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The Sketchnote Workbook is a fully-illustrated book and video, showing how to use sketchnotes in new ways, along with advanced tips and techniques.
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The Sketchnote Handbook is a fully-illustrated book and video, designed to teach regular people how to create sketchnotes.
Learn about and buy the book →
Download a FREE chapter →

Mike Rohde (Color - Square)

ROHDESIGN is the website of designer Mike Rohde, who writes on design, sketching, drawing, sketchnotes, technology, travel, cycling, books & coffee.
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Wednesday
Feb192014

The Sketchnote Workbook Update 3 - Manuscript, Music & SXSW

THE SKETCHNOTE WORKBOOK is coming to life. I'm working hard with a deadline looming. Today, it's a struggle to write out my ideas. Other days, the words seem to flow. Every day I make progress.

Sbucks

The Manuscript

I'm writing chapter 4 of 9 right now. The entire written manuscript is due at the end of February. Just writing that made me sweat a little.

I've been writing the drafts using the syntax called markdown in Writer Pro for the Mac. Writer Pro offers an interesting workflow feature that separates writing into Notes, Writing, Editing and Reading. In each state the typeface, cursor and highlight change to help you work through your text.

You'd think a change so simple would have little impact, but I've found it useful to mentally move between these 4 steps in my writing. Markdown gives me a basic level of structure for my writing, but not too much. It has the right balance to keep me focused on crafting words.

Ch1

Writer Pro exports my markdown file to a Word doc format, which my editor Jan reviews, using Word's track changes feature. Word is definitely not my favorite writing tool, but the track changes feature is a requirement to manage our collaborative writing and it works well.

Sketching Ahead

Once the text is finalized, I'll begin sketching book pages: selecting sketchnote samples and other design details. Sketching is key step because it determines the book's structure and design, which I'll use for inking and production.

Chapter 4 Sketch

Workbook Video

Of course I couldn't just do a book. I'm also creating a new 2-hour video with the same team from The Handbook: Brian Artka, Gabe Wollenburg and Stephen Mork), plus Amber Pierce for instructional design support. We're scripting as my chapters are completed and will begin shooting in March.

Video Soundtrack

The Workbook's video soundtrack is finalized! It was created by Stephen Mork, who created the Handbook video's soundtrack. I challenged Steve to make a musical piece that's new and yet related to The Handbook's video soundtrack. He did a fabulous job. Here's the final soundtrack:


San Antonio & Austin, Texas

PosterOn Friday, March 7th, I'll be in San Antonio, Texas for a student sketching workshop for my pal Michael Clayton at University of the Incarnate Word and giving a sketchnoting mini workshop at AIGA San Antonio on Friday night. I had a great time in San Antonio last year and am excited for a repeat.

I'll be in Austin on March 8th, putting on the Sketchnoting: Move Your Doodles Out Of The Margins workshop for 60 SXSW attendees with Eva-Lotta Lamm, Craighton Berman and Patrick Ashamalla. We aren't sure what to expect, but it should be a blast.

Story Signals Podcast Interview

Just yesterday I appeared on Matt Ragland's Story Signals podcast. I had a great time chatting with Matt about dealing with adversity and opportunity, ways to stay generous and a little bit about The Sketchnote Workbook. Listen in.

Pre-Order!

Yes, you can pre-order The Sketchnote Workbook at Amazon. That's the best way to ensure a copy is delivered to you as soon as it's ready.

Keep Making Progress

I keep telling myself to just keep moving, making progress every day. With 10 weeks to go, it will be a crazy ride, but as I learned from The Handbook experience, it can be done.

Thanks for your support everyone!

Friday
Jan312014

Interview: Tobias Gutmann & Face-o-mat

LAST YEAR, I saw Tobias Gutmann and his Face-o-mat mentioned in my friend Dave Gray’s weekly newsletter, so I reached out for an interview.

What is a Face-o-mat? Here's a video overview:


And now, here's my interview with the Face-o-mat's creator, Tobias Gutmann.

Hello Tobias! It’s a wonderful honor to interview you!

Hello, nice to hear from you!

Tell me a little about yourself. You are a Swiss citizen born in Papua New Guinea. What’s your back-story?

tobiasWell, I did grow up in Papua New Guinea, walked barefoot all day long and had a tree kangaroo as pet.

They say I’m Swiss, but about half of my life, I lived far from the country with white mountains, chocolate and cheese.

In Berne, Switzerland I studied my BA in visual communication, then worked in Tanzania for 6 months, before moving to Sweden.

You now live in Stockholm, Sweden (one of my favorite cities) how did you end up there and what are you doing in Stockholm?

I was looking for a new environment, that could inspire me. I have never been to Sweden, so I decided to move to Stockholm and study my MA in Storytelling (Graphic Design and Illustration).

I love the idea of this hand-made portrait machine, the Face-o-Mat you’ve created. How did you come up with the idea?

I found some cardboard, glued it together and painted Face-o-Mat on it. I just felt like drawing portraits, so I tried to make a fun experience out of it.

I thought it would mainly attract kids, but then the hipsters, whole families and even old people with grey hair wanted to have their portrait done. I was surprised to see how many different people were attracted by the social machine.

What led you to building the machine? Were there any technical challenges?

The first Face-o-mat was for a christmas market at Konstfack.

I did not plan to travel with it from beginning. It was quite a struggle, when I started traveling with the huge box on busses and subways in Stockholm.

When I got invited to Milan, I decided to rebuild the Face-o-mat. I collaborated with designer Pål Rodenius to develop the new machine, which had to be smaller, lighter and easier to set up. The new box out of MDF survived long distances and bumpy roads.

In Tokyo Face-o-mat’s wheels fell off. I was tired and the Face-o-mat was heavy, then the guys at Idée Garage made a brand new skateboard for Face-o-mat. That was awesome!

Tell me how your Face-o-Mat process works, especially with just 3 minutes per portrait!

(little interview within the interview)

Tobias: Welcome to Face-o-mat.

Guest: Eeehm, what is this?

Tobias: You get your face on a paper, with an optional „Facelift“ and you also choose if it should be „Classical“ or „Avant-garde“. Do you wanna try?

Guest: What is Facelift and Avant-garde?

Tobias: Facelift transforms your face into whatever the machine decides. It can for example be an animal or a chair. The „Avant-garde“ setting visualizes what Face-o-mat sees behind your face.

Guest: Ok, let’s try with a slightly avant-garde Facelift. After 3 minutes...

Guest: Goodness!!! I look like my sixth grade teacher!!...

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How do you determine how to draw a person? How much do the selectors and talking with them influence in the portrait process?

The settings people choose is a starting point, but then anything can influence the drawing; how people act, what they say or even the background music.

I don’t have time to think. I just draw, then something happens on the paper.

How do you charge for the portraits and do the people pay before or after the portrait is done?.

There is a small slot, where Face-o-mat swallows money.

Sometimes people don’t have money, then I draw them for free and sometimes people pay more than expected. In Face-o-mat I try not to create a hierarchy.

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Do most people choose a standard portrait or facelift? Why do they go one way or the other?

There is a high risk that something unpredictable could happen when choosing to get a Facelift. Some people like that kind of adrenaline, others go the safe way and choose Classic.

Actually, the choice they make, says a lot about the character of a person. I encourage people to be bold in their choices. I mean, it’s just a drawing on a piece of paper.

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How do people react to the Face-o-mat? Are they generally excited and have fun?

Some are shy and some are nervous. Many people are curious and ask questions, they appreciate the talking part of Face-o-mat.

I’ve had some really interesting conversations about life. Lot’s of people smile, laugh and are very positive. That is the fuel, that Face-o-mat is running on. Without all the lovely visitors, Face-o-mat would be very sad.

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Has anyone ever become angry or upset with a portrait you’ve done of them with the Face-o-Mat?

Possibly. They usually don’t tell me. Sometimes I am afraid, to give away the illustration because I don’t like it. Face-o-mat never deletes or starts over again. What happens in the moment, is what people get.

I had customers who where not satisfied with their face-illustration, so they came back and tried again with different setting. Maybe with a bit more Facelift.

You’ve visited other countries with the Face-o-Mat. Why did you choose to go international and where did you travel to?

I didn’t actually plan to go international, it kind of just happened. I spent the summer in Tanzania, then received emails from Tokyo and London. I thought it would be exciting to test the concept in different cultures, so I followed, where Face-o-mat got invited.


Were there any language barriers in your international travels?

It’s a different experience, when visitors can not express themselves through language, but language barriers are not always negative. It doesn’t always need to be words. Gestures or facial expression say a lot and in the end the illustration is the language of Face-o-mat.

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Any future travels planned for you and Face-o-mat?

I have many new ideas and projects that I am working on, but if I get invited to a place, that would add an interesting new chapter to the Face-o-mat story, I will say yes!

Thanks so much Tobias for a little of your time. Any parting words of wisdom you would like to share?

If I would build the next iPhone, it would not have a screen, just a frame with a little window, to talk to your neighbor.

Learn more about Tobias and his fabulous Face-o-mat:

It's fun to scan through all of the photos of people and their Face-o-mat portraits. If you like what Tobias is doing, reach out and let him know!

Monday
Jan272014

The Sketchnote Handbook in Russian & German

I AM EXCITED to announce that The Sketchnote Handbook is now available in 2 new languages: Russian and German! Here images of the Russian and German translations, along with links to purchase them directly.

The Sketchnote Handbook (Russian)

This edition (Визуальные заметки) was published by Mann, Ivanov & Ferber and completely recreated in Russian, right down to the featured sketchnoter contributions! I was so excited to see photos of the book. Wow!

The Russian translation team included translator Kirill Naumov, editor Maria Krasovskaya, art director Alexey Bogomolov, editor-in-chief Artem Stepanov and marketing manager Vera Ezhkina. Special thanks to Anton Chernousov, a reader who first who suggested it be translated into Russian!

Das Sketchnote Handbuch (German)

I worked closely with Sabine Schultz at HJR and translator/artist Claudia Herling on this German translation of the book. They were just fabulous. We were able to collect a mix of German sketchnoters and have translations made of the featured sketchnotes of English, Aussie and American sketchnoters.

Claudia really did a great job capturing the feel of the book and converting my ideas into a native German-speaker’s mindset — so key in a translation for people who think and work in a different language.

Thanks also to featured sketchnoters: Tanja (Frau Hoelle), Craighton Berman, Boon Chew, Veronica Erb, Jess Esch, Alexis Finch, Carolin Kram, Eva-Lotta Lamm, Gerren Lamson, Matthew Magain, Ralf Appelt, Francis Rowland, Chris Shipton, Paul Soupiset, Oliver Bildesheim, and Michelle George.

On the horizon: Czech and Chinese translations. When those are ready, I will post an update.

Please Give Feedback!

If you buy a copy of the Russian or German edition, please leave a comment on how you like these translated editions. It would be great for Russian and German translation teams to read your feedback.

Publish The Handbook in Your Language

If you are a publisher interested in getting rights to publish The Sketchnote Handbook in your language, please reach out! I would love to connect you to the Peachpit team in charge.

Tuesday
Jan142014

Mike Rohde to Read, Hear & See

NewImage

I COLLECT my appearances across the web, especially since The Sketchnote Handbook launch. I post these things on Twitter, but they're lost in the swirl of the social media. Here are five recent appearances in case you'e missed 'em.

Article: Journey to Success - Freelancing Success

This was a fun interview with my friend James Dalman, who has been active in the Wordpress community for a long time. I had a great time sharing years of wisdom learned the hard way in this interview.

Article: Workspiration - Mike Rohde's Tools

In this interview, I share my tools with Ilia. It was revealing to go through my tools, seeing which things I really use day to day.

Article: Creative Market - How to Sketchnote

Recently, I've offered The Sketchnote Typeface family for sale at Creative Market. When my friend Gerren Lamson asked me for an interview, I had a great time sharing my thoughts with him and the community.

Podcast: Agile.FM Podcast with Joe Krebs

Joe Krebs, a leader in the agile community in New York City reached out to have me on his Agile.FM podcast. I shared what sketchnoting is and how it can help as part of the agile process.

Podcast: Pencil vs. Pixel Podcast with Cesar Contreras

I love Cesar Contreras' new podcast. I had a great time talking with him about design, sketchnotes and work in this video / audio interview.

Enjoy!

Friday
Dec202013

The Sketchnote Workbook Update 2 - A Questionnaire

I'M WRITING The Sketchnote Workbook's table of contents right now, and I need your help. I want to hear how you use sketchnotes in your life.

Sketchnote Workbook Questionnaire

I've created a form to learn directly from you how you use sketchnotes. This will help me as I develop the Workbook. Use the link below:

Fill out The Sketchnote Workbook Questionnaire

It shouldn't take more than a few minutes, but if you have a bunch of ideas, take as long as you want to enter your thoughts.

No guarantees, but don't be surprised if I ask you to be included in The Sketchnote Workbook!

Thanks!

Mike