Working digitally as a graphic recorder

I need to say this out loud. I’m in love with my iPad. For years prior to 2020 I was working purely analog – at the wall with my beautiful markers. Then something happened… (you’ll remember 2020?)

Having my hand forced to go digital was a silver lining of all those lockdowns. I love now that I have the flexibility to offer my service digitally – and here’s the benefits to having your event captured this way.

Debbie Wood Graphic Recorder at a desk with her iPad Pro and laptop

I’m no longer in the way

When I’m capturing a visual at workshops, conferences and events, working on my iPad in an app called Procreate. This will be hooked up to a projector and beamed live and large somewhere in the room.


Back when I worked on paper, live and large at the front of the room, the work needed to be not too high off the ground, because I’m not particularly tall, and I was often standing in front of it as I worked. Now, connected to my projector  or in house AV, I can beam the work higher up for more to see. Also – the size of my projected canvas can flex with the space – when it’s an intimate strategy session with 10 people, we can use a boardroom big screen TV, but if we’re at the Exhibition Centre, the projection can be super-sized. I’ve even been at events where the visual is part of a larger presentation with show-reels, PowerPoint and camera work – it looks amazing!


Next level visuals

Working digitally means I have the world at my feet visually. I can incorporate photography, textures, plenty of colour – there’s no limit! I can also work within your brand guidelines to precise colour palettes, brandmarks and graphic devices – so not only are the canvases beautiful, they’re on brand.

Left: In a large room with 600 people, the impact is GRAND!
Above: You can see the size of the canvas here in comparison to the people – it’s huge.

Instant finished product!

You want those graphic recordings now? Because it’s digital I can deliver the image and video outputs from workshops and events almost instantaneously.


Timelapse video

You heard right, VIDEO. Procreate outputs a timelapse of the graphic recording. It’s basically recording every lift of the pencil – and the result is an illustrated video, which helps to tell the story in sequence.


The result for your audience is quite powerful. Looking back over a static illustration is always great to reflect and recall what happened in the room. But watching a story unfold in the timelapse can help people see the journey. This is powerful when participants are sharing the results of a session with a wider audience. The sequence in the video creates a narrative and demonstrates how ideas and solutions were arrived at, rather than simply looking at the end result.


The videos are also great for social media – if you have goals around engagement on social media platforms, video can help! Sharing videos of keynotes after a conference is a great way to reach a wider audience comes back next year.


So that’s enough reasons for everybody isn’t it? Graphic recording was ALREADY an amazing thing, making meaning and engaging audiences at workshops and conferences. And now, it’s even more so! Also – I think my markers have dried out.