We are becoming an ever more visual society and it’s our job to respond, writes Neil Sparks, Head of Design.
As demonstrated through our increasing appetite to play out our lives through Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, we often find it far easier to consume information in visual form. And it’s not just in our personal lives – we’re seeing ever more visual expressions of our thought processes in client meetings and workshops.
Napoleon Bonaparte said, “A good sketch is better than a long speech”, and it’s hard to disagree. Which is why we’ve taken his words literally and introduced a new service to the team: Graphic Recording. It pretty much does what it says. Rather than just relying on written notes and scribbles as the sole record of a meeting or working session, we place an illustrator in the room and allow them to run free (metaphorically, of course).
Why? Because illustrating and visualising the session can add an entirely different dimension to to the discussion – both at the time and later when it comes to circulating outputs. Seeing ideas take shape live can prompt a change of direction or add a fresh take on a subject, which in turn can fuel greater creativity or spark new ideas. In addition, an illustrator might pick up on something a traditional note-taker wouldn’t, or help demystify and bring clarity to a complex subject.
In most cases, we add these visuals to subsequent communications, PowerPoint decks or infographics. In some cases – specifically when we’ve recorded ambitions or plans for the year – we’ve created bespoke, fold-out prints for everyone to keep as a point of reference against progress as they go through the year.
It’s an area we expect to grow, not least because a minimal investment can provide so much.