I want to do a little shout out to the Neuland company. I have been a guest contributor to Neuland’s monthly newsletter for a few years now – back when they approached me to write a few articles for them on the topic of graphic recording and graphic facilitation (for those of you who don’t know – Neuland is a respected European training products company who now also has a North American location – out of Edmonton, Alberta, Canada).
I contacted Nick Chan, my contact at Neuland, to let them know more about my trainings in graphic recording and graphic facilitation (as I’m in Canada too after all!) – and see if they would be willing to send along some products so participants (and me!) could really get an upclose look at their stuff. A few days later a nice sized box arrived, with all sorts of goodies that make us graphic folks drool – assorted markers, different shaped stickies, people icons and also a super cool icon library that they’ve just developed called The Bikablo. I just have to say that I think this was really decent of them – demonstrates a win/win partnership in the relationship we have built up. And I was thrilled to demo these products to my participants instead of just talking about them with no real product to show.
Here are a few of their products that I think really suit us graphic recorders and facilitator types.
First off – their markers. Particularly their larger size trainer markers – make a big, wide line that is great for creating titles and high impact images. They also have really nice basic marker sets – nice colors and nice lines (although I’m not so thrilled with the grooves that they have inserted into the sides to guide you in holding them – for me they didn’t work with the way I need to hold the marker). Also, the coolest thing of all, they have a line of refillable markers … so you can buy ink refills. How smart is that! I’ve always thought it is such an environmental waste to be throwing out markers once the ink has been used up – now we can keep using them, by refilling the ink. Brilliant!
Another cool Neuland product I can really get behind – their gorgeous Neuland walls. These are portable walls that are really elegantly designed so you can fold them up and set them back up, wherever you might need them. No more worrying about whether the space your client has booked has appropriate wall space for graphic recording or graphic facilitation. Now you can bring your walls with you! I am hoping to relocate my office this year into a gorgeous loft type space overlooking Victoria’s Harbour (doing a lot of visioning about it!). Problem is, no walls – tons of windows! Solution – get Neuland walls (that goes into my vision too!).
The other Neuland product I am very excited about is The Bikablo. This is a facilitators dictionary of visual language. I must admit that when I first heard that they had developed this product I was bummed – you see, I have been collecting icons and images for years and was really thinking about creating my own icon library product. However, once I saw their product in the flesh, I was won over. Its a heck of a lot better than what I would have been able to do on my own resources and they did a really decent job of it. Very attractive. Handy. And covers a wide range of basic images that do come up in many client settings. And the thing is, they haven’t made them too difficult. So they are good for beginning graphic recorders or facilitators who want to start basic in developing their own icon range. A nice compliment to some of the other products that are out on the market. I might still develop my own … but I’m really happy to recommend this one to my mentees too.
Neuland has both a U.S. and a Canadian site and I’m guessing they have a European one that must be accessible somewhere too. See www.neuland.biz for more information. If you buy something – tell them Christina sent you -wink! Good for them to know they are appreciated!