This year’s South by South West (SXSW) festival saw Ogilvy Notes partner with ImageThink and others to create visual notes for a number of the conference sessions. Artists sketched notes from hour long sessions in real time, and the results of these were made available for free to conference attendees on the OgilvyNotes website.
Today’s Observer has an interview with Nora Herting – one of the founding members of ImageThink – in which they explain how they can take complex theories on technology and turn them into dynamic visual stories:
Compressing knotty discussions into easy-to-digest visual stories is hard work. Before they started Image Think in 2009, Herting and her co-founder, Heather Willems, spent four years at a consulting company in New York where part of the job involved what they call “graphic facilitation”. They would turn up at private business meetings and engage the participants by sketching the discussion as it unfolded. Backgrounds in fine art helped, but getting their drawing up to speed took practice.
“We had to very quickly develop a visual language,” says Willems. “Now, if somebody talks about innovation and change, there are immediate icons that pop into my head. We’re constantly trying to develop our skills: listening and synthesising as well as the more graphic components of the work.”
Now, the little start-up is working with some of the biggest organisations in the US, including Google, Disney, Microsoft and Nasa. The advertising and PR giant Ogilvy commissioned ImageThink – Herting, Willems and a small team of freelance illustrators – to sketch the talks at SXSW.
ImageThink in action.