Innovation and Graphic Facilitation

Innovation is crucial to the continuing success of any organization – we value innovation at peak 1 and strive to work with clients and partners who believe this as well. A few months ago we had the opportunity to learn about graphic facilitation and how we might be able to use it for our creative projects in the future.

Graphic facilitation is the use of large scale imagery to lead groups and individuals towards a goal or conceptual understanding. The method is used in various processes such as meetings, seminars, workshops and conferences. This visual process is conducted by a graphic facilitator/ recorder.

graphic facilitation.jpg
An example of Graphic Facilitation using graphic facilitation 


We first had the opportunity to use graphic facilitation with our client DAL and their new product, ACMS Apex which is a product for Enterprise Data Integration Solutions  (エンタープライズ・データ連携基盤) that was released last year. Our creative team’s role was to find a creative solution to make the idea of data integration easy to understand to the consumer.

Our Event and Creative Manager, Sachiko Koyama proposed graphic facilitation as an innovative way to do this. Although this method is becoming more and more popular around the world, in Japan it is still a very new concept. As with all new things, it can be difficult to explain the value in doing something that hasn’t been done before. This is especially true in conservative Japanese business culture. With Sachiko’s confidence in this method however, she was able to show the client that this was a great direction to take the project.

We recommend using this type of marketing when

– Concepts or products that are new or difficult to explain or understand

– When you make an advertisement movie, it is difficult to expect the customers will watch it to the end. This method draws the message on paper and it grows and grows, telling a story, so we can get and keep the attention of the customer.

– You want to tell a story about your vision, concept, value or company. Also a solution or product which has story.

You can do this in real time at a seminar as mentioned above, or make a movie to market the product or idea.

How does it benefit the client?

– Clearly explains what they want to say or show with their product’s value.

How long does it take to complete a graphic facilitation video?

In this case it took about 2 months. This is including the time it took to agree on this method, create the concept for the movie, shoot, and edit the art, then record and edit the narration including background music.

For this project we met with the artist (went through the concept and any questions) and shot the graphic recording in one day, which took 6 hours. The pre-meeting with the artist and client together was crucial as it was an opportunity for them to confirm their product and concept is correctly expressed through graphics and removed any concern they may have had.

It took effort to arrange a block of time to execute the shooting, narration and editing, however this could be done in separate sessions as well.


Who is the artist?  We worked with Natsuko Yamada, who is a creative on many projects, one of them is graphic recording for NHK (Japan’s national broadcast station). 

If you want to get in touch with her, please contact her at her company, Sigoto Soken! 

Here is the final product for DAL ACMS Apex:

Graphic Facilitation/ Recording is a creative way to explain a new concept or product to capture your audience’s attention. Do you have experience with this method? We would love to hear your feedback! Continue reading


Japanese Traditions & Your Event

Japan is a country rich in culture and tradition. I’d like to share a few traditions unique to Japan that can add a lot of character and atmosphere to an opening ceremony or product launch event.

Shinto Blessing Ceremony 

This ceremony is not commonplace at events, however it is rich in meaning and adds a level of formality and respect to the occasion. It is most appropriate at a grand opening of a business with a newly constructed building or facility.

The Completion Ceremony is a formal event to express gratitude for the safely completed construction, and to wish for the safety and prosperity of the new building in the future.


Following the ancient style, the ceremony is  traditionally believed to expel mischievous spirits.

0234When attendees arrive, they will be asked to rinse their hands in the traditional way so that they are clean and pure for the ceremony.


The priest will make offerings to the nature spirit using bows and claps and chants. The chant is a deep humming which everyone can participate in, led by the priest.


There will be a sake offering which is meant to sweeten up the evil spirits, keeping them from holding a grudge after being scared off later.


Kagami Biraki

Kagami Biraki is a Japanese traditional ceremony that date backs over 300 years and literally translates to “Opening the Mirror”. It is associated with good luck in Japan and the round lid of the sake barrel represents harmony. Today, it is performed at weddings, sporting events (it is particularly popular in martial arts), opening ceremonies of new companies, and other significant events.

「kagami biraki in history」の画像検索結果

Kagami biraki used to be a samurai tradition back in the 15th century when the army Shogun ordered a barrel of sake before an important battle. The battle was successful so the custom of ordering sake barrels for good luck became popular.  In addition to special events kagami biraki ceremonies take place in January to welcome the New Year.

「kagami biraki」の画像検索結果

During the kagami biraki ceremony, the lid of the sake barrel is opened using a kizuchi (wooden mallet). Then, a hishaku (wooden ladle) is used to fill the masu cups with sake from the barrel. Masu is a unique-looking wooden cup which is square in shape and was traditionally used to measure rice. The masu are made from Japanese Cypress or “hinoki”. When you drink from it, you’ll taste the woody aroma.

Image result for masu sake

As an added touch, you can custom order the masu for each event and can include your company name and logo which the attendees can take home as a keepsake for the event.


The atmosphere when doing kagami biraki is fun and lighthearted. People smile and laugh, as it is a moment of real celebration.

Ribbon Cutting

Ribbon cutting ceremonies are popular around the world, but in Japan they are very popular and add formality to any opening event – big or small.


In Japan, you will be presented white gloves and gold scissors for the occasion.

glovers and scissor

These are just a few Japanese ceremonies you can incorporate into your next event. There are also some fun options for entertainment that are uniquely Japanese. Look out for another blog post introducing traditional Japanese entertainment!