From the Top Drawer

Doodles and discussion on Graphic Recording

More than pretty pictures

By Katherine Woods

The wave of interest in visual working has crescendoed in the last ten years. I attribute this to many factors including: the increase in global working, in which pictures paint a thousand words; the use of iconography in the electronic devices we use every day; the popularity of books by David Sibbet and Dan Roan, who have made this way of working accessible to business people.

The downside I see in the appeal of visual working, is that visuals are often used without understanding the implications of the choices being made so. To the untrained eye, it’s all about pretty pictures.

There are three dimensions to working visually

  • The process by which the image is created
  • The underlying metaphor and architecture of the image
  • The way in which the image is used, once it is created

Within each of these dimensions there are multiple choices, which means there is a broad range of different results that can be achieved by combining them. In this article I hope to shine a light on the first dimension, by looking at the different ways graphic images are created and the impact this has.

I have summarised this into four discrete areas, yet the reality is that within each field there is a variety of application. For example within graphic recording: some recorders work privately, on sketchbooks; some work publically on large charts; some work completely real time; some do the outline real time and complete in the studio; some work in colour; some in black and white. These variations in each area mean it is more of a spectrum than four clear choices, but I hope this segmentation starts to shine a light on the options available.

 

In the complex, fast paced, global world we live in, I believe that visual working has huge potential power. The key to unlocking this power comes from consciously and intentionally choosing the right visual tools for the right jobs. I hope this article has shed some light on this field. In the mean time, if you are interested in finding out more about this area of work, get in touch.

 

Graphic recording stands in service of the group

One of our core beliefs is that the role of the graphic recorder, and indeed the charts created during meetings, is to serve the group and support group process. The minute the visual output becomes the focus by the graphic recorder we believe the service falls down. The focus of the recorder has got to be the group, not the drawing.

For more information on how we work in service of the group give us a call at +44 (0)1628 471 114 or complete the contact form. We’ll reply as quickly as we can.

Decoding complexity using graphic recording

Authored by John Ashton, lead graphic recorder

During a recent assignment for Scribing Magic, I was asked by @TripwireInc to graphically record* two Information Security events over the course of three days (#InfoSec15 and #BSidesLDN2015).

*Graphic recording is the art of capturing the key thoughts, ideas and discussions that happen during meetings and events. This is achieved using hand-drawn images and text created live in real time to produce visual records that act as aide memoirs for participants and a way of understanding what happened for those that were unable to attend. Continue Reading…

Are you a visual thinker?

It's not just left-brain / right-brain, it's whole brain engagement.

It’s not just left-brain / right-brain, it’s whole brain engagement.

Visual thinking strategies are being used more broadly in education, particularly in the lower grades where how one thinks matures and becomes a pattern for later in life. This work is imbedding in schools, museums and support facilities for young people with disabilities, particularly autism and related conditions. Continue Reading…

What is the most important tool for graphic recording?

We are asked all the time what the most important tool is for graphic recording. The questioners are usually thinking along the lines of types and sizes of paper, most useful markers and writing implements, portable walls, tape, best tablets for recording virtually and those types of tools. While these are important and, indeed, critical to successful graphic recording for meetings it is more important that you bring your brain. Continue Reading…

Is creativity in meetings a waste of time?

We support all types of creativity in meetings.

We support all types of creativity in meetings.

There seems to be an increasing desire to include creative ways of interacting within meetings. There is positive thinking on this and there are those who feel that adding creativity into meetings is a distraction and unhelpful. Continue Reading…

We understand what we are looking at most easily by comparing it to what we are most familiar with.

Cognitive Theory #

Thinking about listening in new ways.

MM  Process-Middle Post It-7-10-14

For the new year it is valuable to take some time to think a little differently. We find that looking at how meetings happen is useful and supportive of our graphic recording and visual work.

When thinking about meeting this year we will be concentrating on what we call the 5C’s: connecting, collaborating, conversations, co-creating and culture. By thinking about these from the graphic recording perspective we find that we support our meeting facilitators and meeting sponsors so they get a depth of experience from us.

Visual thinking and recording those thoughts can support each of the 5C’s in capturing how they appear or exhibit themselves in your meetings, or in your organisation’s culture. We’ll be exploring these in more detail as the year progresses. Let us know how we can help you explore your 5C’s.

London meeting venue.

From time to time we are introduced to interesting meeting venues that are not in the usual lists of places to meet but add a level of interest and locale that can support a meeting or create a new dimension.

The Museum of Brands is one of those London venues that is interesting, quirky, informative and stimulating. Located in the Nottinghill area and off the beaten track, near Portobello Road, it offers one meeting room and the use of their cafe for meals. It is for small to almost medium sized meetings. The staff and customer service are great.

Give them a look and tell them we sent you. I could spend hours in the museum itself but also find the space inviting and supportive. They are fully understanding of graphic recording and what our recorders need. Bring us along and you’ll have a great meeting.

Perception is not just the result of visual stimuli, but involves a series of mental processes in which we compare what we see to our catalog of memories and perceptions and use those to interpret and analyze.

Cognitive Theory #