Made the right decision? Quick visual confidence check

Made the right decision? Quick visual confidence check

So you’ve made a decision as a group … everyone has contributed their opinions, you’ve assessed the pros and cons of each proposal, you’ve even held a vote.

But how confident do you feel that the right decision has been made?

Did some people agree to the decision just to get out of the meeting early?

Got that niggling feeling that maybe not everyone is exactly on board?

Time to run a quick confidence check (with thanks to David Sibbet):

  • Draw a line from 0 to 10.
  • Ask each person to rate how confident they are that the decision made was a good one, with 10 being completely confident and 0 as having no confidence.
  • Everyone calls out their number and make x marks at the appropriate place.
  • The result will be a graphic picture of confidence.
  • Ask the people who provided the lower ratings to talk about what would need to happen to make them fully confident.

Try this the next time you need to make a decision and as always let me know how you get on.

Five Fun Lettering Ideas

Five Fun Lettering Ideas

There are moments when you’d really like to add a simple graphic to a word or phrase but you just can’t think of one.

In these instances you can play around with our lettering to make it stand out. Do something to the letters that expresses meaning or emotion.

Here are five for you to try out. What more can you think of?

Remember to always check for legibility. Is it easy to read? Can it be seen at the back of the room?

Have fun!

How to solve problems using visual thinking

How to solve problems using visual thinking

Ever feel stuck?

Simple drawings are a powerful tool to shift us from a feeling of inertia to one of clarity and control.

If you’re grappling with a problem and haven’t been able to settle on a solution try drawing it out.

By simply drawing out the who, what, when and where of your problem you will soon start to see aspects you hadn’t considered till now. This act of putting pen to paper, of thinking visually allows for new ideas to form and solutions to emerge.

Want to take it further? Here’s your step by step guide (with thanks to David Sibbet):

1.      Focus the issue – who, what, when, where
2.      Start brainstorming solutions – one idea per post-it
3.      Group the notes and label the headings
4.      Discuss each proposal
5.      Vote on the most promising
6.      Discuss top three – pros/cons of each option.
7.      Make decision

This becomes particularly powerful when we start working as a group to solve problems and several ideas emerge.

Solving problems as a group and not sure everyone has bought into the decision? Tune in next week for a quick technique that tests this and ensures everyone is on the same page.

To tap into your creative problem solving skills don’t forget to book onto next week’s Secrets of Simple Graphics course on April 26th 2019 Book now >>

Guest article: United Colours Of Leith

Guest article: United Colours Of Leith

This month’s guest article is from Gerry Farrell of Gerry Farrell Ink who describes his work on using visuals for social change.

‘The day after the Brexit vote, racist, neo-Nazi stickers appeared in Leith, probably the most multi-ethnic and tolerant comunity in Scotland.
We (Leithers Don’t Litter) responded immediately to show that Leithers wouldn’t stand for this.
I wrote an article about it in The Evening News. The next morning about 4am I was threatened by people who claimed to be neo-Nazis and said they knew where I lived.
We called the police who came and installed a direct panic button alarm in our house.
Then we organised a 400-strong anti-Nazi, anti-racist demonstration through Leith, culminating in a rally on Leith Links.
But we didn’t stop there, we also created a very visual toolkit that could be downloaded by any community that suddenly found a racial element causing trouble or making threats in their neighbourhood.
Here is a link to the toolkit:

United Colours Campaign

We pinched Benetton’s line and twisted it so it could be adapted for any part of Britain.

We are proud to show our true colours. The United Colours of Leith.’

Gerry Farrell Ink is creative and coaching consultancy for brands and organisations that want to communicate a social purpose. For more information see

I hope you enjoyed this insightful piece from Gerry.

As I’m sure you’re aware by now visuals are an incredibly powerful tool for creating change.

I can’t do this

I can’t do this

‘I guess I’m just not a visual person’

Many demons emerge when we step out of our comfort zone and learn something completely different.

It’ like our subconscious goes into overdrive telling us all the reasons we can’t or shouldn’t do something. ‘Don’t bother’,  it whispers, ‘Look, you gave it a go and it’s not you’, ‘Come back to what’s familiar and safe’.

When we learn something new we go through what’s known as the learning ladder. The learning ladder explains why we experience these moments of resistance, of pulling back, and offers us a new perspective.

What if we chose not to give voice to our negative mind chatter? What if we recognised it for what it is, a sign that we’re learning, a sign that it’s all part of the learning process.

  • The stage at the bottom of the ladder is known as Unconscious Incompetence – well before you learned how to drive for example, driving wasn’t even on your radar.
  • The next stage is Conscious Incompetence – you start learning and suddenly it feels quite difficult – think kangaroo hops. It’s the same when we start drawing for the first time in years – our star people have giant heads, we can’t quite get our lettering to fit on the page, our sheep look like clouds etc. But fear not…. we then reach the next stage.
  • Conscious Competence – Hey we can do it. Somehow the whole clutch/steering, braking, mirrors thing all comes together. Our drawings look less child like and more recognisable. We can do it but it takes a lot of concentration.
  • The final stage on the learning ladder is Unconscious Competence – we can do it without even thinking. It’s easy, it’s effortless, heck it’s even fun. You find yourself jotting down simple images quickly and easily. It’s become second nature. You’ve quietened the critical voice.

So the next time you hear those subconscious murmurings remember it’s not the case that you’re no good, it simply means you’re on a certain stage of the learning ladder and with a little practice and self compassion, you’ll soon reach the next stage.As my yoga teacher said recently, ‘If you believe it will work out, you’ll see opportunities. If you believe it won’t, you’ll see obstacles.’ Oh hang on, I think she was quoting Wayne Dyer. Wise words at any rate!

To experience exciting learning opportunities for yourself why not book a place on the next Secrets of Simple Graphics open course. Book now >>