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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.
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Mike Rohde (Color - Square)

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Entries in Sketchnote Handbook (36)


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:



The Sketchnote Handbook Texas Tour 2013


I HADN'T PLANNED on visiting Texas, until my friend Michael Clayton, design chair and professor at University of the Incarnate Word (UIW) in San Antonio, Texas, invited me to speak to the local AIGA and lead a workshop at UIW. Next thing you know, I was booked for SXSW and partnering with Moleskine.

But I had the most fun being able to take my son, Nathan to Texas with me, for his first taste of the bigger than life state.

AIGA San Antonio Sketchnote Talk

My first event after arrival was a talk on sketchnoting to the San Antonio AIGA chapter. I was honored to speak to a full house — 90 people — at the Southwest School of Art. After my presentation, I was able to sign 20 or so books for attendees and say hello at the same time.

Full house at Southwest School of Art to hear about sketchnoting!  Sketchnotes by @JKmiloMarin from my AIGA talk in San Antonio.

UIW Sketchnote Workshop

In the morning, I had the privilege of presenting a sketchnoting workshop to 15 of Michael's students at the University of the Incarnate Word.

Sketchnote Workshop at The University of the Incarnate Word

Together, we worked from the basics of sketchnoting to practicing sketchnotes by watching videos and then critiquing work of the students. We had a great time and I learned about designing a sketchnoting day workshop later this year.

Sean McCabe

After the workshop, I took time to meet and talk with Sean McCabe, designer and hand-letterer. We had a great time at Local Coffee talking type, our current projects, how we got where we are now and illustration secrets.

Meetup w/ Sean McCabe at Local Coffee on Broadway

Exploring San Antonio

With my work completed, Nathan and had time to explore the San Antonio River Walk, and The Alamo. The River Walk is quite beautiful. We capped the night perfectly with BBQ on the River Walk with Michael and his wife, Mindy.

Remember The Alamo!
San Antonio Riverwalk  The Alamo

SXSW 2013

On Saturday, Michael, Nathan and I headed North to Austin to get our jam-packed SXSW day going. By the time we arrived in Austin, lines were already forming for parking structures. We were able to find a spot on 6th & Brazos.

My first event was a Moleskine sponsored meet-up at Jo's Coffee Downtown, where we met with people and gave away custom designed Moleskine Pocket Sketchbooks. We had a good turnout at the busy coffee shop and I had a chance to see friends like Ryan Irelan and Todd Sattersten and meet new people too.

Sketchnote Handbook and Sketchnote Book! #msketchnote
Custom Sketchnote Moleskine from @moleskine_world  Custom Sketchnote Moleskine from @moleskine_world
Ideas, Not Art Flap  Sketchnoting Tips

At noon I met with a local friend, Keith Pearce, and we all had BBQ for lunch at Lambert's. After lunch, we were off to the Austin Convention Center (ACC) to register for badges and find my green room, to prep for my mentoring session.

I was fortunate to meet Elaine Wherry, co-founder of Meebo while waiting for our sessions to start. She was interested in drawing and note-taking, so I gave her a custom Moleskine and a copy of my book. It was cool to share with Elaine.

Hilton Garden Inn waiting for my SXSW mentoring session to start. Nice space!

My mentoring session was at the other Hilton hotel a few blocks away, so I headed there with my SXSW guide. After setting up, 2 of the 6 mentees came over (not sure if the other 4 got lost or just bailed out) but the time with the two visitors was great.

Book Reading & Signing

I had to get back to the ACC for my book reading, so once my session was done, I headed back over and got myself setup backstage, while my friend C.C. Chapman read from his latest book, Amazing Things Will Happen.

When my turn came up, rather than read from my very visual book, I chose instead to share my book writing process through images and stories, which was well received. You can hear the audio here:

After my talk, I met with audience members, then made my way to the book signing table to sign Sketchnote Handbooks at a table near the bookstore.

It was great to get to know readers and sign their books in fun ways. It seemed as though I signed 20 or 30 books during my 20 minute window, then I signed a bunch more for the bookstore's stock. I've heard that my book sold 80+ copies at SXSW — Peachpit's best seller!

Moleskine Meetup at Mulberry

After my book signing, I was interviewed by a film crew from an Alberta university, then it was off to the wrap-up meet-up at Mulberry, to see what fans had captured and to hang out to end the day. I learned that Michael had been wandering around the ACC, giving away custom Sketchnote Moleskines to whomever he saw drawing.

The Moleskine promotion went very well. So well, in fact, that I keep hearing for people who missed the giveaway or who weren't at SXSW at all being interested in one of these custom sketchbooks. I think I need to chat with Moleskine.

Mike, Nathan and I were wiped out after a day of working hard at SXSW. Back at the car, we crawled in and began the hour trip back to San Antonio, feeling really great about our 3 days promoting The Sketchnote Handbook in Texas.

On Sunday, we spent time exploring the San Antonio River Walk, riding on the barge tour and just having a great time together on our last day in Texas. That evening, we hung out with Michael's family before departing for Milwaukee.

Lessons Learned

Here are a few lessons learned on my Texas book tour:

  • In-person is important - It's critical to be on the ground, meeting people and sharing your book. I met so many great people, and I believe personal contact really makes the difference. Being on stage to share my story, in mentoring sessions to talk with people, or just meeting folks at the Moleskine events was very rewarding and encouraging.
  • Have something to give away - When I travel I always carry a copy of my book to give to someone. I've given books away in Portland and now Austin, and in every case the recipients are so pleased. I had the double fortune of having custom Moleskines to give away in Austin, and people loved them! Even if it's something small, like a card, it makes a difference.
  • Build in downtime - With Nathan along, I was quite busy. I built in some downtime for us to explore, but the SXSW trip was pretty intense. If I had to do it all again, I would have built in more downtime in Austin.
  • Pack light - This was probably the lightest I've packed for 4 days and it was a great feeling having so little to haul along. Now that I present my workshops and talks only with the iPad 2, I leave my MacBook Pro 13" at home. It's great to do so much with just an iPhone and iPad.

Travels Ahead

I have a few more Sketchnote Handbook events coming up in the next few months — Judson College in April, Grand Rapids IxDA in May and most likely Minneapolis/St. Paul this June. I can't wait for these events to come now!