“You talk. We draw. It’s awesome.” That’s the motto of Ink Factory, a live visual note-taking company in Chicago. The company literally brings meeting notes to life during events by illustrating key points from a company’s keynote speaker, discussion or meeting. Visuals help engage audiences, employees and clients so they can better remember and identify with a business’ mission. As the speaker talks, Ink Factory’s artists draw, and the result is a summary of the discussion in innovative text and visuals. For an audience, visible notes can spark memories of what they hear. Those memories help generate ideas and even more excitement.
“Hand-drawn, unique visuals bring a human touch to events,” says Ryan Robinson, co-founder of Ink Factory. “Slick graphic design is great, but can feel robotic, repetitive, and fades into the background, while drawings stand out.”
Live visual note-taking is dynamic and flexible. Unlike PowerPoints, visual notes flow along with the conversation happening live and can adapt to evolving conversations. Text and visuals can be created on paper using a marker, or digitally using a tablet and screen projection. Often, boards can be displayed after an event.
“We can generate several boards over the course of a day at an event,” Robinson says. “Those boards can be constructed into living murals—expanding walls of visual notes—perfect for people to gather, interact, and discuss topics from the day.”
The company’s offerings also include interactive and video pieces at cocktail hours and receptions, even illustrating guest responses to a prompt or question. The result for planners is increased engagement and enthusiastic feedback.
Artists can create visuals based on information a company provides, but live illustration is most exciting. With a team that has more than 50 years of experience in visual note-taking, Ink Factory’s illustrators help set the company apart from other live illustrators. “Our artists are skilled listeners,” Robinson says. “If we can hear your content, we can draw it.”
Ink Factory caters to tech giants and local non-profits alike. They also offer visual note-taking workshops to companies and individuals of all ages through their Think Like Ink initiative.
Ink Factory doesn’t just bring meeting notes to life, they give them the ability to stay that way. Robinson notes: “We put a lot of emphasis on the quality of the visuals we create because we want our visual notes to exist beyond the moment, long after an event ends.”