This article was translated by John R. Bopp
Fernando Baptista is, through his work, helping millions of people around the world to better understand the stories told in National Geographic (a publication we’ve referenced many times in our blog). He has received more than 125 awards, and even gotten an Emmy nomination, and is recognized as one of the top five most influential infographic designers in the last 20 years.
Mr. Baptista works with drawings, mock-ups, and scale models that he himself builds, and even with sculpture. He works with analogue and digital techniques, combining them to get the best results–it’s a way of working and presenting that has made him an international leader in his field.
Mr. Baptista is from Bilbao, where he studied Fine Arts at the University of the Basque Country (UPV/EHU), and where for many years he created infographics for El Correo, published in his hometown, where he learned a lot under the pressure that current events put him under. In those years at the newspaper, his work was awarded and he made a name for himself, and word finally crossed the Atlantic and reached Washington, where the National Geographic Society is headquartered. In 2006, they invited him to become part of their magazine’s team, so he went to the US to work, not knowing a word of English, just like many Basques before him; though, in his case, it was to work at one of the most prestigious magazines in the world.
National Geographic maintains the best principles among high-quality publications. When we read the articles we’ve collected about this entry’s protagonist, or when we see the video where he explains his work, which we’ve also included, it’s easy to understand why we feel we’ve found something really special when we open up that magazine, or see their documentaries, or visit their website.
It’s obvious this publication’s overriding goal is none other than to be the best, offering the best information in the best way possible to its readers.
We’re also including an article published in Chile when Mr. Baptista was visiting the Catholic University of Chile and was interviewed for the Spanish edition of the magazine he works for; also, there’s an thorough article published by the Society for News Design from a workshop he offered a year ago in Dubai; finally, there’s a very interesting video from a (Spanish language) conference in which Mr. Baptista himself explained what his job is like.
Given all this, it’s easy to get a good idea of this man’s extraordinary work and the impeccable “style” of National Geographic.
By the way, today’s his birthday! Zorionak!
La Tercera – 2/5/2016 – Chile
Las historias gráficas de Fernando Baptista en National Geographic
Originario de Bilbao, este artista gráfico llegó a las oficinas de Natgeo en Washington DC sin hablar inglés y con la emoción de ser parte de esta gran oficina periodística. Llevaba 14 años trabajando en el periódico El Correo de Bilbao, España, como ilustrador e infógrafo, cuando un editor gráfico de National Geographic lo contactó en 2006. Lo llamaron por su técnica que parte de la escultura a escala para luego llegar a la infografía. “No me lo creía. Me dijeron que tenían interés en mi trabajo, que lo habían visto, les había gustado y creían que yo podía conectar con la revista. Me pidieron un portafolio, se los mandé y al día siguiente me pidieron una entrevista con viaje incluido en las oficinas de Washington para conocer al equipo, las oficinas y la forma de trabajar”, cuenta.
Society for News Design – 24/6/2015 –
Dubai workshop: Fernando Baptista of National Geographic
The opportunities to learn and assimilate Fernando’s talent will happen at an exclusive workshop for SND friends October 23-24 in Dubai. Imagine Fernando at your disposal — teaching, talking, giving advices and sharing his tremendous experience in information graphics just for you.
National Geographic – 25/2/2014 – USA
Un bilbaíno en National Geographic
Un día de diciembre de 2006, Fernando Baptista recibió una llamada telefónica que cambió su rumbo profesional de forma inesperada. Este ilustrador e infógrafo bilbaíno llevaba 14 años trabajando en el periódico El Correo cuando un editor gráfico de National Geographic se puso en contacto con él para proponerle su incorporación al equipo encargado de realizar los gráficos de la Sociedad. Hoy es el editor senior de infografía en la sede de National Geographic, en Washington, D.C.