About Graphic Recording
Graphic Recording is the process of visually capturing content, in real time, using a combination of words, shapes, symbols and imagery.
It is commonly used in workshops, conferences and presentations as a tool for audience engagement, enhanced comprehension, memory retention, and emotional connection to content.
A professional Graphic Recorder embodies a diverse combination of skills including finely tuned listening, synthesis and critical thinking skills, visual thinking, visual communication, drawing, typography and layout design.
Graphic Recorders usually work in partnership with a front-of-room facilitator, allowing them to focus solely on the role of capturing information.
Graphic Recording describes both a process - the act of live illustration of content, and a product - the artefact created during the session.
Graphic Recordings can be created in either an analogue (e.g. paper, foamcore or whiteboards) or digital (e.g. iPad, tablet) fashion, with the Graphic Recorder usually situated in clear view of the audience at the front of the room or projected to screen/s.
The Australian Context for Graphic Recording
GRA was launched in 2019 in response to the encouraging growth and maturity of the Graphic Recording industry in Australia.
We are proud to produce Graphic Recorders that are world-standard and internationally renowned, and seek to further our already strong reputation on a global scale.
Many of Australia’s leading Graphic Recorders have come through the MG-Taylor facilitation methodology - a rapid problem-solving method born in the USA in the 1970s and utilised by top consultancy firms world-wide. In Australia, PwC’s ‘The Difference’, KPMG’s ‘U-Collaborate’, and Capgemini’s ASE are all providers of the MG-Taylor process, which features a creative facilitation team covering a number of different domains - one of which being visual facilitation, including Graphic Recording.
The International Forum of Visual Practitioners - our global membership body - has also played an active role in connecting Australian Graphic Recorders to the global community. As a niche industry, Graphic Recording has a strong global network and annual gathering at the IFVP Conference held in the USA, which has been running since 1995 and in more recent years has partnered with EuViz to support a global conference in Europe in Berlin in 2014 and Denmark in 2018.
In more recent years as Graphic Recording has increased in the public consciousness, we have seen a rise in skilled illustrators turning their hand to Graphic Recording, as well as speciality-specific pockets starting to arise - most notably around User Experience Design.
This is an exciting time for the Graphic Recording industry in Australia. Experienced Graphic Recorders are in increasingly high demand across a broad cross-section of industries including corporate, health, local/state/federal government, education and NGOs.
We are also seeing an increase in full-time permanent roles for Graphic Recorders embedded within companies as ‘strategic visualisers’, and continue to see Graphic Recording applied in new contexts, e.g. exhibition design, client pitches and advertising storyboards.
GRA seeks to support our budding industry and build on the existing strong foundations of a generous, connected and quality-driven community.
I’m new to Graphic Recording... Where do I start?
1) Join GRA as an associate member - this will give you access to a wealth of information about best practice, connect you to a network of your peers, and alert you to training and networking events. If you’re not ready to be a member yet, no worries! Follow GRA on social media to stay in the loop in the meantime.
2) Check out IFVP - International Forum of Visual Practitioners. This is our field’s international professional membership association. They share some excellent information on the industry, learning opportunities, and an annual conference.
3) Join the Graphic Facilitation facebook group. This is an informal group for visual practitioners world-wide to share work, ask and answer questions, share best practices, etc. If you have a specific question, try searching the group first as it’s likely been asked before and a wealth of knowledge has been poured into this group!
4) Look for a local or online ‘Graphic Recording 101’ style course, practice and learn basic drawing studies (life, references) and lettering skills.
5) Practice! Practice from TED talks, watching the news, attending meetings... any chance you get. Whenever you can, ask others for feedback.
Author: Jessamy Gee © Graphic Recorders Australia, 2019.