Bye Bye Google Reader!

IF YOU USE RSS to follow this blog, Google Reader is shuttering services on Monday, July 1.

I have already switched to Feedbin as my RSS feed sync service ($20 per year) in combination with Reeder on iPhone, iPad and the Mac.

RSS Reading/Syncing Services

There are a wide variety of RSS reading and sync services available, each with different features and benefits:

And I'm sure with a little searching, you can find more.


David Sparks and Katie Floyd have a great discussion about RSS services and readers on Mac Power Users 143.

Most important: log into your Google Reader account and export your RSS feeds via Takeout, so you have a copy of your current feeds, while you ponder a switch in services before July 1, or you'll have to start from scratch.

The RSS feed for Rohdesign: feed://


Free Sketchnote Webinar on Wed June 26!


Next week Wednesday I'll be presenting a free, 1 hour webinar on sketchnoting with Peachpit Webinars. Sign up for the Webinar on Wednesday, June 26, 5-6 PM PST / 7-8 PM CST and 8-9 PM EST.

I'll be discussing topics from The Sketchnote Handbook — why and how you can use sketchnotes to capture your thinking visually, remember key information more clearly, and share what you've captured with others.

This is for artists and especially non-artists, so if you think you can't draw, I want you there, I can show you that you can!

Space is limited, so register today!


The Sketchnote Typeface

MY SECRET WEAPON in designing The Sketchnote Handbook was a family of custom fonts. I saved literally hundreds of hours by using this typeface, produced in partnership with my friend, Delve Withrington of Delve Fonts

Drawing characters for The Sketchnote Handbook font.

I’m pleased to announce The Sketchnote Typeface is available for purchase! The typeface was in production for over a year, so it feels great to release it.

Creating The Sketchnote Typeface Family

The Sketchnote Typeface was built for production work. The four fonts in the set were created for The Sketchnote Handbook to represent handwritten text and headline fonts, and they worked wonderfully for that purpose.

Sketchnote Text 5Js

Sketchnote Text, Italic and Bold were built from hundreds of hand-drawn glyphs, and variations on glyphs. These added characters allowed Delve to create Contextual Alternates — multiple variations on each character which help recreate variations in handwriting and can be accessed with tools that support this OpenType feature, like InDesign.

The Sketchnote Typeface gets closer to release! These are proof sheets from @delvew

Sketchnote Square, on the other hand, was drawn, scanned and vectorized by me and sent to Delve for perfecting the forms and placing each character into a font. Square is also unique in that it has many dingbats added from the book and other sources, like telephones, R2D2 and my dog Rufus.

Can't forget the Sketchnote Square dingbats! /cc @delvew

Now you can use the same set of fonts in a more perfected format to convey a warm, hand-drawn feel on your next print or web project.

We worked hard to include international characters, for setting text in languages like German, French, Italian and more. See the font specimen PDF and character set for a full list of languages.

Sketchnote Typeface: fully stocked w/ funky characters for many languages by @delvew

The Sketchnote Type Family: Details

There are four members of The Sketchnote Typeface family:

  • Sketchnote Text - This is a friendly, casual script with a bouncy baseline and a warm texture. To emulate natural handwriting, OpenType features automatically switch between multiple versions of each letter or number, with over 240 Contextual Alternates in each text font. OpenType kerning classes are used with unique kerns made to tame pairings of all those wily alternates for consistent spacing.


  • Sketchnote Italic - This is the italic version of the text font, including Contextual Alternates.


  • Sketchnote Bold - This is the bold version of the text font, including Contextual Alternates.


  • Sketchnote Square - Sketchnote Square is a bold, somewhat compressed headline type that complements the text fonts. Drawn instead of written, the characters in Square have neat little happenstance voids within the strokes.


  • Sketchnote Square Dingbats - Sketchnote Square is a handy selection of fun icons, rules, and arrows—functional tidbits for your design projects that syncs perfectly with Sketchnote Square.


Sketchnote Typeface Webfonts

The Sketchnote Typeface is available as a separate webfont too. Optimized for use on the web and ready to go as a self-hosted solution, they are packaged in four formats (WOFF, EOT, SVG & TTF) needed to perform in a variety of popular web browsers and platforms.

Sketchnote Square and Sketchnote Text are also available as webfonts at TypeKit if you're a user of that service and prefer not to self-host your fonts. A TypeKit Portfolio subscription at $49/year includes the Sketchnote Font.

Font Applications and Details

Sketchnote Text is intended for use at smaller sizes, for longer bits of copy in magazines, books, and websites. Sketchnote Square is best used at larger sizes for headlines, titles, packaging, etc. Use them together for a consistent style or paired with other typefaces. Either way, Sketchnote is great for a variety of projects where a hand-crafted aesthetic and ease-of-use are desired.

Sketchnote Handbook: Real-Time Sketchnoting

The texture of Sketchnote is the result of actual ink-spread on paper, captured in scans of the written letterforms and left intact during production to preserve that feeling. Under the hood, the texture was carefully edited by hand, eliminating outline errors and keeping the point count low for optimal performance. These fonts are crafted to the highest industry standards.

Sketchnote Typeface Pricing

Individual fonts are affordably priced at $29 each but the best deal is the complete family of fonts for $99 — giving you everything you need in one set.

Webfonts for self-hosting are available separately for the same one-time pricing: $29 each, $99 for the family. The base webfont license is a generous 500k pageviews/month — great for most websites.

The webfont is also available at TypeKit at the Portfolio level ($49/year). Here are links to Sketchnote Square and Sketchnote Text.

Buy button

You can purchase the fonts directly from Delve Fonts or at

App Licensing

If you're a developer looking to add Sketchnote Typefaces to your app, we would love to talk with you about licensing. Contact Delve Withrington for details and pricing to best suit your needs.

I can’t wait to see what kinds of projects you will make with these fonts. I know how valuable they were for The Sketchnote Handbook, and I hope they are valuable for you, too!


The Sketchnote Handbook in Chinese!


IMG 3291

Just a few weeks ago, Yuxian Mao (Ms. Bubble 毛泡泡) from Shanghai reached out to tell me The Sketchnote Handbook was being translated by a publisher into Chinese — and she was the translator. I was instantly excited to hear the news!

Here are 3 sample pages Yuxian sent for me to see:

Licensing is an interesting thing

Licensing a book is interesting, because the publishers can choose to do what they like with the content. On REWORK I've seen some versions (Thailand) completely re-do the illustrations in my style and others (Japan) completely omit the illustrations. So it's a wild west in that sense.

In this case, Yuxian is a graphic facilitator and recorder, so she has strong visual skills. She has lived in Holland and knows English, so she knows how to move ideas between the two cultures fluidly.

It's fascinating to see her translating concepts, text and images into a Chinese context. I think this native understanding and western knowledge makes for a much better book that's geared to the Chinese reader while sharing my original ideas on sketchnoting.

For instance, in image 1 you can see a little crab character added to the page. When I talked to Yuxian via Skype, she mentioned this is a very common image reference for a Chinese reader that relates to the idea on the page of "letting go to try something new" which makes sense in context.

I'm excited to see this develop and will share more as the launch in China gets closer. The goal is to have the book ready for Christmas in China.

Can't wait to see it!


Sketchnote Videos from Design Recharge & Web414

LAST WEEK I was busy, appearing on Design Recharge with Diane Gibbs on Wednesday and speaking at Web414 on Thursday.

Design Recharge with Diane Gibbs


1:05 discussion on Design Recharge about sketchnoting with host Diane Gibbs.


59:50 talk at Web414 on how I wrote, sketched and illustrated the Sketchnote Handbook. Jump to 4:40 to watch the start of my talk.

Here's my slide deck for reference:


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