Uggie: 2002 - August 7, 2015

How could we resist the opportunity to honour Uggie with his very own scribituary?

This sparky little Jack Russell stole scenes and hearts when he took a starring role the multi-Oscar-winning film, The Artist. Hollywood has been home to a few four-legged legends over the years, but dear old Uggie, who died at the age of 13, was the first to have his paw prints immortalised on the Walk of Fame.

Our tribute to Uggie received a lot of love on Twitter, most notably from his Oscar-winning co-star from Water for Elephants, Reese Witherspoon. 


A scribituary is, of course, Scriberia’s own take on the obituary, and they give us a chance to do what we do best. As a specialist animation, graphic facilitation and illustration agency, we believe in the power of pictures to tell stories and connect people to content and its context.

A life, illustrated in a way that balances fact with feeling, and story with style, is the ultimate challenge for us as visual storytellers. 

Lessons from the scribing wall

As an illustration agency, of sorts, we have a bunch of exceptionally talented freelance artists, from London and beyond, in the Scriberia stable. Every now and then, we get them all together to share stories from the inky coalface, and knock their creative heads together.

It’s like a mini-conference, held in the workshop space of our Kings Cross studio. We present, we listen, we play around with new ideas, and, of course, we give it the old graphic facilitation treatment with a glorious piece of scribing, to be shared with all of the attendees afterwards. We practice what we preach, you know.

In any given year, our team will scribe the four corners of the world, in a huge array of weird and wonderful circumstances. Jack recalled scribing in a dark basement; Rachel in a glass box surrounded by flamingoes; Clarice, Mathieu and Somang threw themselves and their pens into an immersive theatre experience in an ice grotto with fortune telling and singing chefs. There really is no such thing as a run-of-the-mill job for us lot. 

Studio staffer and super-scribe, Matt, gave his critique of three recent pieces of work - giving us all a valuable chance to learn from the best amongst us, and progress together. At Scriberia the ability to critique our own work, and each others’, is a highly valued skill; one that's critical to any creative business intent on maintaining the highest standards under pressure.

Next, creative director, Chris, challenged us all with a workshop in character creation. When you’re striving to create a bespoke piece of scribing that is bursting with energy, the characters that live within it can help you achieve just that. We looked at some beautiful examples of character drawing from the world of illustration and animation, and discussed ways of making characters fit for purpose. It will be great to see how this feeds into the practice of our talented team, when their finished work arrives back at the studio.

Our gathering concluded with a quickfire character drawing exercise – with only a minute to design and draw a character the results ranged from the profound to the concerning. After the obligatory gathering drinks, one by one the scribes peeled away to their corners of the city. It’s always a privilege to gather such an array of talented artists under one roof, and we look forward to the next meeting with great anticipation. 

Marguerite Patten: November 4, 1915 - June 4, 2015

It is hard to think of anyone who had a greater influence than her on British cooking and culture in the 20th century, than the late, great Marguerite Patten, who died in June at the age of 99. 

With her help, Britain bravely battled to feed itself on rations throughout the war. And when the war was over, she found herself at the vanguard of modern home cookery, where she remained until she retired. 

We were absolutely delighted that Marguerite's daughter, Judith, gave our work her seal of approval. 

A scribituary is, of course, Scriberia’s own take on the obituary, and they give us a chance to do what we do best. As a specialist animation, graphic facilitation and illustration agency, we believe in the power of pictures to tell stories and connect people to content and its context.

A life, illustrated in a way that balances fact with feeling, and story with style, is the ultimate challenge for us as visual storytellers. 

What is graphic facilitation?

... And what isn't it?

Perhaps you’ve heard of graphic facilitation, but you don’t know what it is. Perhaps you’ve seen it, but you don’t know what it’s called, or what to type into Google to find it again. Believe us, we know that the terminology surrounding what we do can be hard to pin down.

Graphic Facilitation

Graphic facilitation is probably the most established of the many phrases that (loosely speaking) are used to describe an artist capturing information in visual form. But there are a lot of alternatives - scribing, graphic recording, infodoodling to name but a few – and, if you’re being picky about it (we are, it’s our job) there are subtle but important differences between them.

So, graphic facilitation usually refers to the use of graphics to facilitate a conversation or process.  For instance, if you and your team have a problem to solve or need to make a plan, you could thrash it out with the help of a graphic facilitator (you might want to take a look at our InkTanks). The aim of graphic facilitation is to use images to prompt productive conversations, offer fresh perspectives, and pick new pathways through problems. It’s a technique that, when done well, can change the way groups think, communicate and collaborate.

Graphic Recording

The term graphic recording is sometimes used interchangeably with graphic facilitation but, if you ask us pedants, that's something a little different, too. 

A graphic recorder doesn't try to influence the conversations around them, as a facilitator does. Instead, they aim to keep pace with it; documenting its content with speed and visual clarity. Some people call this 'visual minutes'.

Graphic recording doesn't allow time for interpretation. It simply documents discussions as they happen, providing participants with a focus and an orderly record of what has been said. Sometimes, graphic recording is all that's required and, of course, your wish is our command. But at Scriberia, we can offer something more than that; something that we believe has a lot more value for our clients.

Scribing

Scribing might look a bit like graphic facilitation or graphic recording to the uninitiated, but the thinking behind it is very different. Rather than acting as impartial recorders, we believe there are real benefits to allowing our scribes the freedom to interpret the content they work with.

We choose our team, not only on the basis of their artistic ability, but on their ability to think. To be a great scribe, capable of producing work that is consistent, highly original, meaningful, and rich in content and context, these skills are of equal importance.

Many practitioners in this fledgling field believe that interpretation has no place in it. But we disagree. Our ability to interpret content is what gives our work the strength and depth our clients need. So, if you’re looking to bring all the benefits of a first class creative mind to your next meeting, pitch or live event, then what you’re looking for is scribing.  

Satoru Iwata: 9 December 1959 - 11 July 2015

The death of Nintendo's CEO, Satoru Iwata, at the age of 55, in July, triggered a wave of heartfelt tributes from gamers all over the world. 

As Marc Einstein, head of digital media at Frost & Sullivan in Tokyo, told the BBC: 'He was very much known for being a gamer first and a [chief executive] second - a game changing figure.'

Scriberia's creative director Chris Wilson was quick to volunteer himself for scribituary duty on this occasion. 

A scribituary is, of course, Scriberia’s own take on the obituary, and they give us a chance to do what we do best. As a specialist animation, 
graphic facilitation and illustration agency, we believe in the power of pictures to tell stories and connect people to content and its context.