How to Edit Graphic Recording Posters

Are you wondering how to edit graphic recording posters into digital files? You’re not alone.

This summer, I had the privilege of mentoring some amazing folks new to graphic recording. They were not new to visual thinking, but new to using giant paper and working live. I loved hearing how they are excited to help groups be better at what they do – and I can’t wait to see what ideas they will bring to our profession!

Besides their questions about process and facilitation, each of them asked one specific logistical question: “So we create these huge posters, live. How do we edit them into smaller files for print and web?”

And once I had explained this out loud a few times, I knew a video would be way more helpful.

So, by popular request, and for my very first time doing a video tutorial – here’s how I edit my graphic recording posters afterwards. I selected one from a recent international meeting in Bangkok (did you know veterinarians are often the first line of defense for public health disease outbreaks? I had no idea!).

How to Edit Graphic Recording Posters – Drawing Change from Sam Bradd on Vimeo.

I use:

  • Photoshop
  • A digital camera (I have a mirrorless Fuji digital camera, no flash which works for me)
  • I also have the good fortune of living with a professional photographer who shoots with a Nikon full frame camera and flash – definitely fantastic if you can set that up
  • Natural light

Step 1: bring the images to a place with flat, even natural light and photograph them

Step 2: save a copy of the photo and open it in Photoshop

Step 3: Crop. Then, use Photoshop levels to select chunks of the image, small parts at a time, and colour correct using the Levels tools. Often one side of the image will be brighter than the other.

Step 3: After the images are edited, the final step: I use Photoshop to add a title, the session information, and my contact information to the bottom of the images. (You can create an automated ‘droplet’ for this, if you want to really get wizard-like. I can’t help you set that up, but you can google it.)

Here’s a few other resources:

Logistics: The best place for help with logistics is to search the Graphic Facilitation Facebook group (search in the top right) for previous threads. People compare cameras, setups, and other tips.

Deepening your practice: If you’re looking for ideas for how to widen, or deepen your visual practice, we have a new anthology. The first time I read it all the way through I learned so much from these talented colleagues, and hope you do too.