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Why We Sketch

For many designers, sketching is one of the most important steps in the creative process. Sketching allows your mind to connect to your work in a uniquely analog way. When we sketch, we can get ideas out of our head and onto paper much quicker. Likewise, we often realize sooner which ideas are worth pursuing further and which ones are not. The result of this simple process can help designers save time and produce better work.

While some creative’s pencil doodles could pass for works of art, there are no rules that say sketches must be high quality. Indeed, many designers are self-proclaimed “bad sketchers” yet they still produce outstanding digital work. That’s because at their root, sketches are only a glimpse into an idea. In the stages that follow sketching, designers will flesh out richer details that a drawing need not include. If a crude pencil sketch can communicates a thought, even if partially formed, it has done it’s job.

To achieve quality work, designers must feel comfortable with their tools. Some professionals insist on a dual or even triple monitor setup, some prefer standing desks. Whatever a designer’s personal preferences are, there are many solutions to satisfy them. The sketching process is no different. In it’s simplest form, sketching requires only a pencil and a piece of paper, but that doesn’t stop some designers from putting a spin on their tools. A designer may prefer a specific paper stock, a precise lead point or, in the most extravagant, a digitizing tablet. Ultimately, it’s important to consider what tools make a designer feel like she can do her job better.

As for our team at R Squared, we’re not picky. When we sketch, we use whatever tools we have available when inspiration strikes. It may be a napkin, a post-it note, a palm – you name it. Regardless of our tools, we recognize the utility of this important step in our creative process. It helps us connect with our work to craft clear and focused concepts. To see how sketching and the rest of our creative strategy helps us produce higher quality designs, check our Portfolio pieces.

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