Graphic Recording vs. Graphic Facilitation

Showing the difference between a graphic facilitator, a graphic recorder and a visual note-taker

People wonder what to call me.

Are you an… Artist? Graphic designer? Illustrator? Graphic recorder? Facilitator? Drawer? Visual writer? Visual Practitioner? Sketchnoter? Sketch artist? Visual Note Taker?

The list goes on.

My definitions and preferences:

Graphic Recorder – when I’m drawing large scale, in real time. This is where I see myself in a context when I’m a ‘fly on the wall’. This is typically what I’m doing when I’m graphic recording a speaker at a conference.

Graphic Facilitator – when there is some sort of facilitated process happening. This is where I’m not involved with the process. I had a lot of a little of involvement into the agenda creation. This could be many scenarios where different types of discussions are happening. I’m showing visuals of the different voices and ideas from many people in the room. There’s a certain level of engagement that I have with the participants.

Yes, there could be some situations where I’m graphic recording and graphic facilitating all in the same day at the same session. Maybe this is when a presenter to talking about an idea (graphic recording) and then after there is discussion on the idea and people in the room share their ideas back to the larger group (graphic facilitation).

To throw another one in there:

Visual Note-Taker – when I’m recording small scale (usually in real-time). This could be for personal purposes like recording a webinar I’m listening to, a documentary, a podcast, TED talk, etc. This works perfectly for in small scale professional scenarios, or in a situation where the size of the recording doesn’t really matter. This could be when I’m be remotely working with teams and I’m showing my screen (as I draw on my computer) or I’m recording for a team and then scanning the image and sending it to them after their session or meeting.

This skills of listening, thinking and drawing are used very similarly throughout these three styles and offerings. This is how I like to clearly define for myself and my clients what type of situation works best for them.

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