Whiteboard Art: The Functional and Artsy Details
Whiteboards are now a common fixture in any office. They are tools that are easy to use and truly versatile. They can be used to communicate to your entire team and it can be used a brainstorming tool.
Making the Board Look Artsy
You can use it for presentations, as some a type of reminder, and as a creative communications platform. One creative way to make use of the good old office whiteboard is to add some whiteboard art.
They do not only make the board and the info look interesting and attractive, they can also convey meanings that can be quickly interpreted and processed by your team.
Here are some art tips to make your board presentation look absolutely wonderful. They are powerful tricks that can give a huge boost to the way you use a white board.
Solid Lines and Dotted Lines
You can show relationships between bits of information on your board depending on the lines that you use. You can organize each element on the board so that certain items that relate to one another will be placed in the same section.
Lines can also show the direction of certain information or data – perhaps on a chart or graph. For instance, in an organizational chart, solid lines could represent the workflow from one department to the next.
To add more meaning to such charts, you can add dotted lines. They can be used to convey advisory positions or processes. They can also be used to represent quality control elements in the process flow.
Note that quality control and advisory sections do not necessarily represent a direct command and accountability. They are only advisory positions or processes and they do not have any administrative or supervisory authority in the organization. The managers and supervisors will still carry decision making powers and responsibilities.
TIP: Broken lines usually look sloppy when you draw them using freehand. To make them look really nice and neat, you should draw solid lines first. Let the ink dry on the marker board and then erase small even sections of the line that you drew and there you have it.
Avoiding the Mess
Whiteboards can be quite messy sometimes especially after making mistakes and erasures. Sometimes it is the quality and type of the board surface and sometimes it’s just how you use your board.
Here are the types of board surfaces that you should know about:
- Melamine – this is a type of plastic and it makes the board more affordable. However this surface has a short usable life. It is best suited for light use. Be careful when making erasures with this type of board.
- Magnerite – this is also a type of plastic (PVC to be exact). It jacks up the price a bit but the board is still very affordable. It is more durable than melamine.
- Dura Rite – this is a high pressure laminate. You can erase your markings on this surface easily without leaving a trace, which makes it easier to clean. They are more durable compared to magnerite and melamine but more expensive.
- Glass – a glass dry erase board makes your office look elegant other than providing you with a surface to write on. It is also easier to clean and allows for more mistakes. However, it is not a magnetic surface.
- Porcelain Steel – this of course is magnetic, which allows for other uses as well. These boards are also very durable and it easily erases without any ghosting effect. They are more expensive of course and heavy, which kind of makes them a bit difficult to mount on the wall.
Needless to say, you just need to choose the type of whiteboard according to your budget and how much you will use it. If you’re looking for a magnetic dry erase board, then a porcelain steel board maybe the thing that you are looking for.
TIP: You can just avoid making a mess to prolong the usable life of your marker board. Just remember to allow a few seconds to let the ink dry before you make any erasures. That should allow the solvent to dry out – count up to five seconds after writing on a board and then wipe out the unnecessary details.
Not all board markers are black, right? Sometimes you may want to emphasize certain entries on the board. And that is where the different colored markers will come into play.
Unfortunately, a marker board doesn’t always work well with colors. In fact, there are only a few colors of markers that you can use for your board. They are the following: black, red, blue, and green.
Now, on top of that, you don’t want to add color to a huge area on the board. It’s just not going to look good since it will be absolutely difficult to keep the shading even.
However, you can color smaller sections of the board. Another alternative is to write certain data/info on the board in a different color – you know, to provide emphasis. Another technique that you can use to capture your staff’s attention is to create a shade in a different color – some sort of shadow to the figure. The shadow of course should be in a different color.
Make Grids Level
One of the big problems when making whiteboard drawings is making grids and straight lines. Well, nobody’s perfect and not everyone is a Picasso or some other renaissance magnificent artist.
Since you want to keep lines in grids and graphs straight, then you may find a ruler handy. Just remember that the ruler that you will commit to your whiteboard art will get lots of ink on it.
Remember to let the ruler dry for a few seconds before using it again to draw another line using a different color marker. To make sure that a grid is nice and even, you can use sticky notes to compose the grid – you can always stick more on the board as needed.
You can mark where the corners of the sticky notes are and then just connect the dots using lines you draw with a ruler. That way your lines remain straight and the grid is balanced and even.
These tips will help to make your whiteboard art look attractive and functional at the same time. They will help maximize your marker board use.