Sketching workshops in London

Make your ideas visible!

Sketching is a powerful tool to explore, structure, express and communicate your thoughts. Unlock the super-power of adding images and visual structure to your words to make the world (literally) see what you mean.

I am teaching two workshops in London on the 31st of May and 1st on June that dive deep into the topic of sketching as a practical tool for anyone involved in designing, planning and making things.

Sketching Interfaces –
Rapidly develop and iterate website designs and app interfaces, alone and in groups.

This workshop is focussed on sketching interfaces, layouts, interactions and flows. 

It’s a mix of hands-on exercises, critique and underlying theory that dives into topics like choosing the right level of fidelity, creating visual structure and clarity, use of colour, annotations and sketching with a group.

Learn more and book a ticket

(Early bird tickets available until 6th of May 2018)

Sketching for Visual Thinking
& Sketchnoting –

Capture and visualise concepts quickly and engagingly

This workshop takes the boundaries a bit wider and looks beyond just “boxes and arrows” and explores the topic of sketching for visual thinking, sketchnoting and storyboarding.

You’ll learn a simple framework for sketching anything you need to express and idea or tell a story: objects, people, actions, emotions and abstract concepts. We’ll then dive into different ways of structuring information so that important ideas stand out and patterns and gaps become visible.

Learn more and book a ticket

(Early bird tickets available until 6th of May 2018)

If you want to dive deep:

The two workshops complement each other perfectly. Contact me to get a discount when booking both workshops. 

I am also reserving two tickets for each workshop for students or people with low income at a very discounted price. If you're interested, let's talk.

How to visually document a Design & Innovation Workshop

00_intro_collage.jpg

Bringing together over 80 designers from different locations around the world for 3 days to meet face-2-face, exchange and work on a design challenge creating ideas for future innovation is an intense experience.

How can you document such an event, so that the ideas, conversations and results can live on beyond the event and be shared with the participants and spread within the wider organisation in an engaging way afterwards?

I recently got invited by HERE Technologies to help exactly with that, by creating digital sketchnotes during their 2018 Design Summit in Berlin. 

  Photo: HERE

Photo: HERE

HERE is a leading mobile location platform providing mapping and location data and services, enabling the development of innovative products in areas like navigation, transport & logistics, smart cities and infrastructure.

The topic of their design summit was the future of autonomous technology and it was divided into 3 days, each with a different format and focus.
 

Day 1 – Inspiration day

Day 1 was all about inspiration and exchange. 

Throughout the day, talks and demos were presented by different teams, showing the latest trends from their field and recent work and prototypes. The topics ranged from data collection, visualisation and mapping technology to current research, design and development practices.

  Photo: HERE

Photo: HERE

I captured the content of the talks live in digital sketchnotes. 

Digital sketchnotes are great, because they make it easy to edit and re-structure the content after the talk. Like that, the live captured material can be shaped into a well-rounded visual summary with just a small amount of extra work at the end.

I shared the summaries of all the talks with the organiser at the end of the day and they were ready to be used the next morning in the re-cap presentation of Day 1.


Another advantage of the digital format is that the different parts and individual thoughts can easily be extracted visual snippets and used separately in different formats, like internal communication or presentations on a particular topic.

The sketchnotes are vector based and can be exported as high-resolution files, so they can be used in any size, from small illustrations in a powerpoint deck to billboard-sized posters.

02_photo_ipad1.jpg

If you are interested in my actual set-up and the technical details of sketchnoting digitally during the event, please check back for part 2 of this article “Digital sketchnoting at the HERE Design Summit – behind the scenes”, which I'll publish here next week.
 

Day 2 – Workshop day

On day 2, everybody got to work.

The attendees got divided into groups, each with a different focus area, to work on ideas for the Smart City project in Dubai. Each group worked through a mini design-process, from brief and research input to ideation and development of a pitch for presentation the next day.

  Photo: HERE

Photo: HERE

My role during the day was to capture the process and document how people work together. 

I spent some time with each of the groups observing their process and eavesdropping on their conversations. I also did some short interviews with various attendees to get their thoughts on how they approach the design process. For that, the organisers and I had agreed beforehand on three questions to explore: 

  • How can we use our outside perspective to help the problem solving?
  • How do we empathise with users to solve the problem?
  • How do we get to the big picture from all the details?

To keep the interviews light and fun for people in-between the intense working phases, I sketched out each question on card, and treated the interview like a little game, turning over the cards one by one, asking people to give me their first thoughts on the topic.

I had a lot of really lovely little conversations and based on my notes, I summarised and visualised all the different perspectives by the end of the day. In addition to the actual results that were to be presented the next day, the interview sketchnotes were a nice way to also highlight design as a process and the difficulties and considerations that it contains.

Day 3 – Results day

On day 3 it was back to presentations and classic live sketchnoting of the concepts each group had developed and presented on stage. 

In addition to the slide decks and the videos that were filmed of each presentation, the  sketchnotes give a nice one page overview for each concept that can be consumed at a glance.

 The different groups that presented on day 3

The different groups that presented on day 3

Post-event wrap-up and feedback

After the event, I delivered a series of high-resolution sketchnotes to the client, one for each topic. It is always impressive to look back at the wealth of knowledge, ideas that can be produced in such a short amount of time. And being able to share and access this valuable content in a friendly and engaging format of visual notes helps to amplify the impact of an event like this – way beyond its duration and the group that was attending.

Or to say it with the words of J F Grossen, HERE's Global VP of Design:  “Our content and discussions covered a wide spectrum and tangled mesh of both consumer and expert systems technologies, processes and tools. Eva-Lotta was able to bring clarity and focus and a human interpretation. An amazing body of work that we will be referring to for some time to come.”
 

What about your event?

If you are interested in having your event documented with sketchnotes, you should get in touch so we can talk about your requirements.

 The complete set of sketchnotes produced during the 3 days

The complete set of sketchnotes produced during the 3 days

 

 

 

The making of the Sketching Ampersand Pins

I recently got a series of enamel pins made. These were the first physical product, I created beyond things printed on paper.

In this post, I am going to share the whole story from the first sketches to the final product.


It all started back in 2012 when I was doodling random things in my breaks at work. I have always liked the shape of ampersands, and somehow, one day, I sketched lots of different silly-themed ampersands on a page.


(I still like the cowboy ampersand a lot. I should probably work on that one a bit more at some point... Yeehaw!)


I refined the sketches for the 'sketching ampersand' and decided on a negative form. I even had a small series of custom sketchbooks made that I gave away as gifts to family, friends and some of my workshop participants.

05_ampersand_sketchbooks_01.jpg
06_ampersand_sketchbooks_02.jpg

Sometime last year I found the ampersands again when cleaning up files on my computer. I still liked them a lot and thought, they might make nice pins.

The first mock-ups for possible pins were still a bit heavy-handed and I didn't really dig the colours either.

07_ampersand_variations_v1.jpg

I decided to simplify the design – removing the cuff – and to create two variations. One bolder version that would use the solid metal of the pin as its main colour and one more delicate version with thinner lines that could be filled with colour.

08_ampersand_variations_v2.jpg

09_ampersand_variationsToVote.jpg

I mocked up some colour variations. Playing around with the different metal colours and endless possible colour combinations made it very hard to make a decision on the right combination.

10_ampersand_winners_180128_s.jpg

I decided to run a little poll on my instagram and twitter to see which variations people preferred. A couple of days and over 100 votes later, 3 winners emerged.


The final decision before going into production was choosing the right size. I resized the layout to different sizes, printed and cut them out so I could pin these quick prototypes on my clothes to see which one looked right.

Before, I was pretty sure that I wanted the biggest size, but after the test, I settled for slightly smaller, a bit more elegant version.

12_ampersand_paperCutouts.jpg

13_ampersand_mockups.jpg

Next up was designing the cards that the pins would sit on.
To keep the cost and complexity down, I decided on creating just one card that would work for all three pins.

I wanted it to look like the ampersand was in the middle of drawing something. The white paper nicely frames its shape and gives a bit of dimension to the presentation.

The printed cards actually arrived much earlier than the pins. The pins take about 6 weeks to make, the cards only one or two.

14_ampersand_card_printed.jpg

And fiiiiiiinallyyyyyyy, the pins arrived :)

I was really nervous when opening the package. Committing to getting a real physical product made can be exciting but also nerve-wracking. What if the pins don't turn out like you wanted them? What if you made some mistake? 

But luckily, they look lovely (at least, I think so).
:)
 


If you love sketching, drawing, doodling, writing or any kind of mark making, this pin might be the right addition to your attire. They also look great on your favourite pencil case.

You can order one (or many!) here:
Sketching Ampersand Pin

16_ampersand_pencilcase.jpg