Graphic Recordinggraphicrecording.jpg

So what is graphic recording? And how is it different from graphic facilitation?

Graphic Recording is a method of capturing the thinking of a group; a graphic recorder captures key nuggets of information live using a large visual format. (Yes, with BIG paper! 10-15ft x 4ft)

How does it work?

A graphic recorder typically works off to one side of the group, actively listening to what is being said and then drawing out the key nuggets of information that emerge from the group. A graphic recorder does not lead a group, he/she does not normally interact with the group (hence different to a graphic facilitator).

“The artwork in the form of graphic recording was a fantastic addition to our recent event with over 250 older disabled people and older people with long term conditions. Emer was involved in the preparations making sure that she was sensitive to the Programme on the day which resulted in more effective graphic recording: this added to the event and made a real impact on the older people, partners and funders attending on the day. In addition, the photographs taken will enhance the Reports from the day. A welcome contribution which enhanced the whole event

Tressa Burke, Chief Executive, Glasgow Disability Alliance

Where is graphic recording used?

It’s used in a variety of settings, including:

– Conferences

– Stakeholder events

– Presentations

– Keynote speeches

– World Café Forums (N.B. sometimes a graphic facilitator is used at a World Café, depending on what is required by the client)

Emer worked with us as a Graphic Recorder as part of a 2-day professional training residential for youth workers at Comrie Croft, Perthshire.  I asked her to take part as we had a variety of facilitators leading the different workshops and I was concerned that it may seem fragmented and difficult to bring together.  Emer was incredibly professional and worked quietly in the background during the sessions.  At the end of the residential she summed up her illustrations, highlighting the key learning points from each workshop and creating a connection between each session.  Every participant took photos of the illustration and I noticed that they looked at it and chatted about it throughout the residential.  I feel it added depth to the training and was a very powerful learning tool.  I would definitely work with Emer again.

Kate Allen, Education Adviser, Scotdec

“Emer did a grand job covering a community learning event. She managed to capture everything despite it being a fluid and fast moving event. We are very pleased with the final result.”

Lesley Munro, Healthier and Happier Communities Development Officer , SCVO


Graphic Recording at Fife Councils Family Nurture Conference March 2016

Graphic Recording at Fife Councils Family Nurture Conference March 2016

Why would I be interested in it?

You want to add impact to your events, to …

– Create a talking point (adding a novel and creative element)

– Collect key information without invasive questioning

– Increase clarity and comprehension

– Increase energy and interest levels

– Increase the ROI for speakers and presenters

– Give people a unique ‘takeaway’ of their experience  (paper or digital)

Wise Women were commissioned by two Services to carry out a consultation for the Scottish Government with their service users who had been trafficked into the UK for exploitation.  It was suggested that over and above note takers a Graphic Recorder could be present to record information on a more creative level for the services and participants.

I had heard of this being really successful when done at large events in bigger venues however given the sensitive nature of these sessions, the lower numbers and the possibility of triggering trauma I was wary of how it would work.

Bottom line……it worked amazingly well.

Emer spoke to me several times regarding layout of the room and what was required in terms of space so that she could follow the conversation without interrupting the flow, distracting the participants or facilitators and allowing time in the programme to review her work.

In the absence of a wall free from framed pictures, art work and assorted signage Emer arrived with a “portable wall”.  I kid you not! Which she set up set up behind the participants and you wouldn’t have known she was there.

Everyone was amazed at the level of information she had managed to record and participants were able to recognise their contribution without it having to be translated by the interpreters which was incredibly empowering for some of them.

An inventive, creative and imaginative way of recording a difficult subject that was accessible to everyone attending was just fantastic and fully complimented what was said.

It gave an added edge to what can often be seen as yet another dry information consultation.

Photographs of the recordings are included in the reports and I feel they (even if just for curiosity sake) will prompt discussion about the day and discussion about the issue of trafficking is what we need.

I would thoroughly recommend this service.

Frances Monaghan, Manager, Wise Women

Want to learn more? Curious to explore whether graphic recording or graphic facilitation is suitable for your needs? Contact me on (+) 44 131 226 1637 or