Essential Tools of a Graphic Designer
Every concept I’ve ever created began with a sketch. My sketchbook contains a ton of random doodles, inspired ideas and miscellaneous markings. And almost every designer will agree when I say pencil + paper sketches lead to brilliant ideas.
The advent of sketching tablets and virtual illustration tools have nearly brought about the demise of the paper and pencil but as a designer it’s essential to realize the benefits of sketching first. No matter how far we’ve come with technology it’s still important to begin with pencil + paper.
Enhancing the Creative Process
Each designer has his/her own process and weird ways of hashing out and developing ideas. But sketching first is a necessary part of the creative process at BG and without it our designers would probably lose their way.
When I start a project, I need to get ALL my ideas out first (especially the bad ones) I just have to get them out of my system. I will often make a list of words, then Google those words to see if any other ideas will spark. Sometimes, a design idea will come to me while I’m occupied by something else, so I make sure I have a paper and pen handy to quickly sketch it out.
All of my sketches create a timeline of the steps I took to get to the final project, not only is it fun to look back on, it’s also a way to generate new ideas when needed. This doesn’t necessarily mean sketches are beautiful or accurate drawings. They are simply a way to focus on the idea before being distracted by large LCD screens.
Taking the Extra Step in Our Computer Dominated Field
Going straight to the computer can create a huge distraction. You’ll start playing with colors + fonts and soon you’ll have a final product that may be unsatisfactory and underdeveloped.
Even when it comes to wireframes for web work, sketching will help you to focus on more important details of the layout and design. When working within a creative agency whether it’s collaborating with our clients or brainstorming with the team, sketching allows you to communicate through design to explain your concepts. It allows others to see the process your mind goes through while creating the design.
Like many artists, graphic designers are passionate creators and we’re sensitive about our sh–sketches. So although our titles as GRAPHIC designers place us in the digital realm, we’re more like GRAPHITE designers using pencils and paper to create well thought out designs. And if you feel like you’re not an artist or you’ve never tried sketching before, go for it. It might save you from moving things aimlessly on a computer for hours.
Here’s a sketch that I recently worked on for a client Supreme Vinegar, LLC- a company that produces specialty fruit and vegetable vinegars for markets nationwide.