Sketchnotes Channel at Core77

 Sketchnotes seem to be more and more popular these days. I think Mike Rohde first coined the phrase and the practice of creating beautiful illustrated notes, but lots of others are getting on the bandwagon, so much so that the design website Core77 is introducing a regular feature on their site, focusing on various examples of sketchnotes. The ones below are by Mike Rohde, Craighton Berman and Austin Kleon.


In the long list of tools one could use for visual thinking, sketchnotes are one of the most exciting. Simply put, sketchnotes are visual notes that are drawn in real time. Through the use of images, text, and diagrams, these notes take advantage of the “visual thinker” mind’s penchant for make sense of—and understanding—information with pictures. Often these notes come out of lectures or conferences, and have gained a lot of attention and interest in the past few years when people post scans of their sketchbooks from events like SXSW or various design conferences for the whole internet to see….
Instead of recording what’s being said verbatim, good sketchnotes capture the meaningful bits as text and drawings. Better sketchnotes use composition and hierarchy to give structure the content, and bring clarity to the overall narrative of the lecture. The best sketchnotes express a unique personal style and add editorial comments on the content—entertaining and informing all at once.

I see notes like these and I can’t help wondering how they could create them in real time while following a presentation. When I’m at a conference, I’m scribbling away trying to capture major points and even then I sometimes can’t keep up. I have small handwriting which gets a little messy as I write fast. I sometimes incorporate little bullets and arrows and underlining, or even a rough graph or chart now and then, but my notes never seem very pretty or well-designed to me– they’re just functional. Nevertheless, at the last conference I attended, I was sitting next to someone who told me my notes were “beautiful.” I looked at hers, which were in much nicer penmanship and much less cramped, and I thought they looked just as good, if not better. I can only imagine what she would have thought of all these sketchnotes!

Read more about sketchnoting at Sketchnotes 101: Visual Thinking – Core77.

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5 Responses to “Sketchnotes Channel at Core77”

  1. […] The design website Core77 is introducing a regular feature on their site, focusing on various examples of sketchnotes. NotebookStories Notebook Stories New post: Sketchnotes Channel at Core77 […]

  2. I find sketchnotes fascinating. Checking out the new Core77 page now.

    Thanks for the tip!

  3. Hello!
    I have a bit of a twist on notebook collecting. I am an educator and I collect teachers class registers, a.k.a. class record books, grade books, etc.. I try to find items that were made in the New England and Tri-state area. I noticed a reference to the Easter Tablet Co. in Albany, NY, as I was also trying to find out more information about this company. I actually have a “Teachers Class Register-Forty Weeks, A-557, Eastern Tablet-Albany, N.Y. 12204.” It has a black leatherette cover with gold foil stamping. This is quite interesting, I was looking at books made by the Alvah M. Squibb Co. in McKeesport, PA, and they have a teachers lesson plan book that is referenced by the code A-555…..I wonder? In addition to this book, I have several from the J.L. Hammett Co., when they were in Cambridge, MA, Kendall Square, Mainco School Supply, from Canton, MA, which was a division of Blue Ribbon Paper Products in Groveton, NH and later turned was bought out by the James River Co, and then sold to another paper co. The mill in Groveton closed a few years back, consequently the local economy has suffered a great deal. I also have items from The Milton Bradley Co., in Springfield, MA. They sold school supplies as well, and a “Bulletin Class Register” from Bardeen’s in Syracuse, NY. If anyone is interested, I would be glad to post some pictures of my various books! Hope you find this interesting!

  4. Hi Mr. Stanwood.
    I found this fascinating as I, too collect grade and plan books. I taught elem school from 1963-1994. I live in MA and have used Mainco Hammett, and Milton Bradley products. Mainco introduced its blue cover mark book #56 in 1958. I wish I still owned one. The MB #55 was my favorite grade book. It was first published by the Edward Babbs Co. which sold to Milton Bradley. I now own a 1955 ed of MB #55 and a red JLHammett Middlesex Class Register. I taught in Leicester, MA and they used the JLHammett: Eton #5.
    After retirement in 1994 @ age 52, I was a consultant with ELAN Publishing in NH. I’m familiar with the Ward books and Wolkin’s mark and plan books. Sad to have watched MB become NE Sch Supply, then Chaswell. I suppose the majority of school systems now use electronic grading and planning. Modern was another grade book. Also am familiar with Alvah Scribbs Co. Many OH school districts use their products.
    I’d very much like to “compare notes” with you.
    Best, Charles

  5. Hi……I worked for Mainco in the late 70’s. In June of 1980 they closed. I then worked for Hammett……which
    was bought out in late 2000 by School Specialty…who had already bought out New England School Supply.

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