What We Do:

We can help you become an explanation specialist.

Common Craft Membership

Start your life as an explainer with Common Craft Membership. Prices start at just $49 per year. It provides:

Cut-Outs:

Make your presentation or video remarkable with 800+ digital images in Common Craft Style, plus Know-How resources for using them.

Download a Sample

Ready-made Videos:

Educate others with 50+ ready-made video explanations that you can embed on your website or download for offline use.

Test embedding a video

We Wrote the Book on Explanation

The Art of Explanation

A book by Lee LeFever

The Art of Explanation will help you become an explainer.

Learn More

Need a Video for Your Product?

The Explainer Network

Our network of custom video producers can create short, animated videos that make your product or service easier to understand.

Find a Producer

The Common Craft Blog

This blog is where we announce new videos & talk about the power of explanation & the change it can create. 

SXSWEdu - We'll Be There

Posted by: leelefever on February 20, 2014- 11:52am

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Categories: conference, event, SXSW, sxswedu, travel

SXSW EDUJust a quick note that Common Craft will be attending SXSWEdu in Austin, TX, March 3-6. If you're going and would like to say hi, please contact us or look me up on the Twitter @leelefever

 

 

 

 

New Video: Online Discussion Forums

Posted by: leelefever on February 18, 2014- 10:13am

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Categories: Common Craft Video, community, discussion, forums, moderation, social media

Today we’re announcing a new member-requested video that explains online discussion forums in about 2.5 minutes.  

 

Watch it now

About this video: In the real world, we depend on discussions for learning and socializing. It’s how we relate to one another. The same thing happens on the Web, and thanks to discussion forums we have a reliable way to organize and discover information in the form of discussions among people anywhere in the world. 

It teaches:
  • The role of discussion forums on the Web
  • Why discussion forums matter
  • How discussion forums are organized
  • What is required for forum participation
  • How forums are managed and can become a community
This video is part of our series on Social Media and is designed to help educators introduce common online tools.  If you're interested in using the Common Craft videos in your classroom, check out our membership options
 
We'd like to thank Patrick O'Keefe for helping with this video. He is a friend and the author of Managing Online Forums. If you want to dive deeper into forums, I can't recommend his book enough. 

RESOLVED Video Playback Issue

Posted by: leelefever on January 28, 2014- 2:52pm

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Categories: hosting, support, video, Website

This issue is now resolved. All videos should play normally. 

A quick note to let you know that we are experiencing a sporadic problem that is affecting video playback for some users and members. In some cases, the video doesn't load after the "play" button is clicked. 

Our video host is working on the problem now and we expect it to be short term. If you are experiencing this problem, please contact us and describe your experience. We'll update this blog post with any updates.  Thanks for your patience. 

A Common Craft Cut-Out is Born!

Posted by: leelefever on January 27, 2014- 11:00am

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Categories: Cut-Outs, library, presentation, visuals

I never expected drawing to be a part of my career. Actually, that’s true for a lot of what Common Craft does. I never planned to be a video producer, voice actor, hand model or animator either. But I’m so thankful to have the opportunity. 
 
Perhaps my favorite part of the Common Craft process is creating visuals. We call them Common Craft Style “Cut-outs”, as many of them end up as cut-out pieces of paper on our whiteboard. The Cut-outs are becoming a big part of our future.
 
Common Craft Cut-outs

A New Kind of Problem

A couple of years ago we saw an opportunity. We talked to many people who all had the same problem. They said:
 
“I’ve got the script and I’m ready to make a video/presentation, etc. but I don’t know how to create the visuals.
 
It’s a big problem. The world is becoming more visual. From PowerPoints to infographics to videos, there is an increasing focus on the use of compelling visuals. But for most busy professionals, there aren’t great options. You can find volumes of clip-art and stock photography online, but most are unusable. Creating visuals by hand is too time consuming. 

Will Cut-outs Help? 

We've been creating visuals for years and recently started offering over 1000 Cut-outs with Common Craft membership. It has become a big part of our business and more than ever, we see opportunities in providing professionals with Common Craft Style visuals for any kind of project.  The idea is to provide enough Cut-outs for an entire project to have visual and stylistic consistency - like a Common Craft video.  In this, we're just getting started.

Here’s how a Cut-out comes to life…

This visual is for a presentation on the Art of Explanation. In it, I make a point about all the forces that we have to overcome to be better explainers. I imagine this as walking into a headwind. I needed a Cut-out of a person doing just that for the slide.
 
It starts with a basic sketch of a person. 
Cut-Out Walking
 
Once I feel good about the basic outline - the tilt of the body, positions of arms and legs, I refine the shape.
 
Cut-Out Walking Clean
 
With the shape in place, I apply clothes and color. 
 
Cut-out color
 
While I’m doing it, I go ahead and create a female version.
 
Cut-out
 
Then I combine it with other Cut-outs to create a scene.  Walking into the wind:
 
Walking into the wind
 
I'll be talking more about Cut-outs soon!  You can find our current library here.