Belle Hogg has been visual scribing for government for quite some time now.
What’s visual scribing? It’s the practice of transforming abstract content in to simple, easy-to-understand drawings.
Libby Heasman from BizLab and Nick Ellis from the Public Sector Innovation Network sat down to pick Belle’s brains. We learnt how she got into visual scribing, her top tips, and how she scribed the launch of Innovation Month 2020. Check out our chat with Belle on YouTube.
You really should watch our chat with Belle for the whole chat (as well as some examples of Belle’s work), but we’ve pulled out her top tips and principles to get you started. (For extra credit, you could practice your visual scribing by visually scribing the visual scribe talk!)
Don’t go in cold. Grab whatever information you can get about the event you’re going to scribe. If you’ve got an idea of the topic, let’s say it’s a talk on budgeting, do an image search for ‘budget icon’. See what is used to represent a budget.
It’s go time. When you’re starting out visual scribing, try to do it at the back of the room, or on paper where people aren’t watching you directly. If you do find yourself on stage, think of it like a theatre performance. Belle has a history in theatre and dance, and says when she’s on stage she’s playing a character who’s here to get a job done.
Depending on the purpose of the visual scribing, you might want to touch up a few things before you share it. Belle suggests that this is where digital tools really stand out, letting you colour and highlight things after the fact.
The Public Sector Innovation Network (PSIN) was an Australian government network helping public servants understand and apply innovation in their daily work. PSIN ceased on 8 January 2021.
See more PSIN resources or read about PSIN on the National Library of Australia Trove archive.