lunes, 18 de septiembre de 2017

Size matters in Graphic Recording

"The bigger the better!" This quote or saying makes us laugh most of the times we hear someone say it ...

... but the truth is that although we always find exceptions to it, it is always a challenge to disagree with topics, the fact is that it is true most of the times. When we think about large versus small in a physical world, generally if there is enough space, the bigger is always better al least in some aspects. When it comes to Graphic Recording it has its own meaning.

Let' start defining what GRAPHIC RECORDING is: it the process through which a person can draw visual maps about a conversation being held at that moment, using simple drawings, connectors and words or simple phrases, in a colourful way. This can be done on a blackboard, using large sheets or continuous paper, or big cartboard posters that hang on pinboards or walls in the room. The key word here is that it has to me simultaneous to the conversation, dialogue, meeting, talk, workshop, or the action that is being visualized through the maps. It happens live in front of the People attending. When watching someone Graphic Record live, people say they get somehow mezmerized and connect with the drawings enlightening more the sense of what is being Heard, unerstood and memorized in the long run.

A most wanted size in my experience is that of a cardboard poster. I generally use 90 cm x 100 cm ones, because they can afterwards be framed in not expensive ways and because by the time they are the larger I have found around that suit quality for me.

Some clients like to give the product of each talk to speakers (sometimes we just roll them up and they take them away after the talks), and others like to frame them at their offices (IKEA and Leroy Merlin in Spain have nice ones in those sizes). For both needs these dimensions are great.


If the room where the Graphic Recording is held is very big (I mean by big, like 1000 people or more inside) it may not be seen by everyone there. Maybe only those near the Graphic Recorder will notice it while it happens. There are ways to get the process noticed by having the drawings exposed on the screens:


Almost every event that holds several talks, choose to show the posters or results of the Graphic Recording once they are finished in a rendez-vous area where people can see them and take the time they need ... to take fotos and selfies :-)

It is usual that even after each talk people get near the drawings that are currently being drawn to see the result. Some cannot wait to get them exposed outside the room :-).

Big sheets of paper and continuos high grammage paper can also be used to draw larger products. Sometimes you draw on stage, and it is wanted that it is large and big. Other times it is just a matter of getting it to be seen by everyone. Clients or organizers have to bear in mind that in these cases more tan one Pinboard is needed, and space to have them and for the Graphic Recorder to stand and walk around also (sometimes you almost fall from satges to the seats places ...)

If the walls or windows can be used (they have to be flat mainly) it is the best way if the sheets are huge. There are special double glueing tapes that leave no damage on most walls. "BlueTack" being used and left in rooms for ages until it damages the walls, has done so much harm to Graphic Recorders up to today. It is the most heard reason I receive for not using the walls. A quick visit to the organizers explaining and showing no damage is done, is the best way of solving this issue.

The larger it is the more spectacular it gets to the audience.

But, the walls are needed or the pinboards, and the client has to know what to do with the result, as it the question here is if there will be enough space for it at the office to be kept and showed. On these occasions, the result sometimes goes to an educational place, or it gets hung at the offices on the café lounge, halls that distribute meeting rooms, or similar. If the result comes from a workshop, project or training sessions it is a good way of keeping the impact on the team to have it sticking arounf for a while.

Another great way to use the product is by digitalizing the result. A photo is the easier and simplest way, and the cheaper also. But the drawings can be vectorized to be used in any kind of digital document, that may just explain what happened, as an internal communications magazin, or a catalogue summarizing the venue. It can be used for brouchures that want to spread the ideas comming from these talks or sessions, or even be crafted into an animated video. These options will be explained next week on the next post.

So the answer is yes. The size matters. Specially within Graphic Recording.

Take care, have fun, love hard :-)

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