Our Favourite Visual Facilitation Books
Updated September 2019 with some new titles!
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.
Foundational Sketchnoting and graphic facilitation books
Brand new anthology! 50 authors from truly all around the world – The World of Visual Facilitation is now available! Sam has two chapters in this hefty, full colour book.
Brandy Agerbeck, whose gift at explaining things clearly and concisely, shines in this second major book about graphic facilitation called “The Idea Shapers”. Her first book, the classic, is a team favourite on this list (scroll further).
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
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
“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
“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 (Sam adds – this is also an absolute foundational book!)
“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.)
“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-size tool that you will reach for again and again.” – Snow Dowd
“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