Our Favourite Visual Facilitation Books
Summer is in full swing – hopefully this means you’re working at a slower pace lately, and maybe have a little extra time to flip a few pages at the beach. Personally, I’m trying to catch up on my reading-for-fun. I asked the Drawing Change team to send me one book that they found helpful along their visual journeys.
Half are outside the ‘foundational’ visual practice books that often inform our work. And, if you’re new to the field, you’ll also see a list of classic books that are perfect for learning how to think with your pen.
We hope you’ll find all these titles useful!
“Unstuck by Keith Yamashita and Sandra Spataro, Ph.D is one of the very first ‘design thinking toolkit” type books that I came across – and it is concise, flexible, funny, and makes great use of graphics. Keith’s company, SYPartners works with leading companies and organizations to help them evolve and innovate. Published back in 2004, the book has since spawned an app, a website, and a workshop series…but the book is a pocket-sized tool that you will reach for again and again.” – Snow Dowd
“I think I’ve bought 8 copies of adrienne maree brown’s book Emergent Strategy to give away so far. It’s about complexity, radical self-love, and community in your facilitation, with a sprinkling of science fiction/futurism.” – Sam Bradd
“A great practical 101 – The Graphic Facilitator’s Guide by Brandy Agerback breaks down the process of live graphic recording. This guide is filled with friendly diagrams that help you find the balance in listening, deciding, and drawing. It’s the kind of book that begins to uncover what’s under the surface of the tip of the iceberg.” – Tiaré Jung
“This book provides instructions and illustrations on the basics of drawing, designing, painting and carving in the Northwest Coast Indigenous art. It reminds me that we must continuously practice and work towards our drawing goals.” – Michelle Buchholz (Wet’suwet’en) (note from Sam: please, if you’re not Indigenous, don’t copy or appropriate Indigenous art.)
“I recommend The Art of Possibility by Rosamund Stone Zander and Benjamin Zander. In life, we spend a lot of time measuring results against specific outcomes. This book reminds readers that everything we experience is made up. We can shift our thoughts, to experience life based on a frame of possibility. We can focus on how we contribute, so we look at things in a new way. We can embrace the way things actually are but shift our perspective.” – Melissa Breker
“Drawing on the Right Side of the Brain by Betty Edwards is my absolute go-to recommendation for anyone who wants to learn how to really draw. It changed the way I see in a profound way.” – Annalee Kornelsen
“Practices of Looking: An Introduction to Visual Culture is one of those books that I have kept from my university days. It’s not a leisurely read, but it’s a great introductory text that works to instill critical awareness in the reader when considering visual culture, and visual symbols of representation. How do the images we encounter influence us? How can we break out of our assumptions and consider inclusive (or new) ways of seeing and creating images? There are limits to its theoretical frameworks, and could do with some updating and inclusion of other perspectives, but it’s a useful foundational text with which to build a visual language upon.” – Carina Nilsson
“Kelvy Bird’s way of scribing, Generative Scribing, has changed my practice. The workshop and books are gifts to the field. This book describes “generative scribing” and “key concepts that inform and cultivate a scribe’s inner capacities of being, joining, perceiving, knowing, and drawing.” – Sam Bradd
Classic texts for sketchnoting and graphic facilitation
• The Sketchnote Handbook: the illustrated guide to visual note taking – by Mike Rhode
• Draw To Win and Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures – Dan Roam
• Resonate: Present Visual Stories that Transform Audiences Paperback – Nancy Duarte
• Design a Better Business: New Tools, Skills, and Mindset for Strategy and Innovation – with Lisa Kay Solomon, Justin Lokitz, and Patrick Van Der Pijl
• The Doodle Revolution – Unlock the Power To Think Differently – Sunni Brown
• Draw Your Big Idea: the Ultimate Creativity Tool for Turning Thoughts into Action and Dreams Into Reality – Nora Herting and Heather Willems
• The Front of The Room: a book on facilitation by experienced facilitators – by Dan Newman
• Drawn Together Through Visual Practice – edited by Brandy Agerbeck, Kelvy Bird, Sam Bradd and Jennifer Shepherd
… and stay tuned for the Graphic Facilitation Field Guide coming out in 2019!