The design process cannot be complete without such a helpful skill as sketching. Sketching can be applied differently in the design process. Everything depends on what you are working on. Let’s look at Why Sketching is Important and its Role in the Design Process.
For example, when working on your website, you do not need much sketching while creating a logo or illustration; you will spend more time on it. The sketching time also depends on the concept of your project.
Sketching has nothing but benefits for the design process. Also, you do not need to create detailed sketching at the first stage of your work. So, what is a sketch? It is not just a drawing but an important part of your design work as sketching documents the process of the design.
Thanks to sketches, you can deliver your ideas, visualize the flow, and depict anything requiring human interaction. Of course, you may say that you can start directly in Photoshop and illustrator without wasting your time on sketches.
However, most likely, such an approach will lead you to failure and a poor design. You have a chance to discover potential issues and find solutions to them before you start designing or developing.
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The Perks of Sketching
The benefits of design sketches are as follows:
- They save a lot of time in the designing process;
- Brainstorm your ideas;
- Eliminate the issues in functionality and layouts;
- Assess the features’ feasibility;
- Available for anyone who wants to sketch his/her ideas.
You can make sketches with the following tools:
- Whiteboard, to name a few.
How is Sketching Used in the Design?
Sketches can be used in very different ways in the design process. Here is exactly how you can use them.
Developing a Rapid Concept
This is one of the best ways to develop concepts quickly. One or two hours of sketching time is not that much, but you can find a lot of solutions to the problem of the design within that time. This step is crucial and very time-saving.
You do not need to spend tons of your time before going to your computer. Yes, you can craft sketches on the laptop as well. However, it takes much more time, so it is less efficient than sketching on paper.
If you check the posts of The Logo Creative, you will know how fast sketching can be in the logo design process. Before they narrow the concept down, they do over 100 possible solutions.
At once, The Logo Creative works through many ideas and then looks for the best presentations of them. Their sketches are small, so they work very quickly and produce multiple ideas within a very short time frame.
The core idea you should always bear in mind is that your ideas do not start on a computer but on paper. Designers spend a lot of time sketching, and no matter what you are going to design next — a piece of furniture or shoes — start on paper.
Create graphic design sketches to craft the basic composition of illustration and evaluate the choices of layouts quickly when designing websites, etc. They can be as small as thumbnails or larger.
No worries, you do not have to possess great drawing skills. All you need to do is just craft them quickly to understand a general idea. Check the Create a Cool Vintage Collage Design in Photoshop tutorial by Fabio.
It will teach you how to make sketches quickly. You will know that it does not require brilliant drawing skills to create a quick sketch before starting to work in Photosho or Illustrator for logos.
All the best websites and graphic designers will tell you that a pencil sketch helps to visualize ideas quickly. Sketching is much more efficient than starting digital in Photoshop and Illustrator.
Approval from the Client
You can save tons of your time by showing sketches to clients. If you spend a couple of hours sketching, you want your client to approve of it before you move forward. Never continue without getting approval from your clients. Otherwise, you risk wasting all of your efforts.
This is an essential stage of the process. If you work on logo design, you should also take it into account.
If you look at the SOS Factory that creates mascot logos, you will know that different people complete different stages of work. Very often, the person who creates sketches is not the one who works on design, coloring, etc. Everyone plays his or her role.
Their work is built the way, so the sketcher works on concepts and approvals of clients. Then the client’s corrections are discussed with the designer and art director. Before being inked and colored, the work is approved by a client. It saves a lot of time for everyone.
Bill at GoMedia also explained in his article called From Sketch to Vector Illustration how to get client approval as quickly and as early as possible. They do not create detailed sketches but send a number of the rough ones to clients.
After the client chooses one, they make a more detailed sketch before going to the computer. This way, everyone does not spend a lot of time creating the design. No one will approve.
You can choose to sketch to record your interests. Moreover, you can also research different options in a specific design thanks to sketching.
You can use sketches to conduct your research and find potential solutions to the found issues. It is even possible to explore different logos, tattoos, etc.
Improved Visual Solutions
Creating a design or illustration is always about improvement. Even if you don’t have to improve or refine anything at that stage, you will do it later. A perfect design is never created from the very first attempt.
Even when everything seems to be perfect, one element can be off the wall. At one of the stages, you move to the computer and continue the sketching process there.
There is one great solution in case you cannot improve one of the elements — you can work it out on a separate piece of paper until it becomes as you need it. Reworking just one part of the sketch is sometimes crucial.
Sometimes, the client initiates this. After a necessary part is worked out separately, you can move to the computer and create the final design.
Important stages of sketching
Before you take a pen and a piece of paper, you should learn about a few stages required for sketching. Even though it is a quick process, try not to skip them.
Before you start, it is better to have a very good understanding of the issue to be solved or the business objective for something you work on. Your initial ideas are created at the stage of the research.
It is necessary to clearly realize what you are going to design. Extract your ideas before you enter the editor and start the design.
Sketching is not important for designers solely. It can be helpful in many other careers and fields. The biggest advantage of it is that you do not have to be a designer to create sketches and extract your ideas.
Paper or a whiteboard, a pen or a pencil are the only tools you need. The best is to use a marker or a pen. It should be something permanent.
Fast, rough, and dirty — this is what a sketch looks like. No worries if it is like that. It is not a masterpiece. Realize that sketches are not about aesthetics but about exploring your ideas. Nothing else is required here.
Sketches and wireframes are not the same. Wireframing comes after sketching and includes refinement of the ideas produced at the stage of sketching.
Sketches are great when working in a group, as well. This way, all members of the team can compare their ideas and choose the best ones. Working in a group is very efficient when it comes to sketching.
Use the super vote system and pick the best ideas from each sketch. After such a discussion, you can have another round of sketching or just start wireframing. As a rule, wireframing is a black and white design to show and structure the ideas from sketches.
Wireframing is a very simple process. You can even use various online software for this process.
The bottom line
Sketching is the first stage of the design process. The best ideas start with it. Neglecting this step is not wise because it helps discover the most brilliant ideas and solutions. It does not require any specific skills, it is fast yet very efficient.
Sketching doesn’t even require going into detail. Newbies in graphic design often feel like skipping this “unnecessary” stage and get to the computer work at once. This is a big mistake. For now, there is no other way to explore so many ideas and find multiple solutions.
Digital art cannot exist without hand-drawn sketching. Besides, the bigger your project is, the more concepts you must provide to your client. Consider spending a couple of hours creating rough sketches before wasting more time on your computer.
Check out this article If you would like to learn how to improve your drawing skills
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Taylor Brouwer is a professional content writer. He also provides pay for homework help for students and delivers top-quality assignments on a part-time basis. Taylor spends a lot of time writing about design both in his full-time and part-time job.