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First Look at Dan Roam – Napkin Academy – Review

March 28, 2012

I’ve just subscribed to Dan Roam’s Napkin Academy, and here’s a quick initial review of it.

First of all for those who’ve read Dan’s books only, there is definitely some new material.

Napkin Academy - Dan Roam - New material

New Non-Book Material

  1. Four videos on How to draw
    1. How to draw anything
    2. Drawing 5 Essential Shapes
    3. How to Draw People
    4. Advanced Stick Figures
  2. The Visual Business Translator – this one video alone according to me is worth the price of the Core Curriculum which is covered in the course. This totally blew my mind, heck I think he could turn just this into a new book, with lots of case studies. I really hope he does that Smile, Dan if you’re listening/reading this, a book of real life case studies where you show at least 3 examples of the 6 types of problems and the 6 types of solutions, or your 6 types of proposed solutions would be brilliant.

What else is new? Well overall almost every video has something more than the book which is nice, it acts as a refresher + more.

Note: I’ve yet to go thru all the material, this is a preliminary review, I’ve gone thru 10 28 of the videos at the Napkin Academy and that’s what I’ve discovered as of now.

There are two courses:

  • Core Curriculum (Cadets & Associates) (Note: This is as of now incomplete, it appears he is still adding one entire section and two other videos in another section.) This costs USD 39.99.
  • Continuing Education (Coming Soon targeted at Associates) (There is little detailed information, but it’s kind of self-explanatory here are the current details – For Associates who want more than lessons alone, the Napkin Academy will provide the essential tools for collaboration, feedback, and support.

    – The Associates Directory.
    – Lesson and topic-based forums.
    – Picture submissions and review tools.

Note: none of the above is available on the site as yet. I’m kind of excited waiting to see what’s actually going to come here.

Dan also mentions that in the Continuing Education module, he will host two live webinars and add at least two new lessons every month.” 

The Continuing Education module will cost USD 24.99 per month. That’s USD 299.88 per year.

I’m guessing that at the end of an associate year, one might qualify as a Napkin Specialist Smile Dan only knows, I’m just guessing. But some kind of certification could be interesting.

What’s my opinion – The video form of instruction about Visuals using Visuals is brilliant. I like the structure and content, some of it’s repeated from his books, however, it’s a good refresher with some interesting new content which makes the cost of the course totally worth it at least for me.

Lastly, I’ll keep updating this post, as I discover more things.


Update 11 April 2012: One of the nice additions is the exercises that Dan recommends one does, especially with the SQVID, I did one myself, and found it to be a wonderful way to expand one’s thinking with visuals. See my other post

Additionally, I’ve found that a lot of the material has updates. I especially like the examples he’s used throughout. I’m now waiting for him to complete the final five videos. It has been an excellent experience.


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  1. Dan Roam’s SQVID–A Visual Thinking Tool « VizCraft

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