I was chatting with a client/designer the other day. I commented that I almost always start a design the old fashioned way using a pencil on paper. She was surprised! In fact she said that was something she might try. I didn’t think it was something so unusual. I guess for some designers it is.
I started as an illustrator/designer before Bill Gates or Steve Jobs got their machines out to the public. We only had our Ticonderoga pencils (with extra erasers) and paper to start with. There were stat machines and type galleys, rubber cement, paste ups and mechanicals, and marker comps. The “technology” of the good old days was not so good. I’m glad those days are gone. I love my computer (most of the time). I also still love my Ticonderoga pencil with extra erasers!
This is going to sound new age weird but when I pick up that pencil it frees my mind! I scribble and erase and do shorthand versions of ideas in no time. It’s like my ideas flow right from my brain through the pencil. Here’s what I think-it’s a right brain thing. Computers are left brain things …sometimes. I get caught up in the technique if I don’t have that free idea to start with. A pencil gives my work soul; the computer gives it substance…a perfect combination.
If you’re a designer that works totally in the digital world I suggest an experiment. Find a pencil and paper and give it a whirl. If you’re intimidated because you’re not an illustrator don’t worry. Think of it as shorthand. This is for your eyes only. Then take that scribble and translate it digitally. It may surprise you.