Published May 16, 2014

Sketching – How it helps the creative process

As the old saying goes, “the pen is mightier than the sword”. Well in this case “the pencil is mightier than the graphic design software on a shiny Mac” (or at least for idea generation it is). The creative process has evolved but sketching remains a crucial part of it.

Ever since computers were introduced, the technological advancements in graphic design software have been astonishing. With a computer full of pixel-bending software at every designer’s disposal, it can be easy to forget about the humble sketch pad when coming up with ideas. Not to mention its partner-in-craft, the once popular, graphite filled wand is consigned to the back of the draw, gathering dust; a forgotten relic almost.

As creatives we find it crucial to keep the idea process free and easy. By no means are we rising up against the mighty Mac or software conglomerates as they are powerful tools in a designer’s arsenal. They are however much more suited to bringing an idea to life after its conception. So sharpen your pencils (or take the lid off your Sharpie) dust off your sketch pads and start drawing. It is as important for the modern day designer as it was years ago.

Here’s why sketching is an important part of a creative process:
  1. Sketching is free form

    Sketching can be as much or as little as you want it to be. You don’t have to be an amazing artist either. If you can ‘tell what it is’ or at least explain it to someone it’s good enough at the idea stage. As idsketching have identified, there are 5 levels of sketching, from the simple doodle to the full on emotive sketch. Depending on what you’re doing and who you’re doing it for, sketching is a way for you to express concepts, draw up layouts, or even use in full on pitch work.
  2. Sketching is quick

    Putting pencil to paper to form rough ideas is much quicker than firing up the mac, wasting precious time to mock up concept designs that you then find out don’t work anyway. We’re firm believers in the phrase ‘you can’t polish a turd’!
  3. Sketching is more versatile

    Just by being free hand rather than tied to a computer gives you more freedom to explore the possibilities. This is particularly useful in terms of logos, storyboarding and advertising. Most importantly, sketching brings about development of ideas from their initial beginnings through to the end product themselves.
  4. Sketching can improve creative thinking

    Our designers have told us that looking away from the screen from time to time and sketching out some ideas or even freehand doodles keeps them sharp and their eyes fresh.

For us as a creative marketing agency, sketching goes hand in hand with the work we do in all mediums- online or offline. By using rough sketches we can involve our clients to make sure they understand where we’re coming from and heading to. This allows us to throw the ideas around first before taking them through to realisation.

If you don’t already, pick up a pencil and pad and get drawing. You may just surprise yourself.

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