Visual recording

We are simultaneous interpreters in visual.
We shape what’s heard into images.
We highlight the substance and seize the energies. 
It’s all about the experience.

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I want to know more!

Our illustrators prepare large size (even few meters long), analogous visual notes picture and text), “real time” in the course of the event, based on the shared information typically with markers on paper. The power of visual recording, besides the resulting large-size sheets, is in the unique experience of the drawing process itself.

Our clients like it, as

  • we emphasize the substance,
  • our work is palpable, lasting (can be taken home) and displayable,
  • we make tough topics easy,
  • we document the event,
  • we give opportunities for interaction,
  • it is full of fun and humour.

Where are we invited?

  • to speeches,- conferences,
  • to workshops,
  • to World Café discussions, roundtables,,
  • to organisation and strategy development projects,
  • to trainings, team buildings.

Questions and Answers:

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1. What is visual recording?

Visual recording (or graphic recording, live scribing, etc.) is a visual management communications tool within the filed of applied arts. We record pieces of information that are told in speeches, conversations, real time. We transform what we hear into pictures and reinforce what’s essential with textual messages as well. Normally we work on large-scale sheets in the width of 1-2-3 meters. A key factor of the recording is the experience for the audience to see the illustrator working by the large sheet.

At Grafacity Visual Services, the “classic” visual recording is but one of the services. In different situations, in case of different expectations and aims we use various techniques, sometimes even combined. What’s mutual in them is the practice of “interpreting” to visual language, and our mostly analogous solutions, that is, the drawing that’s being formed directly, instantaneously, visibly before the very eyes of our clients.

2. So you’re drawing those mind-maps, and so it’s like the right brain drawing?

Well… as the “end result” is a drawing or a hanger in both cases, practically speaking, yes, otherwise, well, not really…

Similarity with mind-maps that we too operate with images, text and correspondences, however, our real-time recordings resemble much more to low structured “aggregations”. Unlike the drawer of a mind-map, who (having prepared the mind-map based reminder for him/herself or thought through a subject) has a clear structure in his/her head already before making the first upstroke and mapping it, putting everything where it belongs, we cannot see through the correspondences in advance.  

As to right brain drawing, it’s a method with openness to fine arts, aiming at enabling people, without artistic schooling and through a focused process, to create aesthetic drawings, portraits. The artist turns with special attention towards the object to be immortalized, so the method does not deal with any kind of textual content, not to mention real-time info management.

Grafacity’s solutions are management techniques: we, our clients and us solve complex business challenges.

3. What all do you need for the preparations? Shall we send you our presentations?

For the visual recording it’s normally enough for us to have the planned agenda, to discuss the aims and expectations and to ba able to prepare everything at the venue some 90 minutes before the beginning of the program. All materials sent beforehand are useful, but having nothing but the agenda is fine too: we’ve been working for a large scale of industries and businesses since 2010, we’re seldom taken by surprise.

4. Where will you work?

Letting the audience see us promptly, right in the working process promotes maximisation of the use of visual recording, therefore it’s worth making place for our boards in front, by the stage, or beside the first rows. Where the venue makes it possible, walls can be the best of choices, as long as they’re TOTALLY smooth (woodchip wallpaper is not OK, sorry).

5. What do you need on the spot?

Room, first of all. The illustrators can set up the mobile boards on any horizontal floor. This means an appr. 1.5 x 2-3 m free area.
We need 1-2 chairs, a wastepaper basket, and it’s good to have a coffee table or teacart to place our tray with the drawing tools on.
Since finishing the drawings on the spot often takes place after the program, in case we cannot stay in there (as, say, the dinner or a party is about to commence), then we would ask to make a quiet room available for us where we can complete the drawings.
In calm, dry weather we can even work outdoors (meaning processing the outdoor exercise of a training). Nevertheless, by default we bring along everything we need, make the preparations, to unburden the organizers as much as possible.
It’s also useful for us to be presented to the audience, that is, for the moderator or host to present the illustrators and their work as soon as the program starts. It enhances the effect a great deal, if participants are aware of what we do, who we are and why we are here, what they should pay attention on, that the pictures will be given to them, etc. We’ll give you support for presenting us.
Following the speeches it is of IMMENSE importance to check the recordings we’ve made, together with the presenters or participants of the discussion, and to verify them from content, visual and interpretative point of view. It’s just a few seconds, but terribly important. We’re human, we might have misunderstood something. Perhaps the visual gag is a bit grosser than what the target audience is ready to take in. Maybe it’s the summary itself that will lead the presenter to discover a new correspondence. Messages are important, so it’s worth devoting a couple of minutes with the presenters to immediately checking them.

6. I’m afraid it will distract the attention of participants!

Visual recording gives a special experience to the participants: they can see how the information they see and hear turns immediately into images on the paper, how does it emphasize the substance or how does the illustrator possibly pepper it with humour. This makes participants consider how they see what they heard, what would they draw, meaning that visual recording will not distract attention, but will transform the process of internal elaboration, change the participants’ presence and hereby those present will participate in a much more concentrated way.
Feedback from an event organizer for large corporations: „After 20 minutes their faces were all lit up (by phones, tablets), but now they paid attention from beginning till the end!”
If we could turn the question around, we’d ask: „Does the artist painting outdoors distract the attention of hikers from the beauty of the nature, or does he rather turns it right there?”
In our experience we help much more to notice the wonders of tiny details and the greatness of the WHOLE.

7. What happens after the event?

After the program, or, more precisely, following each individual block we engage in finishing the drawings, engrossing the illustrations. In the methodology of Grafacity Visual Services*, real-time creation if followed by the finishing work: verification of the records, placement of listing signs, spell-check, highlighting, visual illustration of relations, checking of presenter names, framing, colouring, etc. We definitely consider it as a value creating work, because it makes the recordings clearer and more spectacular.
Besides all that, we verify the recordings continuously during the blocks, but especially in the end of the day with the presenters, clients, to make sure we understood well, whether any refining is needed, is the applied humour appropriate, is there anything more to highlight. (This is to prevent that drawings are to be corrected additionally in digital form, in many rounds, consuming a lot more time.)
We make photos. Good quality photos. We prepare the raw material for the digital finishing.
Visual illustrators often consider the work (almost) complete as the presenter concludes his/her speech. Now when there are more aspects beyond the content, e.g. for the recording to be prominently aesthetic, this can be achieved primarily after the speech has ended.

8. What will happen to the drawings following the program?

We make photos of them and then pack and hand over to the client, or send them via post. They can thus communicate within the organisation the result of the seclusion, the new trends or directions of necessary changes already from the following day on.

It is especially important for recordings and contents of strategic, creative visionary workshops to become common talk as soon as possible, that is, for the dissemination to start.

9.What is covered by your fee and what is not?

The payment covers:

The work of one visual illustrator and one assistant, a consultation of up to 45 minutes over the phone, preparations on the site appr. 90 minutes before program start, cost of all materials and tools in case of visual recording, the original paper based visual recordings and the high resolution JPG photos made of them.

The fee does NOT cover:

  • Preparatory consultation in person (depends on assignment fee, or charged additionally),
  • travelling and accommodation costs (if applicable),
  • rental fee and transport cost of boards,
  • facilitation of the group process,
  • pdf documentation,
  • posterior correction of large sheets accepted already on the spot
  • Creation of summary poster (based on the content of the handouts or visual recordings). When called to make recordings, we do it real-time, relying on our ears. Of course we are ready to make the summary poster as well, but that shall be subject of a separate assignment.

Contact us: mail or call us on any of our contacts!

10. We’re about to organize a virtual conference. Do you work „remotely”?

Yes, of course.

We have already illustrated virtual World Café discussions (Link to Business Analist Blog) and dozens of various coaching sessions, just as real foreign conferences with teleconference involved and those based on sound-recording too.

11. Can we project it somehow? It’s so spectaculars to see you working!

Yes, but it isn’t really worthy to do so. In the course of recording, the illustrator does not always work synchronously with what is being heard. Listening to the presenter and looking at the illustrator working on an earlier detail projected (while he/she’s filtering or holding the info) can be really confusing. Furthermore, the illustrator moves right and left in front of the sheet, disturbing the camera-man making close-ups. Therefore projecting the analogous visual recording is not recommended.

But, as experiencing the drawing closely is truly great, hence we offer live illustration or digital visual recording, where participants can see the visual interpretation of what is heard in its tiniest details.

12. I’d like to check out the visual recording, do you have some „demo introduction” available?

Of course. Although we’ve been building this website and our social media sites, with the help of our great clients (THANK YOU!) and through many hundreds of work hours, in order to provide as much information and impression as possible, in case you deem it necessary, you can watch us working „in the act” at any of the numerous open events and conferences, or you can even put us to the proof at an internal corporate meeting or workshop. Please, inform us about your concept and we’ll willingly send you the upcoming dates. 

If you would like us to introduce ourselves at your premises, ask for the 20 minutes presentation.

We can also agree about the visual facilitation and illustration of an internal event, meeting or workshop of a timeframe as short as 1-2 hours, just to get acquainted with the tiniest details of our working method while running the smallest risk.

13. Do you work digitally, on tablet for example?

Yes. We have introduced digital visual illustration in our service portfolio. As a default, we work on iPad and we use this solution primarily for roundtable discussions, in order for the audience to enjoy instantly the visual interpretation experience. 

The added value of the digital solution, as compared to the „traditional” paper-based visual illustration, is that it is easier to edit and structure the recording after the speech has come to an end, the recording is ready to be shared and of course not one piece of paper is being used up. In its own way the tablet enables astonishingly creative solutions, however, true opportunities for application of the technology beyond the art for the art’s sake seldom emerge.

Bottlenecks of tablet-based operation are the speed of recording and, in 2019 still, the fulfilment of technical conditions.

14. Why do Grafacity Visual Services prefer paper based visual recording?

The „traditional”, paper based visual recording has several advantages which projected recording, and especially tablet-based recording (for the time being) fail to surpass. The most important of these are:

  • Manuality: in our world of ever-growing digitalisation genuine handwork has its respect; the true drawing on true, tangible paper is simply part of the show.
  • Visibility of the total picture (e.g. that of a whole day’s process): solutions can be neck and neck when it comes to visual recording of a presentation: it can be projected in real time from tablet as well and the treat is there. But what’s missing, is the process of the whole day, or the totality of presentations: what on paper we can put on display, electronically we cannot, since there are no 5-10 or even more digital screens or projectors, 1-2 meters each, while on paper it makes no problem.
  • Possibility of interaction: and even if we had those digital screens, the audience will not leave post-it notes or feedback stickers on them. Contrarily, we can lead the audience to the paper-based recordings any time, questions can be asked and messages can be formed and sent to the presenters.
  • Tempo and content: while on paper a smart, swift-handed illustrator is able to prepare such recordings alone based on which even an absentee can make out the main messages of the presentation, the digital recording reclines almost only upon brief, keyword-based messages.
  • Palpability: can we recall the feeling of having been to a greatly successful event, one that we’d been preparing even for many years, where our fabulous presenters were so inspirational and how many new thoughts we managed to plant in the minds of the audience? – all these summarized by those large sheets adored by all! They’re here, in my hand: they’re merely rolled up, but tomorrow we can put them on display right away in the firm! In contrast to that, digital work in unable to provide palpability.

Digital visual recording on iPad

Most important advantages of digital visual recording on iPad:

  • you can show the digital recording on any presentation surface: screen, LCP panel, I MAX cinema. Let’s address the audience using state-of-the-art tools!   
  • Recordings can be shared with the public by a mere click. Messages are already buzzing on the net before the presenter can even leave the stage! 
  • We produce spectacular content for the event’s social media support. 
  • Is your event running parallel on more sites? No problem – digital facilitation makes it possible to show and share the content instantaneously, irrespectively of their geographical location.  
  • Organizing event for a company of geek engineers? Or it’s a telco team? Digital recording is the right solution to leave them in lasting fascination. 

Towers of visual facilitation

We aim at intensifying the experience, but there’re no sufficient display panels  to fix our top notch recordings of the 1-2-3 days conference on the spot on? Or have we run out of free walls? 

…let’s build a tower of visual recordings then!

We fit the directly on foam-centered board applied visual recordings precisely together and placing them on top of each other we build 2-3 storeyed towers of them, so that the information, the coherences can be looked at from all sides, as all pieces of information are made available.