One Squiggly Line Blog

Hand-drawn pictures can make things clear, simple, and fun in blogs, too!

Graphic Recording: Great Drawing is not the Secret!

Graphic Recording is all about communication. There's definitely an art to it. But it's so not about art! Knowing a few things from the art world can certainly help, though.

Look at the graphic recording above. There's barely any drawing in it - some generic buildings, a few arrows, and a star. That's it! This image is mainly text. And some of that text is even a bit sloppy.

Yet, the image has impact. The impact comes from a few bold words and the bright orange color. Even with a lot of text, there's a sense of movement and balance. Thanks to how things are arranged on the page (the composition).

Bad composition makes people uncomfortable. Good composition draws them in. That's why great drawing is not the secret to creating great visuals. Great composition is really where it's at.

This graphic recording was created while listening to a pre-recorded TED talk, using one black and one orange marker.

Visual Thinking & Lettering: Use Those Lines!


Lines are a big part of drawing. When not used for the main part of the picture, they're often overlooked. But that's easy to change!

If there's something unique or surprising about the lines, people will notice. That sense of mystery draws them in. And the visual captures their attention for much longer.

Take a good look at the steam lines coming out of the mug above. There are a lot of ways those lines could have been drawn to give the effect of steam. There are a lot of ways "Merry Christmas!" could have been written, too.

When the words "Merry Christmas!" are written in the steam, those lines suddenly become much more interesting. The words become part of the picture. They're definitely not an after thought!

So use those lines to really unify your visuals!

Visual Thinking & Lettering: Add Some Action!


Movement makes people look. It's mysterious. Maybe even exciting. Kind of like going on a scavenger hunt. Even if you know exactly where you're going and what you're looking for, there are bound to be some surprises along the way! 

That's why it's great to have visuals with a lot of movement in them. Especially if the topic is not so exciting. An energetic visual with a strong sense of movement will keep people interested. And their eye will naturally travel around the whole page. That means they're much more likely to take in all of your great information.

Cartoonists often use what they call "action lines". That's how they create the sense of movement in a still picture. And it works! Just look at the word "merry" in the visual above. It look like it's moving, thanks to those action lines!