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[SUPER HOT SHARE] Presto Sketching

Presto Sketching

About the book

Presto Sketching is a hands-on book all about using simple drawing to help you explore problems, explain concepts, and envision new ideas.

What’s this book about?

In Presto Sketching, you get exercises, templates, examples and interviewsIt’s packed with examples, exercises, interviews, image libraries and templates, to give you greater confidence in drawing, and to help you think and communicate better, too.Presto Sketching isn’t about creating art, but creating and distilling ideas, either by yourself or with others.

In this book, you will learn that sketching isn’t just a great way to communicate, but a way to hone the super-power that we all have but we’re forgetting to use: synthesis. The daily tsunami of content that we’re inundated with makes it harder and harder to sift and sort, and get to the essence of that content.

Transform yourself from having your mind full of clutter and stress, to being clear and confidentWhen we sketch, we get all of those muddled thoughts out of our heads and onto paper, and we engage in a conversation with our hand that clarifies, connects and refines those thoughts. In this way, Presto Sketching will show you how to harness the magic of distilling and reflecting your ideas and others’ ideas as sketches, before their very eyes. It will show you how you can be smarter, and help others be smarter, too.

Who is this book for?

Level up your thinking skills, drawing skills and communication skillsPresto Sketching is for anyone in design, product and services, business or education – especially designersproduct managersmanagersentrepreneursteacherstrainers and communicators – who want to be more creative and innovative in their jobs, solve problems better, persuade others better, have more effective and insightful meetings, and just generally be known to have that innovative ‘x-factor’. Presto Sketching is also for you if you’re already familiar with areas of visual thinking and visual communication, and you want to go deeper in your craft.

Presto Sketching features a host of interviews from a range of people who use drawing in different ways to think better and communicate better in their work. You’ll be surprised and inspired by these people’s stories, particularly the ones who haven’t been drawing for very long. Andrew, for instance, started doing visual note-taking for fun. Now, not only do his students learn better by doing visual note-taking, but Andrew is invited to conferences to teach other teachers how to do it too!

Wait – another book on drawing?

There are lots of books already out there about drawing for communicating ideas rather than artistic expression. But what author Ben Crothers found when he asked people about these books is that they’re often all about selling the benefit of drawing rather than really teaching the drawing. Sometimes they’re too basic, or sometimes they jump from basic technique to advanced technique too quickly.

Also, some books might touch on how drawing can improve thinking, but they either miss out on the meat of how to use sketching for thinking, or they’re just too complicated.

And that’s where Presto Sketching comes in! It offers you further explorations into drawing for problem-solving and communication (such as visual metaphor and conceptual sketching), with lots of exercises and questions to help you genuinely develop your confidence in sketching, as well as thinking.

What people are saying about Presto Sketching

“The book’s strength is that it is not a drawing book; it’s a business toolkit which can be applied with little artistic skills.”
Niall Daly

“I love that the exercises throughout the book start you off with what you’ve just been reading about, but point to open areas for you to explore yourself – a great way to actively learn what you’ve just read about… This is a book for communicating clearly and engaging people, especially if you’re working with groups of people and complex products, services and situations. If that’s what you do, then buy this book.”
Shane Goodwin

“Excellent book. Well articulated and very useful. It’s changed the way I work in a daily basis.”
David Meier

“I’ve never been very good at drawing and have avoided it as much as possible. With the skills and confidence I’ve gained in this book I’ve been sketching out a new business idea I’m working on, and even taking sermon notes at church!”
Steven Kreiger

“As a professional designer and fellow design thinker, I found the book very well written and full of useful tips that we tend to forget with time! Ben uses great examples that make complex systems easy to understand. I wish he had published it 10 years ago when I was still in school, definitely a great book for anyone that uses their brain and a pen on a daily basis, whatever the context ;-)”

About the author

Presto Sketching is a book by designer and strategic facilitator Ben Crothers. Ever since high school, Ben hasn’t stopped drawing in some form or other, from cartooning, life drawing and architectural sketching to storyboarding, graphic facilitation, sketchnoting and conceptual illustration.

Ben helps individuals and teams think better, be more creative, and work together better, so that they can have much greater confidence in their lives and their work.

He has facilitated countless workshops for all sorts of companies – from Australian software company sensation Atlassian to the Australian Human Rights Commission – and helped teams ask better questions, generate better ideas, and make better decisions.

Through all of this he has always seen amazing benefits when harnessing visual thinking and visual communicating to explore problems, explain concepts and envision ideas.

Ben has also been teaching sketching for many years, with sell-out classes at General Assembly and companies and creative agencies such as the Commonwealth Bank, Mobile Experience, Tobias & Tobias, and LIDA, to name a few. He has a passion for showing others how to unlock their powers of creativity and synthesis. He achieves this with practical examples and sketching activities that build people’s confidence and skill over time.

And now all of this great teaching — and a whole lot more — is available for you in this book, Presto Sketching.

Praise for Ben’s teaching

Thanks again for an extremely valuable session Ben. You’ve started a quiet revolution internally and the gang are furiously applying what they learnt already ????

Simon Tobias, Design & Innovation Consultant, Tobias & Tobias


Your GA talk was super rad… I got a lot from your talk regarding sketching at GA earlier this week.

This class was fun and very engaging and really delivered the intent. It was the first class I’ve attended that ended with spontaneous applause.

Sketching for User Experience Student feedback, General Assembly

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