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

scriberia 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.

scriberia graphic facilitation

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.