Cover image captured by Doug Bartow

Sketchnotes from the 2017 AIGA Design Conference

How it will forever change the way I take notes

Adam Iscrupe
Nov 5, 2017 · 3 min read

A few weeks ago, I attended the AIGA Design Conference in Minneapolis, MN. This was the 4th #AIGAdesign Conference I’ve attended and leading up to it, I knew I wanted to create a different kind of experience.

Over the last two years, I’ve seen my twitter feed explode with incredible sketchnotes from conferences I’ve attended. I knew this was just the experience I was looking to try out on this trip.


I spent several weeks leading up to the conference reading articles and watching any YouTube video I could find about sketchnoting. I was reluctant to find Mike Rohde graciously tweeted out his slides and audio from his talk he gave at HOW Design Live, and I became hooked. That day, I ordered a new set of pens and brushes to get started.

Below is my first real attempt at trying to capture talk, after talk, after talk, full of spelling errors, upside down quotes, and imagery that might not make sense. With each layout, I challenged myself to create a variety of typographic styles paired with icons and drawings. Give sketchnotes a shot, you might surprise yourself trying something new.


Bobby Ghoshal kicking off the UX Symposia
Daniel Kalick and Ashleigh Axios during the UX Symposia
Michael Cina, Julie Zhou, and Sarah Doody during the General Session
Tea Uglow and Shani Sandy during the General Session
David Hartman and Heather Hardison during the In-House Symposia
Aaron Draplin during the the Craft of Design Symposia and Joe Gebbia during the General Session
Ian Spalter, Zach Lieberman, Rhea Combs, and Shawna X during the General Session
Richard Ting and Alexandra Anderson during the Design for Business Impact Symposia.
Louise Fili and Paula Zuccotti during the General Session
Annie Atkins and Elise Roy during the General Session

Pens and brushes of choice:

Pigma Micron Pen #02 0.3mm Black Ink
Pigma Micron Pen #08 0.5mm Black Ink
Tombow ABT Dual Brush Pen N75 Cool Gray 3

When I’m not being a conference junkie, I’m creating digital experiences at Red Ventures. Follow me on Medium, Twitter, Dribbble, or view more of my work on adamiscrupe.com.

Adam Iscrupe

Written by

Charlotte-based designer and front-end developer creating digital experiences at @RedVentures