To Sketch or Not to Sketch – That is the Question

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Close your eyes and picture this scenario. You have just landed a dream contract with a client and you are anxious to start working. You have already consulted with them regarding the subject matter (a logo, a website, a brochure, etc.) and you’ve written up a design brief. It’s time to let your creative juices flow. For goodness sake, this is why the client signed the contract and sent the check. Now, go ahead and "wow" them!

Lion

But wait! "Houston, we have a problem!" You have launched your design application (insert your app of choice) and nothing is happening. You have one hand on your mouse and another waiting for you to enter some key strokes to make the magic happen. But, guess what? Your mind is a void. And the harder you attempt to mine one nugget of creative gold, the more it would seem to elude you. And, before you know it, a couple of hours have passed and all you have to show for it is an open application with a saved file name.

Now, If you are one of those individuals who can sit at your desk, fire up an Adobe Creative Suite product and start working, I am both envious and am in awe of your aptitude. But, whenever I try this feat of dexterous skill, I end up gazing at my monitor telepathically willing something to happen. I simply think I am not wired for this type of production. As a designer, I cannot begin to conceive of a piece of work until I have spent some time sketching out ideas.

Don’t force creativity. Allow it to come to you.

I find that one of the benefits of sketching out my ideas is that I am not forcing my brain to come up with something tantalizing from the onset. I have always felt that designing is a process of trial and error. With a piece of paper and a pencil, I can, in a free form manner, just let the ideas come to me.

I will scribble them down. I will cross them out. I will scribble some more. I allow the process to organically ebb and flow and, at some point, I will stumble upon a concept that I would like to further investigate.

This relieves the undue pressure on myself "to produce" which will adversely affect the end product and also waste valuable time. Tara Roskell, a freelance designer, put it best on her post.

By spending a short time sketching you can save yourself hours on the computer. Not only will you save yourself hours, you may even afford yourself some peace of mind. Whenever that evil monster of ‘designer’s block’ creeps in, it inevitably leaves a path of destructive self doubt in its wake. I challenge you to start employing sketching as a part of your process and you will see a dramatic decrease in the amount of times you hit that virtual wall of nothingness.

Sketching can make you a more efficient designer.

By attempting to digitally design something before sketching, I am essentially forcing my hand. The computer only allows me the ability to work on one concept at a time (unless I miraculously grow three more sets of arms and hands). I find it to be more efficient to play around with ideas and solutions on paper first. This way I am avoiding the pitfalls of potentially losing focus or muddying the waters of a particular project. Since we have tasked ourselves with the duties of intelligently and shrewdly communicating a message through art, isn’t it a better idea to properly conceptualize that message before adding all of the pretty pixels?

Website Sketch

I would argue that this applies to whatever you are designing. If you are laying out a web page, aren’t you doing yourself a disservice by not sketching out the layout of the page first? Your first idea may actually be your weakest and if you have committed yourself to a digital version, you have just spent some time working on something that is not useful. The same holds true for print and logo work.

My talent for drawing is limited to stick figures.

Pixel8

I’ve seen this as a reason for skipping the sketching process lately and I am here to say that, if this applies to you, you may want to rethink this. The process is not intended for you to create a detailed sketch like Leonardo da Vinci’s Vitruvian Man every time you put pencil to paper. In fact, if you ever get the chance to view some of da Vinci’s other sketches, you will see they are dominated by endless explorations. That is what the process will help you do. Explore ideas, layouts and shapes before committing to any one motif. Don’t worry if you are not knocking yourself dead with your drawing skills. This is not a drawing contest. The sketches are for you only. Nothing more. Nothing less. So, whether you have taken art and anatomy classes or you can barely draw a perfect ellipse, it simply doesn’t matter. The goal is the exploration, not the journey.

Make it a part of your routine.

Sketches

Only out of habit will this be beneficial to you. I swear by my Moleskine notebook and various other sketch pads I have accumulated over the years. I keep one in a bag that I take with me wherever I go. There are also stacks of old ones that I like to thumb through from time to time to find unused ideas and inspiration.

Start with your next project. Before you go anywhere near your computer, sit down with a piece of paper and a writing utensil (preferably a pencil) and see what happens. Do it for as long as you feel comfortable, either in silence or with your favorite playlist blaring in the background. Take a break from it and come back to your sketches with fresh eyes. You may find a diamond in the rough you never knew existed.

The End

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Erik, a New York City native, is the co-owner and lead designer of we are pixel8, a boutique graphic design and marketing agency. Besides hand crafting visual goodies for his clients, he is a proud father, music addict and life long NY "Football" Giants fan. You can follow his shenanigans on Twitter or read more of his ramblings on his blog.

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  1. 1

    Nice article, and something I will definately think about.

    Normally i go straight to Photoshop etc to design, but i normally have a design in mind at this stage. Got myself some sketch books, and im starting to do that more often now and finding great benefits.
    .-= Alan´s latest Blog Entry – Services =-.

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    • 2

      Alan, that’s great that you can go straight to PS and start working. Even when I think I have something in mind and I try to do this, I end up stuck in the proverbial mud.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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      • 3

        Hey Alan, I’m actually the same way as you are, but lately, I have really been trying to sketch out ideas first, and so far, with web design, it has really worked for the better.

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      • 4

        Hey Erik,

        I suffer from the same. I have now taken up sketching first and everything later. I am both enjoying it and seeing results !
        Thanks for the lovely article. Re-enforces my take on sketch as a first.

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  2. 5

    Nice post Erik! At first I was confused with the design but then I saw a small logo on the right side :))

    Now to the article – to sketch of course! But for deeper understanding of importance of sketching I strongly recommend you “Sketching User Experience” book from Bill Buxton, that’s one of my favorite books ever.
    .-= Janko´s latest Blog Entry – Ultimate guide to table UI patterns =-.

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  3. 9

    Great article, and really useful advice. I feel I do better work when I sketch it out first, but don’t always find time for sketching. I’m definitely going to try harder to make time for it!
    .-= fiona´s latest Blog Entry – Essential Lessons for New Freelancers Part Two =-.

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    • 10

      Fiona, I find it really is about getting into a habit and groove. Once you do that, it becomes second nature and you don’t necessarily think of it as a chore. It becomes a natural progression within your workflow.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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  4. 11

    Brilliant!! I loved the way in which you have customized this post :) The footnotes remind me of Colly’s Blog.

    I agree that sketching is an essential part of designing. In fact, it is the best way to quickly get ideas out of your head.

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    • 12

      Thank you Adit. I’m glad you liked the post design. Yes, Colly’s site inspired me to create footnotes for this particular design. Anyway, thanks again!

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  5. 13

    Nice one Erik. The pencil – my favorite tool (and cheapest). I totally agree with you on sketching to find your way with a new brief. It’s both relaxing and productive – lets your mind explore, gives your eyes a rest from the screen (hey, don’t we all need that), and you’re not confined by what the software can do – think totally outside the square.

    Once you have the scribbled concept you’re going to knock it out much quicker, and it’s exciting to see a design transfer from paper to screen.

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    • 14

      Michael, I do find it to be relaxing and meditative. It allows me to “declutter” my mind while I explore the possibilities of a given project.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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    • 15

      Hello Michael, you are definitely spot-on. I think what happens to a lot of people is they start on the computer, then they get nowhere so then they start to browse inspirational galleries, which I have nothing against, but I find that my best and unique ideas seem to always come when I’m sketching them out first.

      BTW, love your site, it even has a pencil on the homepage. :D

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      • 16

        Hello Jad
        Firstly, thanks for the compliment on my site!

        Yes, couldn’t agree more – nothing worse than getting on that “I’ll browse some galleries for inspiration” merry-go-round. Best to understand your brief, let it brew in your mind, then get your own inspiration. Mine often comes from the most unlikely places, and unexpected times. Sketching helps loosen up the gray matter… and get those ideas out :)

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  6. 17

    Awesome Article Erik, its right on target for me. Concise, clear, to the point and at the same time so informative. I dont know about other designers but as a management graduate who has never been to any design school and looking forward to start up with designing (logo and website) this articles means a lot. I really enjoyed reading it and at the same time it is great source of information. I would really look forward to post where you can really share the sketching process logo designing (recently done by Sneh, LBOI which was great).

    Thanks and Keep Posting.

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    • 18

      Darpan, that post by Sneh was great. There are quite a few designers who have opened their books to show their process for designing logos. These articles are always a pleasure to read and I walk away learning something I didn’t know beforehand.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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  7. 19

    Nice article, well written and informative.
    My answer is: to sketch! I always have a sketchbook and a pen (black or blue) and I take them everywhere: yesterday I was waiting at the doctor’s and doodling all the time :-) Some good ideas come when you really don’t expect them (at least it happens this is how it happens to me).

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  8. 21

    For logo’s, posters etc I sketch the stuff out very often (not always), but for websites, the sketch is such a loose concept that it’s only the idea in my head in pencil. I think it’s because the “elements” of a site, the stuff you have to keep in mind, while with logo sketching, the sketching itself becomes inspirational and leads your ideas.

    Just my *maybe a bit confusing* 2 cents

    Tom.
    .-= Tom Hermans´s latest Blog Entry – ontwerp wijnfles etiketten voor getuigen bij huwelijk =-.

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    • 22

      My sketches are usually very loose concepts as well but they help to set a foundation of what I’m going to be designing once I’m in Photoshop. ;)

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  9. 23

    Great post, I actually just recently started using a sketch book after a few hours of staring at my screen

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  10. 25

    I’d say ‘To sketch!’. Nice article. I just stumbled across it… literally. For me sketching just works every time. I try and keep a sketchpad in hand, you never know when an inspiration might ignite some awesome idea.

    P.S: Love your design theme :)

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    • 26

      “To sketch” it is! Wow, you stumbled upon the site? Very cool. Thanks for the compliment on the design theme.

      Just checked out your site as well and you have some really good articles.

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  11. 27

    To sketch! That is the answer. I think that every good design starts on the paper and the goes digital, I can’t imagine myself working just on the computer.

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    • 28

      Hey Ilie, I’m glad to know that you sketch. Your Illustrator tutorials and characters are really awesome and I’m not shocked that you actually sketch them because it seems like something you would do.

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  12. 29

    You are absolutely correct.

    Sketching is a vital aspect of every design, its the first step in the design process and potentially one of the most important. It fleshes your ideas out and give you a quick visible reference to things that may or may not be working.

    Saying all that… I really need to sketch more. I constantly get into the habit of jumping onto my computer before doing any design work. Sometimes it works (depending on the project) but I find my ideas are always more thought out once its been sketched first.

    Thank you for this post, a fantastic read and something all designers should check out themselves (if not to remind them)!

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  13. 31

    Ok first off…love love love the way this post is written lol…Anyways, anyone who gives an excuse to why they’re bad at drawing..really just needs to pick up a book, go to a class..or just draw–no one becomes davinci overnight..and the fact that people can’t draw is one of the reasons why they don’t understand fundamental design principles–hence, leading to horrid design…

    I’m a regular artist first and foremost so sketches are essential to me–rough or clean…The only people that I’ve seen go from 0-insanity only using photoshop and a tablet are people like those crazy talented artists we’ve grown to love on deviantart. However, part of the reason why they are capable for creating such great work is their understanding of these principles.
    Design is art too…it’s as if some beginners forget the element of creativity only to adapt..trending…redundance..lol.
    People also have a warped perception of what “good/bad drawing skills are”–not everything has to adapt realism, it just has to make sense…
    Anywho..that was long lol..but I <3 some good discussion.
    .-= Melody´s latest Blog Entry – Twinup Of The Month: Twittercrush, February 10′ =-.

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    • 32

      Melody, thanks for the kind words. As an artist, I am sure you are comfortable with sketching as a natural part of the process for you. I find that people just entering the “arena”, without formal training (which I am in no means saying you must have) are more likely to sit in front of the computer first and see sketching as a chore and not a tool.

      As I mentioned, if this works for you, great! But, more often than not, it is counterproductive and you end up wasting so much creative time that the project suffers in the end.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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  14. 33

    Nothing beats pen and paper when coming up with ideas. Some think that sketches have to be perfect or look pretty, but they must realize it’s all about brainstorming or having fun letting your imagination go.

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    • 34

      Hey Noel, thanks for the comment. That definitely is a common misconception about sketching, and hopefully, this article has helped clear that up a bit.

      BTW. did you know that one of your favorite artists, James White, starts off by sketching as well? Pretty awesome huh? :)

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  15. 35

    Very interesting article and a good written one. I will definitely think about this as well as I’m usually jumping onto the MacBook and open Photoshop. I’ve been told numerous times to start sketching and my Girlfriend has even bought me a Moleskine as well but I’ve never really used it…
    .-= Andreas´s latest Blog Entry – Kreative Blockade =-.

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    • 36

      Andreas, the humanity of it all! LOL. Your girlfriend is a wise person. Just start carrying that Moleskine around with you and scribbling at first. You gradually get into your groove with sketching. Try it out and see if helps your flow of creativity.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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  16. 37

    Once I start to sketch things, I all too often think “yeah that’s great, let’s see how it looks on screen” far too early and then waste time creating it and ultimately disregarding it.

    Patience Ian, patience.
    .-= Ian Devlin´s latest Blog Entry – Hit it! =-.

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    • 38

      Ian, you are so right. Stay patient with it. Walk away for a minute and look at your doodles and sketches. Find ones you like and expand upon it. Once you feel you are close to something, move to the computer and whip up your concoction.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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    • 39

      Yes, patience is key. I’m also in the same boat as you, often jumping into Photoshop right away after sketching for a little bit.

      This article and the comments have really opened my eyes though, for the better.

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  17. 41

    I agree wholeheartedly with this article. A designer that can draw is a very powerful asset to an agency and as a freelancer. I always begin my projects on a sheet of paper. Every website I do begins by sketching on sheets from the 960 grid system sketch page pdf.

    It is important to keep a sketchbook with you and draw everyday. The more you draw, the better you become. Drawing/sketching is 90% observation and 10% drawing.

    A sketchbook is a creative diary. Doodles that you do may inspire something greater in a logo, illustration or layout later on. Famous illustrators fill entire sketchbooks with one subject.

    Don’t trust your memory. Draw from source. Your memory is wrong.

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    • 42

      Chris, I am so glad you raised that point. Don’t rely on your memory. I know that if I had a “moment” and something strikes me, I have to jot it down (a word, a phrase, a doodle, etc.). I’ve lost many of said moments thinking my think tank would retain the information and guess what? I was later frustrated by the fact that I could not remember that great idea.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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    • 43

      Don’t trust your memory. Draw from source. Your memory is wrong.

      Excellent point you bring up Chris. Sketching can definitely help you remember ideas. I can remember thinking of an idea while I’m in Photoshop, telling myself that I’ll add it to my comp later, and then forgetting what the idea is and being really mad at myself. LOL! :D

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  18. 44

    I think this is one of the biggest mistakes that new designers commit. They think that creativity is all about photoshop or illustrator and they don’t realize that people were making awesome designs even before the technology was there. Sketching is a skill in and of itself that each designer needs to learn, but unfortunately, a lot of designers overlook it when they are getting in to the industry.

    I also think there needs to be some sort of awareness to clients about the importance of sketching. With a few clients, I have sat down and actually shown them my sketches before computer work commenced. This only works well with some clients, but if you can help them visualize it before you begin the heavy lifting, you can save a lot of time and headache usually.

    Thanks for sharing the information here. Best Regards.
    .-= Preston D Lee´s latest Blog Entry – Design Essentials 2: Originality =-.

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    • 45

      Preston, I also know other designers who show their sketch work to clients and this is a preference and not a steadfast rule. I actually don’t show very many people, especially not clients, what is in the sketch book at all. If you ever saw it, it would probably look to you like gibberish. (I had a hard time finding coherent sketches for this post since I tend to write notes all over my ideas). But, if you have clients who can visually follow your sketch lead, that is fantastic.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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    • 46

      I’ve seen that as well. But as for me, no showing my sketches to the clients, as my sketches are just not very appealing. :)

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  19. 47

    One of the biggest mistakes I made when getting started as a designer was not to sketch. My designs drastically improved once I started by sketching out some basic ideas. It allows you to play fast and easily with different ideas and narrow down a concept.

    I also liked how you styled the post, but I would have liked to have at least the usual Design Informer Navigation Bar above it.
    .-= ximi´s latest Blog Entry – How to Keep Up with Your RSS-Feeds =-.

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    • 48

      Hey, thanks for letting us know your thoughts. I was going to leave the header, but I think it just occupied too much space on the top of the post. :)

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  20. 49

    you were right ! at first , i never draw- i thought why wasting time in paper and bring it to pc. i was wrong. the sketch is good for bring ideas, now i always keep a notebook to scribble my ideas there and save it for future works. –
    thanks for sharing very important article – kudos

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  21. 51

    Nothing beats pen and paper when coming up with ideas. Some think that sketches have to be perfect or look pretty, but they must realize it’s all about brainstorming or having fun letting your imagination go.

    (Yes, I copied nOeL’s post. Because he said exactly what I wanted to but did it more concise than I could.)

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  22. 53

    A computer will never fully replace the tactile joy of putting ideas on paper. I find myself guilty of skipping this step more than I should but I’ve vowed to actually use the notebooks that I’ve purchased and this post helped reinforce that goal. And I love the way this post looks!
    .-= Chris Thurman´s latest Blog Entry – Burnt Wood Text Effect – Photoshop Tutorial =-.

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    • 54

      Recently, since I have started sketching, I’m definitely having a lot of fun translating my ideas into paper. It’s very refreshing to step away from the computer a bit.

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  23. 55

    This is a step too many designers either forget, or leave out on purpose. I have to admit I’m guilty some times too, but I can always tell my finished product ends up better when I sketch first. It allows you to think of things you otherwise wouldn’t when just sitting down in PS or AI and going.

    @matthernandez

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    • 56

      Hey Matt! I agree, I used to leave it out on purpose as I didn’t really find it important until I realized I was wasting a lot of time just staring at a blank PS canvas, waiting for things to ideas to appear.

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  24. 57

    To sketch, for sure. I’m a planner by nature, and I’ve gotten to the point where I can’t even decide which program to use until I have something down on paper as a guide.

    I’m not a “real” designer so my sketches don’t look like much–most of them are simple combinations of boxes and squiggles with arrows pointing to notes that explain what it all means–but they help me explore ideas and stay on track.

    LOVE the design of this post, btw.
    .-= Tamia´s latest Blog Entry – Reading Roundup: Learning from old white dudes and something better than a Snuggie =-.

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    • 58

      Hey Tamia, that’s point of sketching for me as well. It helps me stay on track when designing as I already have a concept. I do however, am still open to ideas and I stay flexible once I start converting my sketch into an actual PS design.

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  25. 59

    Great article.

    I nearly always sketch my designs on paper, I often use a white board and pens which seems to
    help my creative juices flow.. maybe because I’m stood up and moving about more.

    Elliott
    .-= Elliott´s latest Blog Entry – Making fixed layouts centre in IE =-.

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  26. 61

    Great article Erik. I found myself stopping at every point you made and thinking “well, yea, that makes sense.”

    Every one of my professors in college would always tell the class to “bring a sketch book everywhere you go, whether its to class, or to lunch, or for a walk; never let it leave your side.” I always hated how much sketches they made us do for projects as well; but now that I am out of school, I agree that sketching as much as humanly possible is a great thing to practice.

    P.S. I love the funky post design, very original and different.
    .-= Lee Gustin´s latest Blog Entry – Love Is All Around Us =-.

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  27. 63

    Definitely great article and custom design. When I try to start in PS or code, I always fail, so I prefer to start sketching too.
    .-= Paulo´s latest Blog Entry – Artist Day: Kimberley Sinclair =-.

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  28. 64

    Just starting my journey to becoming a web-designer and I am so thankful that I stumbled upon your site. Every post is great and so helpful. Officially – this is my favorite site now!

    I also found that sketching on paper helps me to get a feeling of how the end result will look like. Trying to keep piece of paper and a pencil always with me cause you never know when the design inspiration will strike you.

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  29. 66

    I can’t… sketch. Haha. I know, there are so many designers that sketch, not only that, they love to tell the pros about sketching, but I just can’t!

    I’m not the kind of person that only knows draws sticks, actually, I draw long before I started to truly design things. But I can’t! At least on paper. It fells unconfortable.

    I always sketch a lot on pc, using my mechaninc arm – errr… tablet. It’s less messy sketch on computer for me, and, like illustrating, some times, I just can’t visualize what the hell I’m doing until I place it on screen. With details. And some effects. And colors. I just know the elements I’m going to use, where they’re going to be used, but I can’t see nothing in my mind, I need to “do” it. And it’s useful do it on the same media I’m going to use to work on project, so, I get a clear idea if it’s going to work.

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    • 67

      Camila, if this works for you, don’t stop! At the end of the day, the journey you take to a final design has to feel organic to you. So many times with posts like these, the author seems to be saying, “You must do this or fail!”. I am not saying that at all. I know a few people like yourself who can sit down, launch and app and have a piece of art in a matter of hours and my jaw always drops to the ground. I simply cannot do it.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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    • 68

      Hey really cool illustration on your homepage. Did you draw that? :D

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  30. 69

    I completely agree. I sketch out every design I do. It is a huge help to the client and has landed me a few jobs just on the sketch. It also helps me have a direction with my design. Nice post!
    .-= Matt Reed´s latest Blog Entry – 3 Reasons to Drop What You’re Doing and Grab Dropbox =-.

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    • 70

      That’s great Matt. I on the other hand, will probably lose clients by showing them my sketches. ;)

      Anyway, that’s great that you are a sketcher. Glad you liked the post. Nice site you have as well.

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  31. 71

    Thanks Erik! I love sketching things, despite not being a particularly gifted artist in that direction. I think for me it’s because I got my start in film work, and storyboarded everything. I see graphic design as storytelling much in the same way film is, and my sketches are my storyboards. It does indeed save a great deal of time.

    Great article, I enjoyed it immensely.
    .-= David Vosburg´s latest Blog Entry – Learning to Learn =-.

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    • 72

      Hey, that’s a unique perspective. It definitely does remind me of storyboarding.

      BTW, really like your blogazine as well. Looks great mate!

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  32. 73

    Great post! I’ve been doing sketching more and more for a year and can definitely back up what is said here. Ideas flow much easier and quicker and your ideas are not limited by the software. To answers the question, I’d say there is no question. Sketch every time! Nice design on the article too, by the way.
    .-= Ogvidius´s latest Blog Entry – Tea Typography =-.

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  33. 75

    Excellent. Not only do I completely agree with the approach to sketch before pushing pixels – I love the fact that this article is custom designed.

    Will we be seeing more blogazine style articles on DesignInformer in the future?

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    • 76

      Hehe, thanks Jeremy. Glad you liked it. You know that your blogazine has been one of my inspirations right?

      Anyway, I’m definitely heading that direction. I think I’m going to be doing blogazine style posts twice a month. :)

      I really find it refreshing when I’m designing a unique post. Who knows, I might start a blogazine later on, but not about design though. Just about anything that I like.

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  34. 77

    It all depends on your understanding of design principles and the work in question.

    If it happens to be a small site that I am building (something like a 2 day client work) then going straight into Photoshop is easier and efficient for me. The medium is not important if you know the fundamentals of design. An apple is an apple on paper and in Photoshop or any other software. Generally with smaller projects the idea of how the client wants the site is during the ride back to my home from my client’s place for me. (I know it is funny, but since I only take projects I like the idea for, all my projects are very close to me. Also I do not freelance for money as this is my part time job so my methods would differ from the majority of people here.)

    However, when it comes to bigger sites (even a site as small as Inspiring Pixel is big) and logos, sketches ARE the way to go. I have seen so many web designers and logo artist opening up Photoshop or illustrator and rushing to design when the iA and mockups are nowhere to be seen. Also for bigger projects I always get the wireframe finalized before the design to avoid redesigns. (I am very transparent in this aspect with my clients about each stage) With iA and wireframes in place design makes a lot more sense in bigger projects.
    .-= Tuhin Kumar´s latest Blog Entry – Redesigning Inspiring Pixel: Your thoughts =-.

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    • 78

      TK, you’ve raised some excellent points that the scope of this post didn’t cover. While sketching out website layouts are beneficial in getting some raw ideas on paper, don’t forget wire framing and prototyping as well, especially on large sites with many moving parts to them.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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  35. 79

    This is an excellent post! I always sketch my ideas first…even though they may morph into a completely different design later :) BTW…The post layout rocks!

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    • 80

      Hey, that’s exactly what usually happens to my designs as well, but it definitely helps to have a basis, a good skeleton of what you want your design to look like.

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  36. 81

    Great post, also love the post layout ;)

    I’m one of those designers who jumps straight into Photoshop, usually I end up coming to a nice conclusion after a while, but the time between revisions could quite easily be avoided if I sketch ideas first.
    I’m not confident with my drawing but know that the sketches are more so to get the idea across, and not the finished product, so this shouldn’t be a problem, yet it is.

    Would you suggest showing these sketches to the client to choose from? Or would you say stick to your gut and choose your preferred sketch / idea? As with my sketching the client may be put off, even though this is not the end product…if that makes sense.

    Great post as usual, thanks, very insightful.

    -Aaron

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      Aaron, I actually don’t show any sketches to clients. I usually find that they have a difficult time discerning my direction by looking at sketches. If you feel confident enough that your sketches gets the message across, by all means, definitely show them. Otherwise, they should probably be for your eyes only.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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    I’m actually jealous of those that can sketch out their ideas. I’ve tried to get into the habit of sketching first, but when I do, everything falls apart – like Erik said in one of his comments above – I get “stuck in the proverbial mud.” When I get a project I am one of the ones that has to fire up the program right away. But, in a weird way, Photoshop becomes my sketchbook because I use it to create my concept sketches. If I come up with something that I really like, then I will eventually re-develop it in the proper program. If I’m stuck for an idea, then I’ll spend a few hours on research to get out of my block.

    Great article Erik! Nice work. :)

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      Thanks, Firgs. It sounds like you have a system that already works well for you. So, to coin the oft used phrase, “If it’s not broken, don’t fix it.” Stay with what you are comfortable with. But, maybe one day when the designer’s block is really rearing its ugly head, try walking away from the computer and free form doodling.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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    • 85

      Hey Firgs, I do the same thing with logos. Usually, after a quick sketch, I like to go ahead and work on it in Photoshop as that’s the software the I’m comfortable with, and once I have something that I like, I go ahead and use Illustrator to remake it as a vector.

      Not a very efficient way, but it works for me.

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  38. 87

    Great article in an original and inspiring layout : )

    After a too long break, I recently started sketching by hand again. I still don’t sketch quite enough and I’m still practicing the whole bringing a sketchbook along with me always – thing (sometimes it just feels a bit strange to be doodling in public places – but it’s probably just a question of habit ; )

    Anyway, I love sketching / doodling and when you start to think of it, I guess that almost all kids do a lot of sketching in kindergarten – just for the sheer fun of it. Some continue while a lot unfortunately give up sooner or later to let math assignments or soap operas on the TV take over … I guess that what I’m trying to get at is that sketching and doodling is both fun and rewarding, especially when you get in to the habit : ) My guess is that most non-sketching designers (or people with a creative urge in general) will not be willing to give up sketching after a while once they get started. So – at least after a while sketching will have a self-reinforcing effect; you’ll be doing better designs based on more solid concepts and you’ll be having fun and gaining energy from the sketching process itself : )

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    • 88

      Excellent comments mate!

      Creativity is definitely something that children exemplify the best. I can still remember, when I was younger, how often I used to draw. I even won a competition when I was growing up. Then eventually, I started to get older, play sports, use the computer, and I soon forgot about drawing, which I used to really like.

      Anyway, I’m also trying to get back to doing it as well, although I can’t say that I’ve doodled in public yet. ;)

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  39. 89

    Nice article! Sketch first, for sure – faster and more productive!

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      Yes, it’s fast. And I think that the more we do it, the faster and better we will be at it as well. Also, I think that especially in web design, it is very productive because we don’t get caught up trying to work on the very specific details.

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  40. 91

    Great Article! I too prefer sketching before even cracking open photoshop.

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  41. 92

    Sketching is definitely very useful. In fact I even think useful of it in other matters than design. Actually I’m a student in informatics and I use sketching often if I’ve got to solve some more complex problems in these matters.

    I would even go as far as speaking of sketching as a basic technique for all kinds of problems. I think of it as a kind of clipboard for your mind. If you’ve got a complicated job to do you can break it down into smaller chunks by taking one step, putting it to your sketchbook and taking the next step. The result will be a sketch that contains all of these steps needed to get that job done.

    I like that lovely layout. It creates an inspiring atmosphere.

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      Arne, that’s a great way of putting it. It is a great way to solve problems. There is something therapeutic about and pencil touching paper for me. Even after finding the right sketch, I will sometimes still run into a snag and I find that if I jump back to my sketch pad, I usually find the answer.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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    I highly agree with sketching up something first. In fact my pencil and notepad are the first things I go for when starting a new design project.
    .-= Ashley´s latest Blog Entry – amphigoryglory: just spruced up my twitter background http://twitter.com/amphigoryglory =-.

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  43. 95

    I am one of those people who’s drawings are reminisint of what a five year old might have hung on a refridgerator, but I completely agree that sketching things out before starting in on photoshop or illustrator is time well spent. It doesn’t matter if your sketch looks pretty, it only has to help you to come up with something that works. And if you want your sketches to look a little more polished, try using graph paper. I find that it helps me to keep my lines straight.

    Great article Erik! Thanks for posting. ~ Chris

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  44. 96

    Very thought provoking article!

    Quite often I do start projects right in Photoshop. After reading your article though I’m sitting here reflecting on my work flow habits and I’ve come to an interesting conclusion. On the occasions that I sketch before opening Photoshop, I’m a lot more focused.

    If I have not done any sketching previous to opening Photoshop I find myself doing it there in the form of multiple revisions and complete re-designs. During this process I change my mind a lot and work in several directions. In the end I generally get a result I’m happy with, but there is no record of the journey itself and I’ve missed out on the opportunity to develop some of those other ideas later.

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    Yeah i fully agree.

    I have found that you can easily work out if an idea is going to work, especially specific components by just throwing them down onto paper. This has saved me hours by not designing something that’s not going to work with the overall project and then trying to force it to fit.

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  46. 98

    Firstly, love the custom layout for this post!

    The temptation to fire up the computer and jump right into Illustrator or Photoshop is always there.
    The key for me at least was to make sketching a habit through repetition. If you challenge yourself to sketch all your designs over a long enough period of time, say 3 weeks, your habits will change. Once you realize the benefits you will never look back.

    Really well written post Erik!
    .-= Duane Kinsey´s latest Blog Entry – 10 Inspirational Japanese Digital Illustrators and Artists =-.

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  47. 99

    Great article!

    I, personally, sketch. I put all the ideas that comes to my mind in a piece of paper, and after that I developed the concepts, I’ll go to Illustrator!

    Thanks so much!
    .-= Hian Battiston´s latest Blog Entry – Onde encontrar Inspiração =-.

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  48. 100

    Yooo this was cool! Post these custom posts more often!

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  49. 101

    I really learned trough time that the sketching process is a must to every designer to achieve good results with less headaches and more confidence on what we`re working on. Great article Erik!

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  50. 102

    To sketch!

    Before I start on any project, whether it be for school or something personal, I always grab a pencil and my sketchbook. I’ve always been a sketching type of guy, so I find it helps solidify my ideas. Jumping straight into photoshop or illustrator without a clear plan of attack really hinders my performance. I either stare blankly at a screen for what seems forever, or I get distracted by the internet.

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  51. 103

    A great article, sketching is a great idea to get your mind working, I also look at old design books, not to copy, but to get ideas and the mind working.

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  52. 104

    Very important points made. I always find that I am much more productive when I sketch my ideas first, then head to Photoshop later, when I have a working concept. Thanks for the post.

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  53. 105

    Sketching allows the creative process to get going. A computer only slows it down for certain brainstorming activities. In some cases, you see what you want right away – an inspiration – and you can sometimes do well going straight to Illustrator. Other times, you need to free associate with a pencil, which can’t be beat.

    I did a post on this, and posted the results for a logo design. I was all over the place in the early stages:

    http://bonfx.com/logo-design-process-revealed-in-23-steps/

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  54. 107

    Hi Erik,
    It’s a wonderful article, I am also not too good in sketching and never did before, but I will implement those ideas for my own in near future. You inspired me alot for sketching, just because of my weak sketching skills… but now onwards I will try my best and make my hands dirty with sketching…

    Can you suggest some basic tips / trics for beginners ? I will appreciate..

    Thanks alot for the wonderful article..

    Avn.Rocky

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      Avn, I don’t know if there is any better advice than to put aside your own criticisms of your drawing skills and try it out for yourself. At the end of the day, it might not be for you, but you never know. You may find that you will discover something about yourself, as a designer, that you didn’t know before.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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      • 109

        Thanks Erik,

        I started sketching and I am really very happy to see the results. I am saving lot of time and getting better results too .. Thanks for the article :)

        you rock :)

        avn

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  55. 110

    “On hand on your mouse”? Well THERE’S your problem right there. Yes, I’m a design snob, but “desginers” who think they can work without a tablet are making life (and their design process) much harder than it needs to be. In my not so humble opinion.

    Seriously, if you want to be a proper designer with clients and money and a job and all that fun stuff, you NEED to get a drawing tablet. Because you don’t always have time to get out the paper sketchpage and box of HBs, a tablet will allow your artistic brain-to-hand connection come out naturally, and save you the effort of scanning and tracing afterwards.

    Again, this is just one guys opinion. But I doubt many other professionals out there would disagree.

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      goob, you are the first person to bring up the topic of working from tablets in lieu of sketching and I would like to address that.

      A tablet is just not my thing. I’ve had one now for quite some time. I’ve used it once or twice and it is now collecting dust underneath my work station. But, this doesn’t mean that you cannot work through your idea process on a tablet. I tend to be an old school kind of guy and like the feeling of a pencil in my hand to work out ideas before I move into the digital arena.

      Now, considering that I own a design business “with clients and money and all that fun stuff”, I think it is safe to say that I am doing OK without using one. This is simply my process and in no means meant to be the final word on the subject. Thanks for sharing your opinion.
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – 6 Free Seamless Paper Textures =-.

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      • 112

        Excellent article Erik,

        I really enjoyed and thought it was presented very nicely.

        I recently used a tablet myself however I definitely used the approach you have suggested in your article. There is nothing worse than sitting at the computer with block. I just can’t sit at the computer and work that way.

        Instead, I sketched my ideas on to A4 paper and when I was happy with what I had created, I simply scanned it into Photoshop.

        Using my tablet i was able to simply trace around my sketch using the pen tool. I found this process very fun.

        I really like your approach and I agree definitely.

        Thanks Erik

        Russ

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  56. 113

    As a design student , I find some of my professors rushing me for immediate digital results. I, However have become totally against that since about a year ago. I must say the pencil is quicker and mightier then the mouse will ever become

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  57. 114

    I sketch in Photoshop. Seriously.

    Sketching isn’t so much about the medium, rather it’s the portion of the design process where you’re exploring concepts, instead of polishing pixels.

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  58. 115

    This is great!
    I am a big advocate for sketching out concepts, logos, layouts etc. I am also a big fan of sketching in general. Sketching is something I enjoy and encourage people to do. It is pretty much the whole premise of my website, Twetches. I passed this around my job in an email so hopefully it catches on. Great Read!

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  59. 116

    I agree with you 100% on the need to sketch. Pencil to paper first, hand to mouse second. It’s the same trick I use with writing. Scribble first, type later.

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  60. 117

    I agree completely that starting a blank photoshop document is not the most ideal way to go. I find and teach that instead starting out with 10 – 20 design sketches will help get the creative thoughts going with out investing too much time in a layout or approach that is completely useless.

    I created the web designers sketchbook for this reason and use it daily in my firms design practices. http://www.webdesign-sketchbook.com , I find putting the design in context (browser) also helps me plan repeating / larger backgrounds, whitespace, etc…

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  61. 119

    Excellent post. Not only will scare away the infamous block. I come to realize that my productions as a designer are more profesionals and funtionals that the ones i make on the go for the lack of time.
    One of the best reads lately. Cheers

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      Sketching is indeed the best way to capture creative energy. it is an important tool. It appears to me to be similar to mind mapping.

      Thanks Eric for the great post. Very concise and cool tips.

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  62. 121

    “Close your eyes and picture this scenario.”
    Haha, how could I if I’m try to read this…? I digest… =P

    Seriously, this is a classic case of web designer not gone to design school (including myself). Telling a traditional designer (graphic, industrial, interior, etc) that he/she should sketch is like telling someone that in order to write an essay in English, one must first practice their ABCs. It’s an extremely basic principle.

    If anything, this screams for the need for web designers to get out of their bubble and engage with other professionals. Find a print designer and become their best friend, enroll in an art class, …you get the picture.

    On a related note, checkout Bill Buxton’s “Sketching User Experiences”. It’s an excellent book for understanding how one can begin to solve problems by sketching.

    -isaacw

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  63. 123

    Great article. I will admit I’m one of those people that is an amazing stick figure artist and I usually stay away from the pencil and paper, but you make a very viable argument and it would definitely increase me design flow and help me not to spend so much time in front of the computer making changes to find what works and what doesn’t instead I could come to the computer already having this knocked out before I start.

    Again amazing article it challenged me.

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  64. 124

    Awesome article and I love that notebook template you used..very creative. Sketching was not one of my favorite things to do, but as my design teachers said…”your first idea is never your best” I grew to love going through the process especially when designing logos, I find that my mind has more ideas than I could ever imagine. :)

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  65. 125

    Awesome post. As I get more into design, I find myself trying to go for the computer on the first shot. Most times I am unable to have that lead-off, digital home run, and I reluctantly resort back to the pencil, but after some luck, I always ask myself why I didn’t do it sooner. It helps so much. Anyway, great article content, beautiful layout, and Erik, awesome website!

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  66. 127

    I love this. Love, love, love this. I have always felt inadequate because I can’t draw anything worth cow dung. I thought maybe I’d picked the wrong industry because of it. Thanks for this – it was just what I needed to read.

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    Erik … what an enjoyable read! Awesome article :). When I started out, I was on the fence about sketching .. in a way I still am. But what I have realized is that for some insane reason, every single time I sketch, not only do I end up with more and better ideas, but the final design turns out nicer looking too. I believe if one has an epiphanic moment at the start of a project and can see the end result as clear as day, then sketching is just going to waste time. Otherwise, it is pretty much a must, not only for the project at hand, but also from a personal growth and development point of view :)
    .-= Sneh Roy´s latest Blog Entry – Project 365 Vector Characters – Hut For Day 59 =-.

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      Sneh,
      Thanks. You are completely right. If you have one of those moments, when you have an exact vision in your head, you may want to sit down and experiment with the concepts directly in an application of choice. Unfortunately, I rarely have one of the moments and have to fall back on my “safety” of sketching first. It’s definitely the way I am wired. :)
      .-= Erik Ford´s latest Blog Entry – TV Commercials… Can you Hear me Now? =-.

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  68. 130

    This topic has been one of my bugbears for years. Being an old-school designer (graduated 1976), we had no other option but to sketch ideas first. One of my best ‘lessons’ came when I was showing a Creative Director my sketches on A4 sheets of paper. He laughed and said that I’m constraining my creative and thought processes to such a small area. From that day on, all my concept development was done on A1 Pads and it made a huge difference. Fast Forward to the Digital Age and I saw people designing everything on a 17″ Monitor. (24″ Monitors nowadays, but same diff). Can you imagine people brainstorming on A4 sheets instead of massive Whyteboards? The only time I would ever show my initial sketches to a client was the longevity of our association. New clients rarely comprehend, but long-term clients can understand thought processes. Finally, irrespective of your ‘drawing ability’, you cannot achieve the freedom and flow of pencil on a large ‘canvas’. That’s my two cents worth (when two cents was worth something). ;-)

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    • 131

      I remember the old agency days too (fondly) – all that was plugged in was your desk lamp. :) We’ve come a long way. But I still feel that pencil/pen on paper is the most direct way kicking ideas around.
      Even a tablet just doesn’t quite cut it for those initial idea-creation in my book, although it’s a great tool.
      Unplugged is the way to go. And yeah, a large canvas is even better!

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  69. 132

    When i’m on tight deadlines and I’m sure of the idea then I go straight to app. Sketching is just a way to quickly realize your ideas.

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  70. 133

    Great article, thank you. I started designing before computers were part of a designer’s armoury, so sketching was a natural part of the process. Everything was more hands-on, tactile.

    Nowadays, although I use computers all day long for web/graphic design, I still scribble down initial thoughts. It’s a way to focus on the idea rather than the implementation. In fact, the sketch itself isn’t important – I often end up with results that are nothing like the original sketch.

    I also recommend other tactile methods, like using post-it notes to organise website content and structure, to help inspire and clarify ideas before hitting the keyboard.

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  71. 134

    Wonderful article, I have this exact problem when it comes to designing on a computer, where I can’t think of anything to do, and sketching can really help.

    I like the layout of this article too, loving the notepad-esque style. ;)
    .-= Johnny´s latest Blog Entry – Apple Design: A History =-.

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  72. 135

    Wonderful article. I think each of us has different way of designing things. Well personally, I do like to sketch first before engaging to the real action.

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  73. 136

    Great article – insanely beautiful wesbite.

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  74. 137

    Since I started sketching BEFORE starting up photoshop my life has changed so much for the better.

    I still shudder when I think of the designer block staring a blank PSD file for hours on end. Now I listen to music, watch TV, read a book and whenever I get an idea it goes on my trusty pad.

    Combine this with an in-depth set of questions to ask a client about their website (See my blog) and I never have problems anymore.

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  75. 138

    I love the design of this post. Great work

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  76. 139

    Althought I would say sketching is a must as it save time I got to admit sometimes just opening Photoshop and tinkering does do the trick :)

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  77. 140

    I really enjoyed your article, Erik. Sketching has proven to be my best tool for idea generation and communication. Whether it’s getting an idea on paper before it fades away into the night, or explaining a concept to a client, sketching seems to be the best way to capture the essence of an idea. I believe in it so much that I’ve featured it prominently on my own site.

    Looking forward to reading more of your tweets and posts.

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  78. 141

    I absolutely love this article. So much in fact, that I believe you should go into detail and make it a book. Personally I’d buy it. And I thank many others would support it as well. 5 out of 5 from me. -Ronald H. Thanks

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  79. 142

    I couldn’t agree with you more about not forcing creativity. I used to have exact schedules for when I would work on certain things, until I started realizing I was not too proud of the work I was creating. I now, I don’t push it, but just let it come as it wants, and the byproduct is always better!
    .-= Casey´s latest Blog Entry – Acrylic Picture Frames =-.

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  80. 143

    I haven’t tried sketching yet but it’s not a bad idea. Maybe it’s worth a shot on my next design.

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  81. 144

    I will certainly use this method on my next project, thanks for this article!

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  82. 145

    Very good article. Over the past few years I have really tried to sketch out every single design job, as simple as it may be. Even if you just sketch out the basic layout, it really does help to have something to go by. You can always change and tweak things as you go on, but having an initial concept on paper is definitely the way to go!
    .-= Ryan Cowles´s latest Blog Entry – Hikes, Photo’s, Interviews, Wordle.. Updates! =-.

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  83. 146

    Sketch! Sketch! Sketch!
    This may sound retarded and old school, but it does make a big difference. The concept of a design should always be done with a pencil and a piece of paper. I end up spending less time on the computer.

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  84. 147

    I love the look of your article…that being said – Yes, I do scribble and sketch sometimes. But not every project requires that type of development…don’t you agree? It works well for logos and maybe website layouts and brochure, but sometimes a “cigar is just a cigar.”

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  85. 148

    Thanks for the Article, will use for our next project

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  86. 149

    nice article… :D

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  87. 150

    nice writeup, nothing new but true all the same…

    what I especially love is the styling of the article. it fits the subject and shows your creativity! and it’s always nice to see sketches by others :)

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    Sketch, sketch, sketch!!! I always make time for sketching first – otherwise I get all sorts of blocked.

    I kind of compare it to writing. It’s so much harder to write when someone tells you what you HAVE to write. It’s so much easier to just let the creativity flow how it wants – usually end up with a better product/design/write-up/whatever.

    Thanks for a great post!
    .-= Elizabeth ´s latest Blog Entry – Dust & Cigarette Smoke =-.

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  90. 153

    Nice article. I started to sketch several times and left. Now I am really inspired. I should start sketching again. I am doing a 365 days project and most of the time I can’t get any idea to design. I think sketching will help me to overcome idea problem.

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  91. 154

    I think a lot of people are different. Sketching can be a great idea, but with me sketching usually distracts me. I am pretty good at just opening Photoshop and creating (albeit often times I end up changing a lot of my design process as I go and ending up with something totally different).

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  92. 155

    Very impressive article! I think I will immediately start to sketch for my next project. Thank you very much four your inspiration.

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  93. 156

    Definitely to sketch! Saves time in daily workflow as well – I have a lot better feeling if I have sketched web design in my notebook, rather than just opening Photoshop and playing around..takes a lot more time.
    .-= Dainis Graveris´s latest Blog Entry – 1STWD March 2010 Features: Top Design Links And News =-.

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  94. 157

    I love the article Eric! I am for
    sketching also, and you covered one very important part as well: sketching is only for you! It doesn’t matter how it looks, it is a refference of something in your head :)

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  95. 158

    i just love the way you wrote that. makes me realise why i feel crap at designing at times. but i know deep down its then … so from now on, im taking your advice and keeping a notebook and pencil with me. thanks a million.. :)

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  96. 159

    I’d like to see more of your sketches :) I don’t offer design services anymore, so I really don’t get to sketch anymore either (unless im working on my own project) but I love seeing the way other web designer’s draw out their sites and logos :D

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    To generalise for a second, I think this is one of the biggest differences between self-taught and formally-educated designers. In university no matter how good your work is, without a thorough collection of sketchbooks to back it up you will fail.

    I’m not sure how I feel about this – in the past I have found sketching for its own end (i.e. to please a tutor) a barrier, because I come up with concepts quicker than I can visualise them on paper. On the other hand I think it is a necessary part of the creative process.

    Of course for a quick logo or flyer you don’t need multiple sketchbooks like you’d fill in a several months long project, but I don’t think you’re doing yourself justice by not sketching.

    I’m not suggesting those who don’t sketch don’t research or properly think out concepts, but to bring GTD in to it, by dumping those thoughts on paper you’re freeing your mind to think more clearly.

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  98. 161

    When started to implement a new project before, I often analyzed its requirements and began to work with Photoshop, wasted time in editing minute details which unsuitable. Therefore, some projects are good, while some others are out of my expectation.

    Recently, I just have got used to sketch ideas on paper before start to work with Photoshop. At first, I could not adapt to this method. There were some difference between the sketch and lay-out on Photoshop. But I know that this method is quite good and essential in designing. I will try to be familiar with it and consider it as an indispensable step in designing.

    Thanks for your very useful post.

    PS: And would you mind if I post your article on my website as well as the backlink to your site.
    .-= greenapple88´s Latest Entry – 55 Inspiring Examples of Slideshows in Web Design =-.

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  99. 162

    I guess it really is useful to sketch your ideas, because it really is helpful to map out everything that’s on you mind and its kinda hard to do that on the computer. Wish I could draw but I cant event sketch some basics but for people who can I guess it really is helpful for the whole design process. I think its kind of a must really. Thanks for this interesting article. Love the fact that the page design changed for this one.

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  100. 163

    Very Great Article! Its really nice and direct to the point. I am looking for a complete article about what I wanted to share with my student, and yours is really great.
    I always tell my student not be mentally block by their fear, I know the most difficult part in sketching is the starting point. And I always tell them to “just let your imagination flow, and the hands will follow.” And now, I can see some students who really has a talent, and some who is still in the dark. It really challenge me to have students who can’t draw, and your article really helps me a lot. Keep posting!

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  101. 164

    All my work starts out from sketches, I certainly wouldn’t rely on ever finding any quick sketch I make on my computer – a sketchbook is always at hand, on train, etc .. so much easier to start and ponder things than on a computer. All the end work though tends to be on the computer

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  102. 165

    Great article. I’ve recently started sketching my designs first mostly because, like you state, it’s often easier to get the creative juices going. It’s much easier to just doodle some designs and let your mind wander on a topic!

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  103. 166

    I love the way this blog post is uniquely laid out.

    Sketching is important, however brief it is. But I would say that coding / designing straight into html from the sketch is the next step. Skip the psd phase and start seeing the site as it will appear on the web to speed up the launch phase and make iterations easier for you and your clients.

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  104. 167

    Hello! I’m at work browsing your blog from my new iphone! Just wanted to say I love reading your blog and look forward to all your posts! Carry on the superb work!

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  105. 168

    Great article. I, too, struggle with the “application open and file saved but nothing in it” issue sometimes. I’m learning to step back and just think and sketch more.

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  106. 169

    Eyal Marcos Levit

    March 29, 2011 4:01 am

    I have also sinned with not sketching on paper even though I knew it wasn’t the way to roll. Also been staring at the monitor for hours no kidding. Thank you for this amazing article, it kinda puts what I already knew in perspective and it motivated me to go on and start with the sketching. Thanks again! Beautiful article, love it.

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  107. 170

    This is something that most of the people like me ask themselves, I am certainly one who has asked this myself, thank you for sharing something that I can relate to.
    Gajan Dave

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  108. 171

    Hi Paula,Oh my goodness. I’ve msseid a month’s worth of your work in just two week’s time. These are just marvelous, as always. I’ll just comment on the one at hand. I love the way you did the cat sharpening his claws. I can feel his muscular strength. The flower is just beautiful. I’m intrigued by your mention of Paint. That blue is just stunning. I’ll have to ask a young person for a demonstration.You inspire me so much!

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  109. 172

    My work may or may not start from sketches all the time, but I do believe that great ideas start from sketches. Innovative typography usually starts from sketches. Thanks for the article. Good stuff.

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