Sketches and Graphic Design

by Nov 17, 2011Graphic Design

Sketches and Graphic Design

As art artist, graphic designer and illustrator, I have come to understand the importance of sketching and graphic design. Sketching is where the project really starts to develop. It is the place where our ideas start, and where we can put them down on paper. Sketching is a vital part of the design process, but for some reason, many designers skip this process and jump straight to the computer.

Why Sketches and graphic design together?

Sketches allow you to be completely free, and allow your mind to wander and explore many different avenues of your client’s design problem. It keeps you from wasting valuable time on creating designs that don’t work. Your mind can flow from one idea to the next quickly and your subconscious can take over.

Sketches and graphic design go hand in hand, because sketches allow us to get our thought process onto paper, quickly and efficiently. Most of us have so many things going on in our lives that it is difficult to sit down and think clearly.

How long does should you take?

You should take as long as you need until you come to the best solution possible. I understand that you have deadlines, but you will meet or beat those deadlines much easier if you have a game plan, instead of trying to blindly come up with a great design. Design isn’t as much magic as it is critical thinking, problem solving, and science. Use your best three solutions and refine them, and eventually narrow it down to one result to present to the client. Some argue that you should offer three possible designs, but giving them a variety of options only makes it sound like you aren’t sure of your solution. I only offer my second and third string designs if they aren’t happy with the number one draft pick. If you’ve created a strong design brief and have done your research and actually listened to your client, then you should have no problem pleasing your client.

sketching graphic design ideas in a notebook

Do professionals make sketches?

A sketchbook another tool, just like in any other profession. A carpenter uses a t-square and a level to make sure everything is built straight and clean, and sketches enable us to make sure that our designs end up just as clean and looking just as good. Imagine trying to build a house without a hammer and nails, or blueprints to follow. Essentially, our sketches are our blueprints to go by when executing our design solutions.

It helps keep your ideas handy

If an idea doesn’t work well for one client, sometimes it can help to look at sketches from another client with a similar problem in order to open ourselves up to new solutions. Keeping your sketchbook handy allows you to look at past thumbnails, which often helps in finding a good solution. You can be reminded of what works and what doesn’t. Something may inspire you, or may spur a idea that leads you down the road to the solution that you need. There is nothing wrong with looking at ideas from other projects, because all of these sketches are your own thoughts anyway. This can be an excellent tool in relieving designer’s block. Anything that you can do as a designer to get your creative juices flowing is definitely a good idea.

It can be difficult to remember ideas as they come. They can leave you as quickly as they come to you. You might come up with just the right words, and then forget them and lose the idea completely. Keeping your sketchbook handy also enables you to jot ideas and images down that may pop into your head when you are out on the road. You can make notes and sketch out ideas, so that you can come back to them later for more development.

So do sketches and graphic design go together?

Sketches enable you to work out solutions to graphic design problems quickly and effectively, without wasting hours designing on your computer only to find that your idea won’t work. For job seekers, a potential employer will have a chance to gain some insight into your thought process behind your work. they will get a chance to see that you can come up with multiple solutions to a problem and chose the most effective one. An employer isn’t hiring you based on whether you can create pretty images, they are hiring you based on your problem solving skills. The whole point of our existence is to solve the problems of our clients. Anyone can make something look pretty, but a real professional knows how to effectively solve business problems.