New Name Announcement

Posted by on Mar 13, 2018 in blog, Graphic Facilitation, graphic facilitator, graphic recorder, Graphic Recording, Infographic, visual facilitation, Visuals, Whiteboard Animation, Whiteboard Videos

We’re so excited to announce that we are transitioning to a new name and website in April! We’ve outgrown the “Drawing Out Ideas” name. It doesn’t fully convey the mission we have for our work, nor is it very unique in our industry. Many graphic recording companies use the words “drawing,” “ideas,” and related words (ink, visual, image, lines, think…. you get the idea!). Since launching as Drawing Out Ideas in 2010, we’ve graphic recorded at conferences of 10,000+ people, at small community workshops, and everything in between across North America and internationally. Our animations have been seen in theatres across Canada, on television, and as part of educational campaigns for various organizations. Over the years, the team has grown to include Leslie Teixeira, our fabulous project manager, and Minh Ngo, a skilled graphic recorder, animator, and infographic artist. We’ll also be adding a third artist to the team later in 2018.                 Whew! With all this great work under our belt, we feel it’s time to reposition ourselves. Although our name is changing, our visual suite of services and commitment to our clients remain the same. Keep an eye out for hints about our name on social media in the weeks leading up to our official launch! Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, or...

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The Fastest Way to Kill Good Design

Posted by on Jan 4, 2016 in blog, Graphic Facilitation, graphic recorder, Graphic Recording, Infographic, Whiteboard Animation, Whiteboard Videos

There’s a common refrain in the design community that every designer hopes to never hear from their client: “can you make it pop?” Why is this so deadly? It’s vague and imprecise; nor is it clear whether the critique is based on how it will impact the audience and their interpretation of the design. But there’s a bigger problem lurking behind those five words: Can you make it pop? And it comes down to how the client and designer are collaborating. I’ve worked with numerous clients over the years from a variety of organizations and I’ve realized there are two approaches to working with a visual designer, whether it’s producing an animated video, an infographic, logo design, or even graphic recording. Sean McCabe, a fellow designer, put it in these terms: 1)     Designer as technician 2)     Designer as professional Designer as Technician This is the fastest way to kill good design and it follows a predictable pattern (using a logo-design scenario for simplicity’s sake): 1) Client provides designer with a project brief for a logo redesign. 2) Designer spends hours, maybe days, conceiving different designs, tossing out bad ideas, and re-thinking the logo from different perspectives. All with a focus on the client’s target audience and goals. 3) Designer presents a selection of two or three logos to the client. 4) Client chooses a logo but doesn’t like how the letter M in the logo reminds him of mountain tops. He was in a skiing accident once and mountains of any kind are a bad omen. 5) Designer changes the font so the M becomes an m. 6) Client wants the words in the logo re-positioned slightly to the left because Sally from accounting thinks it’s better off-centre. … wash, rinse, repeat. The designer has become someone who owns design software and knows how to push the mouse around – a technician. The client’s subjective edits are based on personal taste and not from the perspective of the target audience. The designer has become someone who owns design software and knows how to push the mouse around – a technician. Designer as Professional I wouldn’t hire an electrician to wire my house and then critique how he or she wired my walls based on my very limited (non-existent) knowledge of electrical work. Likewise, visual designers bring a unique expertise to their craft – whether it’s designs for web, graphics, or video. A professional designer understands core principles of colour use, information layout, audience interpretation, and engaging design. They live and breathe their work – keeping up to date on design principles, best practices, and constantly studying others’ work, whether it’s a designer from the 1950s or the latest intriguing designer on Instagram. The client brings their own expertise; they know their audience, their product, their organization. The client is the content expert. It’s imperative the client and designer respect...

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Posted by on Dec 17, 2014 in blog, Graphic Facilitation, Graphic Recording, Infographic

Your organization has spent months perfecting the details of a strategic plan – it has a clear vision and mission, and maps out the next five years… but it’s 45 pages long. Would you read through a 45 page strategic plan when all you need is a bird’s eye view? Will the public? An infographic is a powerful way of communicating a large plan or detailed information; it’s not a replacement for a strategic plan, but a high-level visual tool to encourage people to dig deeper into the strategic plan document. Typically designed on computer, infographics can show the steps in a municipal application process, the journey of an organization over the years, or a corporate profile of a company… to name a few! Versatility Infographics are versatile; they present well on websites and social media, and can be printed to any size (especially if they’re produced on computer). You can include an infographic in a Prezi presentation, virtually walking viewers through the content. Or certain images or graphics from the infographic can be pulled out and included in other materials — icons for websites, brochures, or presentations. Planning the layout The most challenging part of an infographic is determining the best layout for the information, especially if the information is very complex. It’s important to pare down your content (without losing key information!), as an infographic should really capture the high-level perspective of an organization or journey. If the reader wants or needs more details, it’s a good idea to have a supporting document for the infographic. Presenting Information Another aspect to consider is the risk of skewing information. Presenting information visually is a powerful tool for communication; it’s very easy to display information so that it’s interpreted in a certain way. This is why it’s important for an infographic designer to always ask questions when working with a client — the client is the content expert and the designer should be sensitive to how the visual layout will impact the communication of that content. Collaborating together on each draft of the project is key — starting with a bare-bones skeleton of the layout, through to the final details of colourizing and publication. Below are a few infographics I’ve designed — all with a different style and purpose!...

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