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Making the most of your graphic recordings: Three Tips

Serendipity. Recently, I spotted one of our largest murals remixed by the Client to fit onto one canteen wall. Of course, I had to take a photograph and share that! 🙂

Although the original (measuring 18m x 2m) had to be dismantled at the end of the two-day event where it was created, it was heartening to see that the conversations continued.

What are some ways you as the Client can make the most out of your graphic recordings? And what would you, as a Visual Practitioner, need to do to enable that?

Tip #1: Always digitise the visual output in high resolution

When I say “high resolution,” I mean it. We make sure we get a digital copy that’s good enough for printing to-scale if the client wants to (and we’re the only visual practitioners who dare make this promise).

As much as we would like to preserve the originals, sometimes practical logistic considerations don’t allow that, as you can see in the case of the epic 18m x 2m wall.

Even if you can keep smaller charts created on more portable surfaces (e.g. paper you can roll), it would be realistic to expect that overtime, the condition of the charts could wane as you use them. Common causes include: damage from handling, fading or warping from exposure to harsh lights.

The alternative — to keep the originals under wraps in storage — would really defeat the purpose of retaining the originals in the first place, right?

With a good digital copy, you can now share and hashtag your ideas for continued conversations too! Just make sure you save the images in web-resolution before sharing.

Tip #2: Process matters just as much as (if not more than) Output

One Client FAQ is, where do we place you (the visual practitioner) in the room? Granted, we may not always have the luxury of space. However, the Client and participants will be missing out seriously, if they don’t at least get to observe the process of graphic recording. Yes, even if it’s on the side or from a distance.

We are in the room not just to produce the visual output. We are also there to model active listening and sense-making of the conversations. And these are vital when the conversation gets complex.

Also, after having invested in a visual practitioner, the last you’d want the participants to think at the big reveal is that the live visual was created in advance.

Tip #3: If you can preserve the original…

By all means, do it. Obviously, this applies only to analogue work done on physical surfaces.

I would still advise that you digitise the visual output (see Tip #1). However, there are many things you can do with physical originals. You can move these around your event space to display them. Set up areas for water cooler conversations.

One Client chose to frame up the original. It did fade after some time because they placed it under (literal) spotlight at their office entrance. But that’s quite easily solved with regular touch ups, or a quick reprint from the digital file.

Still, there’s nothing quite like owning the original that has soaked in the atmosphere and dynamics of the conversation it captured.

 

p.s. Here’s the event where we created the original! The team from L to R: Favian Ee, Huang Kailin, and Dave “Wolfe” Liew)

18m x 2m reflection wall at public sector event

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