Drawing banners is a great way to add some extra flair to your pages. Just like emojis, 🏴 banners can help define a section of the page or draw the eye to important information.
Although, like most things, it’s a learning process, learning how to draw banners in your bullet journal is easy.
Banners can be used to:
- highlight important information,
- create a visual break,
- or simply to add some decoration.
How to Draw a Banner
Start by drawing a horizontal line across your page.
Then, use a ruler to draw another line parallel to the first, making sure to leave enough space in between for the banner’s pennants.
Finally, add the pennants by drawing triangles at the end of each line. If you want, you can also add straight sides to the banner, and picture the ribbon-ends on the folded portion of the banner. Banners can be “flat”, folded, or have multiple folds, like a pennant.
Why draw banners in your bullet journal?
Hand-drawn banners 🚩 are a popular way to add visual interest to a bullet journal layout (I love to use them in class notes too!). They can help break up text, add color, and make complex concepts easier to understand. In many cases, breaking text up visual and adding labels that look like hand drawn banners can make information make more sense than it would if it were presented in a boring text-based format.
There are a few reasons banners help make bullet journal pages more engaging:
- 🥇 First, hand drawn banners are often more visually appealing than text. They can add an element of fun or playfulness to otherwise dry information.
- 🥈 Second, hand drawn banners can be a helpful way to add context to complex concepts. By providing a visual representation of an idea, hand drawn banners can make it easier for readers to understand.
- 🥉 Finally, hand drawn banners can help create a more organized and cohesive presentation. When used effectively, they can help direct the reader’s attention and make it easier to find specific information.
Overall, hand-drawn banners can be a helpful tool for making information more understandable and visually appealing. When used correctly, they can make even the most complex concepts easy to understand.
I like drawing bullet journal-style banners in my class notes. I find a lot of freedom to draw in my notes in my classes as a psychology major. Teachers who know about the brain usually understand how people learn and seem to be more open to having doodlers in their midst.
People listen in different ways, and often people who are doing something while listening may actually be listening more attentively and may recall more information. 1 Drawing, hand lettering, and doodling also provides a bit of an outlet for when the material is emotionally stirring.
Sometimes in class, I will go for 5, 10, or even 15 minutes without taking any notes. Sometimes I actually find it more helpful to my learning if I’m drawing on a separate page where I don’t have to worry about “producing” a page of notes for the class.
This ranges from practicing drawing (right now, drawing antlers and laurels), lettering the header for my next class, or occasionally making a playful but kind drawing of the speaker.
While I was drawing these banners this weekend at the conference, I was listening to the speaker and letting my mind wander playfully. In particular, there is a specific spreadsheet of data that is frequently presented in my school’s counseling course. I’ve always struggled with the fact that it is presented so linearly, as a spreadsheet.
As I was listening to it presented this time, I decided to let my mind wander around this spreadsheet and imagine a different visual set-up or movement of the information between cells of the spreadsheet. While I was drawing these banners and letting my mind wander, I finally found the pattern of movement in this spreadsheet that I had been sensing but not able to visualize or articulate when I was taking linear notes!
With my notebook in hand, I was able to quickly flip back to my page of conference notes and sketch out this mental picture of the pattern of movement that was hidden in the spreadsheet columns and rows.
Adding Visual Interest with Banners
Bullet journal banners are a great way to add visual interest to journal pages and even to class notes. I love adding simple hand-drawn banners and laurels to my notes taken in class.
It’s amazing how just neat penmanship with a little bit of extra style added through simple drawings and hand lettered fonts that anyone can draw – like hand-drawn banners and laurels, turn an ordinary page into something head-turning and extraordinary.
It wasn’t long after beginning to add hand-drawn laurels and little flag-looking banners to my graduate school class notes that my peers began asking to buy copies of my notes! They loved the neatness of my penmanship and how the little banner doodles helped highlight important information on the page.
While I refused to sell my class notes, I did teach many of my classmates how to create their own hand-drawn banners and bullet journal flags for their own notebooks and journals. I love helping others to be creative and to find their own personal style. I was always the one in class who would be doodling in the margins of my notes or adding little embellishments to my journal pages. So, it was only natural that I began teaching my classmates how to make their own hand-drawn banners and bullet journal flags. I showed them how to use simple shapes and patterns to create their own unique designs. I also taught them how to add color and shading to their drawings to make them pop.
Once you’ve mastered drawing banners, click here for a step by step guide to learning how to use grey highlighters to shade and create depth behind your banner and flag drawings.
- Fernandes, M. A., Wammes, J. D., & Meade, M. E. (2018). The surprisingly powerful influence of drawing on memory. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 27(5), 302-308. [↩]