Growing up, I doodled on anything I could get my hands on–phonebooks, cereal boxes, you name it. Compulsive perhaps, and it drove my family nuts, but I found drawing to be liberating. Drawing is, sometimes, not an easy thing to do. It requires patience, practice, and focus. But sketching, is a fundamental step within the design process. Most, if not all, of the assignments I dole out to my college students, require thumbnail sketching. From time to time, I will come across a student, who seems reluctant to draw. Often times, this hesitation is due to the fact that they stopped drawing and doodling before they reached high school. However, like prehistoric cave paintings show us, drawing doesn’t need to be elaborate, drawing just offers up the chance to visually communicate, and the opportunity to visually explore a thought.
Sketching and drawing within the design process has many benefits.
• Sketching helps you get to know a project.
• The drawing process allows a designer to take visual ownership.
• Thumbnails help solve visual equations.
• Sketching helps you get started!
• Drawing allows for a break from screen time.
• Drawing is brainstorming.
• And sometimes, sketching allows you to step away from your “design style”–or even better–your comfort zone.
So while sketching can be primitive, the drawing process can be fun, even powerful. Sketching develops the meaning of a final solution, and adds value, to your design routine.