Retro computing with a touch of modern and the home for all things, retroCombs (aka Steven Combs).

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1 September 2016

SKETCHNOTE: Edward Tufte seminar

by Steven B. Combs, Ph.D.

On Friday, August 26th, 2016 I had the opportunity to attend the EDWARD TUFTE: PRESENTING DATA AND INFORMATION one-day seminar at the Westin in Chicago, Illinois. I generated a sketchnote during the session as I will describe below.


I was excited to create a sketchnote for this session given that the presentation involves the display of data and information. My sketchnote would need a full open spread and I chose to rotate my Rhodia notebook 90º. I came prepared with my Staedtler Triplus Fineliners to highlight.

My first intent was to use four or five colors; however, I knew my plans were in trouble when the session started with the lights completely turned off. The glow of a single light shined on Tufte’s podium. It would be another 20 minutes before the house lights were raised and I could begin my notes. Unfortunately, I missed the capture of several key points. Later that morning, I chose to use a single color, yellow, rather than four or five.

Overall, I am pleased with my sketchnote. I’m still getting the hang of the process and the choice of ideas to capture. My latest decision is to only capture notes that really “speak to me” and provide an interesting visual to allow for recall after the session.

As for the session; it is recommended. It’s a bit pricey, but you receive some really good information. You also walk home with four great books to remind and reinforce concepts.


Sketchnote Type Presentation Journal Used Rhodia Black Webnotebook inch Dot Grid Pen(s) Used Pilot Precise V5 RT and Staedtler Triplus Fineliner yellow


As of this writing, the tweet below of this sketchnote was my most popular. It even came with some kind comments and, for me, numerous retweets.


This sketchnote is dedicated to the two colleagues from the Community Education Coalition that traveled with me to attend this session: Jack Hess and Amber Fischvogt. It was great to get to know the two of them better during our lunch and evening dinners in Chicago.