Monday, August 11, 2008

The Art of the Sketch

"Computers are useless. They can only give you answers." - Pablo Picasso

I find this quote to be interesting, and kind of true. It may be strange coming from a designer of websites to agree with Mr. Picasso, but I believe that great design is a product of process, doodling, and exploration. While computers are valuable tools, they do not replace the importance of the handwritten word or sketch.
When I was taking graphic design classes at Oregon State University, we were required to keep a design journal. At the time I was not that interested in researching and journaling about Paul Rand or writing down my design inspirations, but now I really see the benefit. Today I keep binders for all of my clients; complete with contact information, project information, and hand sketches of logos, website layouts, etc. It is valuable to look back at my original ideas because they will often spur new ideas.
A great notebook for such sketches is a Moleskine - my mom got me hooked on these. My notebook of choice is the Moleskine Pocket Sketch Notebook (3.5 x 5.5). It fits in my purse and has a pocket to keep receipts, photos, or whatever. I have paint swatches and old concert tickets in mine. I like it because it makes my random doodlings look important. Here is a peek into my own journal as I was working on a redesign for my business:

I like to make lists of the desired visual qualities and components of a design.

Here I made sketches of logo ideas, and labeled the attributes for each design.

My sketches are a simple and orderly. However, if you want to truly be impressed, go to I am amazed and inspired by the artwork of others. I often wish I had more time to just sit in a coffee shop and sketch.

1 comment:

Zil said...

Really nice entry! Take a look at if you haven't already. Always something interesting there.