5 Reasons Why the Best Digital Designers Start with Hand-Drawn Sketches

Jul 06

Technology has evolved the way many of today’s professional designers finalize their artwork. From architects, to engineers, to illustrators, much of the production process has gone digital. Still, all creatives understand that when it comes to brainstorming and conceptualizing, nothing can better enhance and stimulate the creative process than sketching by hand. Here are five reasons why today’s top digital designers still start their creative process with a notebook and pen.


1. Concepting

Sketching with paper and pen is a much faster and more efficient way to create quick sketches, and concept a final product. Sketching also allows you to layout sketches side by side for quick comparison, and allows you to quickly explore variations on a concept or theme. While digital design tools offer valuable features and functionality, creating anything from scratch is a comparatively slower, and more time-consuming process—and not what is needed for concept exploration.

2. Layout

A quick sketch session can allow you to quickly determine the best format, layout, or composition of a design, advertisement, or even an architectural project. Quickly blocking-in areas that are representational of content types will allow you visualize the final product without the time, detail, or effort required to create similar mock-ups in design software.

3. Capturing Inspiration

Creative types are always imagining, dreaming, and ideating. Most designers keep a sketchbook (or several) on-hand so that when the world around them inspires a thought, idea, or concept, they can quickly capture it and explore it in more detail in the future. It’s simply not possible to run to one’s desktop computer every time inspiration appears.

4. It’s Easier to Bring Your Vision to Life by Hand

Even design software experts can get hung-up trying to use the tools available to recreate an effect they see in their head. Your hands, on the other hand, offer no limitations and allow you to fully explore the vision you see in your head until you are satisfied and ready to spend the time needed determining how to re-create the concept using your design software.

5. Freedom of Inspiring Locations

Even if you find your home office to be comfortable, and your desk ergonomically situated for long computer design sessions, sometimes you simply need a change of scenery. A notebook and pen can travel anywhere to inspire creativity, such as parks, coffee shops, or even your living room couch.

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