Learning Visual Communication and Graphic Facilitation: What’s happened so far? 

Here, in Episode 4, we look at how effective shapes are to group and simplify information.

We are bombarded with information all day, every day. It’s more than ever before. A report in the Guardian said that in 2011 we consumed 174 newspapers worth of information/day. Can you imagine what it is now? So much of that information can be incredibly complex, especially in large Organisations.

Using simple shapes to group that information can make it simple to comprehend and connect with.  That’s the role of graphic facilitation and visual communication: to make complex ideas simple and easy to understand and using shapes are essential to that process.

Shapes are great for graphic facilitation. Here’s why:

  • Shapes help you to group concepts.
  • They let you provide context using size.
  • They let create speech bubbles which is just an oval and a triangle together
  • And, they let create thought bubbles or clouds.
  • Shapes are a  great way to make signs and traffic lights. Who doesn’t want to be able to master a visual for what you will Stop, Start and Continue this year?
  • Shapes help you to create stars which is just a collection of triangles

Remember, drawing doesn’t need to be complex. The more simple the better and this is where I believe many people become stuck when starting out. When using shapes, ask yourself, “What’s the simplest way that I can draw this, or what’s the least amount of lines and shapes that I can use to get my point across?” You want to go for as little detail as you can rather than too much when you’re starting. Apply the Keep It Simple Stupid (KISS) theory to all of your drawings.

Last Word

So, shapes are your friend in more ways than one and most importantly, they are really simple to draw and ANYONE can master how to draw shapes. If you can master shapes, you can master visual communication.

If you have some examples to send through on how you are using shapes, I would love to see them and will put them in my next blog.

And, if you would like to improve your Visual Communication skills, you can run our Graphic Facilitation workshops inhouse OR join one of our Graphic Facilitation public workshops.

Curious? You can get in contact here to find our more. We are known for being very friendly and prone to smiling randomly.


Simon Banks is an author and International Keynote speaker on creativity and innovation and recovering artist. He’s delivered over 1300 events across the globe.  He’s the Director of creative training company VisualFunk, known for running innovation workshops, conferences and design sprints to brew fresh thinking and develop market-leading ideas. His book A Thousand Little Lightbulbs: How to kickstart a culture of Innovation in your Organisation is out now. 

Simon Banks

About the Author

Simon Banks is an Author. International Keynote speaker and Podcaster on creativity and innovation and recovering Artist. He’s delivered over 1400+ events across the globe and is known for running innovation workshops, conferences and design sprints to brew fresh thinking and solve wicked problems. His book A Thousand Little Lightbulbs: How to kickstart a culture of Innovation in your Organisation is out now.

Get in touch here

If you’re thinking,
‘Hmmm, I’d like to know more’

Hands holding a bell and a butterfly