5 Reasons Why Sketching Is Essential in Graphic Design

5 Reasons Why Sketching Is Essential in Graphic Design

One of the biggest downfalls a graphic designer can make is rushing into a project and trying to reach the end product as soon as possible.

And with the ever increasing advances in technology it sometimes feels as though you can tie all your brainstorming, development and design work into one big process.

However, I’ve found that the simple act of sketching is the best place to start all your projects. And I’m going to give you 5 reasons that you can’t argue with!

1. Helps Build the Foundations of Your Design

Sketching really helps you get a handle on how your basic design’s going to look and is key in preparing the composition of elements in your project.

We all know that the layout of a design needs to be absolutely on the money, so this is something you need to take into account from the very start. And sketching gives you that opportunity to roughly formulate how it’s going to hang together.

You’re more than welcome to go straight into the final design without sketches, but personally, I’ve found that translating that idea in your head onto the page is nowhere easy as you think. And this leads to delays as you fight through numerous false starts.

2. You Can Sketch Anywhere

The simplest way to sketch is by using a good old fashioned graphite pencil (remember them?) and a sheet of paper. And this simplicity means it can be done anywhere.

This makes it very useful for graphic designers due to the convenience it offers. For example, say you’re on a train and you have an amazing idea all of a sudden, if you’re carrying a notepad and pencil then you can preserve that idea visually before the fleeting details fade.

Working with a pencil and paper is a lot quicker and easier than powering up a tablet, so make sure you never leave the house without them!

3. Keep Clients in the Loop

Clients love to be kept updated on the progress of their projects in order to have some control and make sure they’re getting what they pay for.

There’s always a little bit of anxiety on their part as to what the final design’s going to look like, so sketches are a fantastic way to demonstrate this and get them involved early on.

By sketching up your initial ideas you can show these to your client to share where you’re heading. This approach allows the client to voice any concerns early on as it’s very frustrating to get told there’s a major problem when you’ve invested all your effort into a finished design.

With sketches, though, it’s water off a duck’s back if the client is dead against your early efforts as you can quickly start again.

4. You Can Get Creative Very Quickly

Sketching is your chance to let your mind off its creative leash and hurtle off into as many strange and varied directions as you like.

You’re not expected to be painting a renaissance masterpiece in the sketch stage, it’s purely ideas conveyed by scribbles. This is why you can work at speed.

And the multitude of ideas spilling out here is essentially an illustrated brainstorm where you can explore multiple options in a manner not possible in your mind’s eye.

All the best ideas come from initial sketches which have evolved quickly through random chops and changes, so it’s an amazing method to advance your ideas.

5. Unused Sketches Are a Great Inspiration

Maybe a client rejected your sketches because they just weren’t right for the project. But you shouldn’t feel as though this means they have no merit.

You may find yourself suffering a bit of a creative block one day, so inspiration will be the order of the day and your old sketches may just spark something off.

Perhaps one of your rejected sketches is just perfect for your new project or maybe there’s a creative step in there that’s the key for unlocking your creative block.

I hope you can see why sketching is such an important stage for graphic designers now and that you should resist rushing straight into the final design.


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