Buy my Books!

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

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.
Read more about Mike →

SIGN UP! Get the Rohdesign Newsletter.

Entries in Sketchnotes (82)


The Future of Water Illustration

WATER IS A RESOURCE we so often take for granted, yet is incredibly precious. I was fortunate to have an opportunity to illustrate various issues and solutions related to water for the Future of Water project. This is the story of my process.

Dow and GolinHarris saw some of my illustration work and contacted me about doing a sketchnote style illustration about water for the Future of Water project.

Concept Notes

After an initial phone discussion, I reviewed all 60 of the 1 minute videos on the Future of Water site, noting ideas I found interesting as I watched and listened.

Future of water sketch tidbit

Pencil Sketches

From my general notes, I created pencil sketches of the illustration, laying out the structure of the piece. I shared my pencil sketch with the client, providing them with a clear sense of where I was headed with the illustration.

Future of water pencil tidbit

Inking the Illustration

Next, I began inking the piece, creating the elements on tracing paper over the tight pencils I'd created, making adjustments as needed.

Future of water inked tidbit

Once the inking was complete, I scanned in the artwork and began assembling the scanned pieces into a multiple-layered, unified Photoshop file. This approach lets me adjust images within the whole or make changes if need be.


When the black and white art was approved, I moved on color — the most challenging part of the piece. It took a while to get the blue colors I had envisioned, but once they were established, I began working down the B&W art, colorizing the whole piece.

Here's the final illustration as it appears on the Future of Water website:

Future of water final

Thank You

Many thanks to Dow, GolinHarris and Len Kendall for working with me on this project. I had a great time and am pleased to bring to light the challenges and opportunities we have on the topic of water.


An Event Apart Minneapolis Sketchnotes

An Event Apart Minneapolis 2011 Sketchnotes

THE TWIN CITIES hosted An Event Apart last week, featuring leading speakers in web design, development, web typography and experience design. AEA inspired my design practice and provided opportunities to meet many new friends in the design community.

Milwaukee friends Kris Hunt and Paula Clemons attended AEA and invited me to ride along from Milwaukee to Minneapolis to test out their new Subaru (Road trip!). We ended the trip meeting Kevin Farner at Target Field at the Twins vs. Red Sox game.

Patrick Rhone and his wife Bethany invited me to stay with them in St. Paul while in town, and we had a great time together. I loved their 1885 victorian home, their cute daughter and got to experience a slice of life in the Twin Cities.

Sketchnoting AEA Minneapolis

But best of all, I thoroughly enjoyed talking nerdy Mac, pen and book stuff with Patrick and meeting fellow nerd and St. Paul Pioneer Press tech writer Julio Oheda-Zapata during my down time.

Sketchnoting AEA

I was brought in to sketchnote the event by Jeffrey Zeldman and the AEA team, and it went well. With each sketchnoting assignment, the challenge is to find a balance between too little and too much information on the page. My approach is to capture ideas with type, images and text, finding a mix of those elements as I capture presentations in real time.

Download the AEA Sketchnotes PDF

You can download a 6.5 MB PDF version of these notes, convenient for printing or viewing on an iPad. Thanks to An Event Apart for hosting the download.

AEA Sketchnotes on Flickr

I've included the event's sketchnotes, separated by speaker with links to each section below (click the images to see the higher res versions on Flickr.)

Jeffrey Zeldman - Content First!

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 01-02 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 03-04 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 05-06 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 07-08

Jason Santa Maria - On Web Typography

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 09-10 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 11-12 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 13-14

Richard Rutter - Detail in Web Typography

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 15-16 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 17-18

Luke Wroblewski - Mobile Web Design Moves

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 19-20 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 21-22 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 23-24 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 25-26 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 27-28

Sarah Parmenter - Creating User Experiences

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 29-30 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 31-32 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 33-34

Ethan Marcotte - The Responsive Web Designer's Workflow

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 35-36 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 37-38 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 39-40 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 41-42

Eric Meyer - Using Flexible Boxes

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 43-44 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 45-46 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 47-48

Jeremy Keith - Design Principles

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 49-50 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 51-52 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 53-54

Nicole Sullivan - Our Best Practices Are Killing Us

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 55-56 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 57-58 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 59-60

Kristina Halvorson - A Content Strategy Roadmap

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 61-62 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 63-64 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 65-66

Andy Clarke - Smoke Gets in Your Eyes

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 67-68 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 69-70 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 71-72

Jared Spool - The Secret Lives of Links

AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 73-74 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 75-76 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 77-78 AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes - 79-80

Enjoy & Share

I hope you enjoy my AEA Minneapolis Sketchnotes. Feel free to use the embedding features of Flickr to include favorite images in your own blog posts and feel free to share these on Twitter. Sketchnotes are made to be enjoyed!

Sketchnoting Photo by Kris Hunt


Storyline Conference Sketchnotes

Storyline Sketchnotes

I'VE BEEN BACK HOME for a week since attending Donald Miller's Storyline Conference in Portland Oregon. While I was there, I captured live sketchnotes of the event for myself and to share with others. I had a fabulous time.

I was inspired by the stories Don shared, encouraged to review and better understand my history and challenged to live a better story.

If you look at the Storyline Flickr set, you'll see iPhone photos of my sketchnotes taken at the event (black & white) and the scans with cream backgrounds.

The sketchnotes have been well-received by Don himself, fellow Storyline attendees and even those who weren't able to make the event:

"Check out @rohdesign's notes from the recent Storyline Conference!"
- Don Miller

"Mike, thanks for doing this and putting them out there. A "light" went inside my head today on Donald Miller's book "A Million Miles in a Thousand Years" and the "spark" is your notes you took. I will report back to you and then you know how things are going."
- Chad Jackson

"Thank you, thank you!!! I was just the slightest bit devasted that I couldn't make it to Storyline and what a blessing to get to read this!! And the design made me want to go make stuff. Thanks, endlessly, again..."
- Tonya

"Awesome!! Can't wait to look through these! What a treat for those of us who didn't make it!!!!"
- Kim Alford

I've included the entire set of scanned sketchnotes here for your viewing enjoyment.

Be sure to check out my Portland Travelogue Sketchnotes too.

Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 01-02 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 03-04 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 05-06 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 07-08 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 09-10 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 11-12 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 13-14 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 15-16 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 17-18 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 19-20 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 21-22 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 23-24 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 25-26 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 27-28 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 29-30 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 31-32 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 33-34 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 35-36 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 37-38 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 39-40 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 41-42 Storyline Conference 2011 Sketchnotes: 43-44

Portland Travelogue

WE'VE JUST RETURNED from a wonderful 5 day trip to Portland, Oregon, for Don Miller's Storyline Conference. During our travels, I captured a sketchnote travelogue and photos shot on my iPhone of our experiences in Portland.

Sketchnoting at The Original in PortlandVoodoo Doughnut - Voodoo DoughnutPioneer Square
Portland - Stumptown MochaPortland Light RailWooden Poster at The Original
Portland - Pioneer Square SignStumptown Coffee, PortlandOld Town Peperoni & Sausage

I've decided to post my sketchnote travelogue and selected photos here, to speak for themselves.The complete set of sketchnotes and photos are on Flickr.

Portland Sketchnote Travelogue: 01-02 Portland Sketchnote Travelogue: 03-04 Portland Sketchnote Travelogue: 05-06 Portland Sketchnote Travelogue: 07-08

Storyline Conference Sketchnotes I captured live are also on Flickr and I'll post my thoughts and sketchnotes from Storyline next week.

We can't wait to visit Portland again soon.


Post: Living a Better Life Story: Storyline Conference

ImageThink Blog: Travel Sketchnotes

Travelogue Sketchnotes

Today I'm honored to have a guest post on creating sketchnotes of travel experiences published on the ImageThink blog.

ImageThink is a graphic recording and graphic facilitation firm in New York City, run by Nora Herting and Heather Willems. They specialize in large-scale captures and interactive facilitation of meetings using drawing.

Thanks Nora and Heather for the opportunity!

Page 1 ... 2 3 4 5 6 ... 17 Next 5 Entries »