We’ve all done it. We rush right to the computer. We don’t even think, we just blindly move shapes around hoping to come up with something creative. We do eventually, but what if that first “warm-up” period could be faster. What if we could get right to the good designs? You can.
Sketching will always be faster than using a computer. Even if you have a tablet, it’s still easier and faster to sketch out your thoughts instead of moving shapes on a computer. David Airey illustrates that by showing that you can switch between styles very easily. He make square B’s, organic b’s, geometrical b’s and everything in-between.
If you are on a computer you are tempted to peruse your favorite inspiration outlets. This is fine provided the timing is right but, you are starting something new and it’s not the time to look. It’s the time to think. Looking at the crucial ideation stage will make you regurgitate previous designs that someone else has already thought through. Marc Hemeon sketches concepts that would’ve taken him a while to achieve on a computer. The best part is he experiments with different marks, swirls, and type BEFORE hitting the computer.
How To Design a Logo, Creating the TeeFury Bird – Marc Hemeon
The beautiful thing about pencil & paper (or pen) or whatever you medium you choose is that it gives you the distinct ability to jump around from one idea to the next. The best apart about this is: rapid exploration. On a computer you have to spend 10 minutes connecting a few letters that could’ve taken you a few seconds on paper. This is vital because you can play out “the bad ideas” that cloud your creative judgement and then you get into the real groundbreaking creative. Alex Cornell sketches out the movement of a penguin. This movement is easily captured on paper. Through his sketches he notices the most important parts of the figure are its wings, beak and eyes.
Sketching also gives you the ability to be creative anywhere, anytime, anyplace. Paula Scher from Pentagram designed the Citi logo on a napkin in a board meeting. We as creative beings are not always sure when we will be inspired so carrying a sketchbook or having access to a napkin is always good idea. Creatives have also been known to have a sketchbook in every room. It’s a good practice that sometimes comes in handy.
Many illustrators sketch out a general shape and then take it into photoshop or illustrator to color it or sometimes finish drawing. This gives you the added benefit of using a sketch but also the clean lines (if you choose) of a digital version. Soft Facade shows how the designs were thought out before being finalized into beautiful icons.
Do you sketch or do you just go straight into the design. Has this changed your thoughts on sketching or are you still going to do it the way you did it before?
Here is another great article on Design Informer that illustrates the same principles. Thanks to @paddydonnelly for the tip.