Communicating the Acceptd Story


During the Hacker Night at the TCO at Ohio State, I met Jerry Tsai, the vice president of marketing  for the local startup Acceptd. While waiting to receive our food from the food truck, Jerry and I chatted about sketchnotes, the benefits of them for the sketchnoter (comprehension and retention) and the sketchnoter’s audience (summarization, visual engagement, retention).

The Problem

Acceptd’s list of clients is growing, which is fantastic. They want that list to continue to grow, and they want to automate some of that process. When first introducing themselves, they needed materials to answer some of the basic questions: who, what, why, and how… without spending an hour on the phone.

The Solution

Accepted agreed to work with me because of my promised proactive communication and efficient use of time. They knew based on my portfolio they would benefit from four years of experience capturing complex information in real-time, with the bonus of getting revisions to hone the visual message down to one page per audience because let’s face it, people don’t like to spend time reading multi-page documents.

The Process

This project was a combination of real-time sketchnotes and illustration. We began with Jerry giving me the half-hour elevator pitches for each audience, students and arts organizations/universities, while I sketchnoted the content with Prismacolor pen on paper. This was our first draft, which we critiqued via pencil scribbles on top of the original to indicate priority, reorganization, etc.

This is where the project switches from sketchnote to illustration, due to the rounds of revisions.

I  re-drew the sketch in pencil as a second draft and emailed it to Acceptd for approval. There were some tweaks required for making the drawing style of the people consistent and more detailed, as well as altering the emphasis of some of the content. With these changes, I inked the sketch, sent it for a final round of approval, and with that achieved, colored them with Tombow markers to make the illustrations pop.

Testimonial – Jerry Tsai

It was a pleasure working for you. I thought your emails were always professional and you did a good job of setting deadlines and sticking to them. I also appreciated how you would help me stay accountable throughout the process as well.


Interpret, consolidate, and visualize the benefits and sign-up process.

Team (Oct – Nov 2012)

Binaebi Akah (sketchnote consultant), Jerry Tsai (client liason and art director).


Prismacolor pen and Tombow markers.