I first heard the term "napkino" while doing some work with the design group at Johnson Controls. They had an idea contest where people submitted idea sketches as "napkinos." Tom Aitken, the group's innovation champion at the time described it as, "A competition using this term just means a very informal sketch on any old type of paper with no attention to formatting, or even drawing quality. Just get the idea down so people can see it. Otherwise designers will get too elaborate with the 2d work."
I just ran across the following article from a Steelcase e-zine and thought it might be of interest. In the article Don Moyer writes "the leading edge of every wave of innovation is flecked with little drawings scrawled on cocktail napkins ...." I thought it might be fun to think about what companies, projects or inventions started as a napkin sketch over drinks or lunch? Tell us your napkin sketch stories in the comments below.
Napkin Sketches Recap
by Pamela (Brenner) Hamp
“Napkin Sketches 101” written by Don Moyer in last months’ 360 e-zine, registered as our most popular article to date (as noted by number of pdf downloads). Moyer writes, “the leading edge of every wave of innovation is flecked with little drawings scrawled on cocktail napkins, envelope backs, scratch paper and whiteboards. Napkin sketches can help you see what you think about a topic and make it easier to communicate your ideas to others.“
His piece is interesting, well written and extremely practical. So much in fact, this 90-second article will re-cap some of Don’s napkin sketch tips. (9 rules below)
1. Realize ugly is beautiful.
– Crude, ugly and wobbly are okay. If the idea captured is valid, you’ll have time later to make it beautiful.
2. Master the basics.
– If you can draw a half-dozen simple shapes you’re ready to take on almost any topic.
3. Use labels.
– Include lots of labels and notes so things will make sense to you when reviewed at a later date.
4. Keep it simple.
– In general, leave out any detail that will not be missed.
5. Be consistent.
– Avoid variations that don’t mean anything.
6. Break some rules.
– Don’t worry about keeping things in the “right” scale.
7. Let your arrows speak.
– Pointing arrows are the verbs in a napkin sketch.
8. Use the right tools.
– Use whatever surface is available – paper, whiteboard, small note-paper etc.
9. Don’t keep the napkin on your lap.
– Don’t hide your sketches in a file folder. Make them visible and share them with teammates.