We are sketchers. We’ve always been. What this means is that we use a different approach to capturing ideas than traditional note taking. We have created a visual vocabulary that allows us to graphically organize our thoughts. We use these images to visualize ideas.
This is not a new idea. During the 1930’s Walt Disney created the idea of storyboarding as a way to “see” how a story would flow, before actually filming a feature. Storyboarding is now the norm for all Hollywood story development and has virtually been perfected at PIXAR Studios. In more recent times Mike Rohde brought the idea of sketchnoting to forefront of using pictures to represent ideas.
People are always asking to see Colin and mine’s notebooks and are fascinated at the way we take notes. For those clients that we are directly working with all of our work starts on flipcharts or whiteboards using the vocabulary we have developed. We have a web based inventory of our images that we use in our preliminary idea concept proposals.
In 2015 we integrated our methodology into a major stage presentation where I delivered the idea and Colin taught the group to use a very simple visual vocabulary to take notes. Each participant had notebooks and pens to help them get started. We were amazed at the impact of combining our ideas with our sketching had on the group.
We often get asked about the materials and how they connect to our methodology so I thought I would start 2016 with a guide to our stuff. FIRST and we have learned this is really important; choose your stuff wisely. If you love your stuff you will use it. This means find the pens and pencils that fit YOU. Discover the best notebooks with the kind of paper you like. As weird as this sounds it is CRITICAL. So here’s our stuff.
- We us the Bic 0.9mm automatic pencils. They have a soft lead that makes a firm line and erase well (yeah, we make mistakes).
- We use the Precise V5 in extra fine by Pilot. Great dark black ink and a strong fine line.
- Sometimes we need a little thick line and use Flair pens.
- When we work at large scale (big paper) we use fine point and ultra fine point Sharpies in a wide range of colors.
- To add fill color we use Sharpie highlighters.
- We have gone through every notebook imaginable in our quest for the best fit for us. We are now using Muji Spiral Notebooks. Incredibly cheap with good paper. You will want a notebook that will lay flat when open so you can sketch on both sides without shifting your wrist.
- We often work in large scale when working on ideas. This takes us out of notebooks and puts us into bigger paper. We use large rolls of “butcher paper”and our glass wall sized panels get filled with images. We use Pacon Painting Paper Pads (18″ X 12”) most of the time. They hold the ink from Sharpies.
- We switch to color coded 24 lbs, 8 1/2″ X 11″ paper when the idea moves to a final phase. The colors signify the progress of the project.
There you have it. Give the idea a try. Remember, it’s not about art, it’s about IDEAS!
Drop us a note for any help you might need.