When I tell people what I do for a living, the common response is, ‘Oh you must be very artistic.’ I certainly don’t consider myself an artist. What makes good graphic facilitation does not necessarily make good art and vice versa.
You see, it’s not really about the little drawings, the fancy icons. People (myself included) can get really focussed on that.
It’s about so much more.
Graphics are about drawing out ideas and getting a message across, they’re about making ideas to come to life and getting everyone on the same page. They’re about communicating ideas quickly and easily. They’re about making people feel heard, appreciated and valued.
They’re not about producing works of art.
A good piece of graphic facilitation or graphic recording (often called a chart or a map) has many different components. When viewing graphics work consider the following checklist:
- Is there a clear title? How does the lettering look? Is it legible? Are words spelt correctly?
- How clear is the logic trail? Is it easy to identify headings and categorisation of themes and ideas?
- Does it breathe i.e. is there enough white space?
- How does the colouring look? Are the colour choices appropriate to the content? Is there a consistency to the use of colour?
- Are the icons relevant and easy to understand?
So forget about art, think about purpose and whether the chart is serving the purpose at hand. Does it make sense? Does it serve the group?
Whether you’re hiring a graphic facilitator or interested in becoming one, keep this handy checklist close by.
And don’t worry if you feel you just can’t draw, believe me you can. All it takes is practice and a willingness to get stuck in.
Join me for Secrets of Simple Graphics on January 24th 2017 to learn more.