registration costs: 5W Infographic LLC is not liable for any other costs incurred, such as travel or accommodation costs.

Do you have questions about this workshop?
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About 5W Academy

5w academy aims to be at the center of a discussion that helps elevate the quality of the craft and its integrity by developing useful education programs, workshops and conferences for all those interested in this exciting field. We have over 15 years of experience helping people and companies to communicate better. Let us know how we can help you.

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+34 655.908.180