EXPERT TIPS FOR GRAPHIC RECORDING SUCCESS
Graphic Recorder, Visual Note Taker, Graphic Note Taker, Graphic Facilitator, these terms are used interchangeably and describe the process of being a listener who carefully uses words and images to illustrate the process or presentations unfolding in the room. A Graphic Facilitator takes on a different role in the room, I explain the difference here.
Change often starts with awareness and aspirations - seeing these is emerge provides a valuable reference for the group to progress in their process. I have extensive experience working with teams who are using World Cafe, Appreciative Inquiry and SOAR, and other facilitation methods.
Hey there! Quick note from a former graphic designer turned visual notes and graphic recording specialist: your branding guidelines are important to me. Making sure I use your logos, color palettes, and design elements properly is key to delivering great work.
If you have a branding standards guide, I'll follow it closely. If not, we can work together to gather the assets we need from your website or other materials like slide decks and digital flyers. And just to give you an idea of what I can do, check out these four examples of visual notes and graphic recording options:
No worries if you're not up for handling all this. I can take the reins and work independently while keeping an open feedback loop to make sure we're on the same page.
This group of graphic recordings was used to make a printed calendar to send as a follow up to attendees
Visual notes and graphic recording capture the essence of your event and its key takeaways. But what do you do with them once the event is over? It is key to have your Graphic Recorder plan ahead to make sure the drawings can support the resolution and dimensions you need for uses beyond the live event. Here is an example of a creative use of a Graphic Recording that required advance planning, and...Check out these ten creative ideas for using graphic recordings:
A friendly reminder: Depending on the contract you have with your graphic recorder, you may need to gain additional permissions for some of these ideas.
Do you have more ideas or unique ways to use Graphic Recordings? I'd love to add to this post, send them along to email@example.com if you'd like to share.
Hey event planners! Adding a graphic recorder (visual note-taker or graphic facilitator) to your event can boost engagement and create valuable visual assets for future use. Here are some tips for optimal placement of your graphic recorder, whether you're using digital or paper-and-marker formats:
If you're using graphic recording at your event, it's important to think about how you'll use the artwork afterwards. The proportions can have a big impact on their end use.
For example, I recently created a group of two graphic recordings designed for use in horizontal slide decks. We also featured them in a vertically-formatted magazine, made possible because they were also designed to work as a single illustration!. Creating graphics like this requires careful planning of the structure beforehand.
By considering the end use of your graphic recordings, you can make sure they're optimized for their intended purpose and provide maximum value to your audience.
The graphic facilitation piece below was crafted using input from a remote Jamboard session, and aimed to capture every voice participating in the facilitated session. It was designed to be viewed as a single graphic recording, but the top and bottom sections can also function independently if necessary. This graphic was created as a 'vector file' and can be enlarged without limitation. Owing to the considerable amount of content, this graphic was created after the event.
Appreciative Inquiry: Graphic Recording a Remote Diversity and Inclusion Summit, and SOAR Samples
If you're embarking on an AI or SOAR journey, graphic recording support can provide a crucial roadmap for your attendees. By visualizing the journey in real-time, you can foster a shared group memory and experience, and stay connected throughout the process.
For in-person events, it's best to position the graphic recorder (or a team for larger groups) at the front of the room, in an area with good acoustics and a clear view of any projection screens. Ideally, the recorder should also be part of the planning team.
For remote events, it's important to have crisp, volume-appropriate audio to ensure everything is captured properly.
If you're curious, here's a series I produced for one of the first remote AI summits, along with graphics from two separate SOAR processes.
As a graphic recorder, I love working with both small and large groups for AI processes. If you'd like to discuss the possibility of having graphic recording at your AI event, feel free to reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org or 802-353-1477.
The terms “Graphic Recorder” and “Graphic Facilitator” tend to get used interchangeably, which can be confusing, there is a difference though:
Graphic Recorder (GR) (also referred to as sketch note artist, visual note taker, graphic note taker)
The Graphic Recorder is a passive presence in the room, drawing what they hear. When I am Graphic Recording I am listening intently to the conversation or presentations; I am very present in this state of observation and deeply focused. The GR may create a single drawing that synthesizes major themes and connections, or many detailed drawings throughout the event. Other terms that are often used to describe a Graphic Recorder are: visual note taker, graphic note taker, scribe, graphic scribe, visual scribe. A full portfolio of Graphic Recordings can be viewed here.
Graphic Facilitator (GF)
A Graphic Facilitator takes an active role in the room. The GR works alone or as part of a team to create a group process. They may create templates as part of the process, and they will use a variety of visual tools (such as stickies, multiple charts to gather input, templates to guide processes, visualization cards) as part of the group exercises. This sample shows a template designed by the facilitator and the Graphic Facilitator working in partnership, for a group process. Also shown is the template after the group worked their way through interactive processes that had them working individually, in pairs, and small groups.
The World Café framework is often customized, and kudos if you are considering hiring a Graphic Facilitator/Graphic Recorder (GF/GR) to document your session. It is powerful validation for participants to see their words written and illustrated. In addition to providing affirmation, it provides a written record providing assurances that their contributions will stay part of the dialogue long after the end of the World Café.
Some things to consider when working with your GF/GR:
Planning is key to creating a Journey Map or Heritage Wall that includes input from across your organization. As a Graphic Facilitator we will work together to design a process that is inclusive and energizing for your organization.
A full day Graphic Facilitation with faculty from an elementary school during a day of Professional Development. We created a 10 year timeline (Journey Map, or Heritage Wall) of their school history. The educators worked in teams briefly in the morning to review their institutional history and post stickies of their content, which we then categorized. They dispersed to other workshops and we came together to wrap up the day with a review and appreciation of their Heritage Wall. A powerful experience for new and returning staff - there was an appreciation for the wisdom developed along the way, long-time staff felt recognized, new staff felt included and honored to join the continuing journey.
A group of health care professionals on a multi-day strategic planning retreat set aside an hour of their time to change modalities from presentation and discussion, to working with art supplies to tell the stories of their organization at 3, 5 and 10 years into the future. They worked together in small groups drawing out their ideas and placing them around the room in each time frame. They took me on a gallery walk and shared their visions with the entire group. I spent the remainder of the day synthesizing work into a single illustration. As the facilitation team revisited the graphic with them, it became apparent which areas were ripe for deeper discussion and where there was commonality of vision.
This organization provided a printed summary of their 20 years of accomplishments. the process was an initial sketch, feedback, and a final sketch.