Sitting in a coffee shop with tunes from my favorite “zone out” playlist playing through my headphones, I sketch away in my graph composition book. I am loving life. Sketching is an absolute must. This pencil and paper record of all the ideas is a visual record of the evolution in my design thinking. Concept discovery is such an important stage for your development. You avoid a lot of future frustration by putting in as much work as possible in your sketchbook.
Get All The Bad Ideas Out
You will have some stinker ideas and that’s okay. Don’t edit yourself when in sketch mode. Pages and pages of good and bad design ideas are present and accounted for. There is no need to erase the bad ideas because they lead to the good. When you are in the sketching stage, go absolutely nuts. Put every single idea you have onto paper. Fill the pages of your sketchbook with various paths to the solution. There may be a piece of that “bad idea” that will bring you closer to the design you want for that particular project. That idea that’s not right for that project may be the inspiration for another project. Your sketchbook is a collection of your visions – a step by step visual interpretation of your problem solving process. Every stroke is a step towards the solution. The more ideas you get out of your mind, the more new ideas with come to the surface.
Be Patient And Enjoy The Freedom
Your sketchbook is blank canvas until you fill it. Enjoy yourself and allow your mind lay itself bare on those pages. The solution will be the by-product of your journey. Fall in love with the journey and visually experiment. Every idea you put down improves your design thinking. Sketch to your heart’s content. Your mind will branch off and investigate many different possibilities. For every industry you may be designing for, there are a plethora of directions you can go. There are many different ways to represent education, healthcare, law, banking, and various other industries. Being in your sketchbook gives you the opportunity to explore those ways. Put on some good music (or your favorite podcast) and immerse yourself in the sea of your own imagination.
Figure Out Concept Construction On Paper First
Don’t be in a rush to open your design program of choice. It’s always better for trial-and-error to take place in your sketchbook with pencil and paper than to be wrestling with yourself in front of your computer. In logo design, you have to know what you want it to look like as well as how you want it constructed. Sketching allows you to determine the better construction method in the most freehand way possible. You’d be surprised how many logos you see are the result of designers knowing how to properly overlap, slice, and fuse simple shapes. For example, every letter in the alphabet can be constructed in many ways. Put every way possible in your sketchbook and take a wide view of them all to see how you can manipulate the design to get the desired result. When working on a monogram, I put all the different ways I can combine the letters before even thinking about opening my computer.
It’s an awesome feeling to open Illustrator with a gameplan already in mind. I may still have multiple concepts to create once I reach that stage but that’s okay. That is what the artboards are for. But I’m still much more locked in than I would be if I opened Illustrator cold without a clue as to what I was going to put together. Sketch, sketch, sketch. That is how you will find your way.