My Design Process: Thumbnail Sketches

August 6, 2019

August 6, 2019

The best way to ensure I’m producing original, intentional designs is through a thorough design process. I approach every design with the same steps, which helps me deliver a consistently high quality solution for every project I work on. A key piece of my process are thumbnail sketches, which push me creatively beyond what’s already been done before.

This is a great skill that I’ve carried through from my college design classes. We’d be assigned to produce what seemed like an absurd number of sketches for a single logo design. But if you follow the pattern of those sketches, you’ll see the thought process. The sketches will begin with the obvious, familiar styles you may have seen before until you’re forced to branch into new ideas. This is how change and growth occur in the design industry. When I’m creating 100 rough sketches each idea can build off the next and improve. Of course there will be some that are sub-par, but the important part is getting the idea onto paper.

This process can also help me get to the best version of a sketch before I go in and completely refine. I’ll take an idea I like and slightly tweak it twenty different ways. From there I can redraw it a few times and clean it up until it is ready to be digitized, which becomes a whole other level of tweaking and refining to get it perfect.

 

Real Project Example

Below you can see a small piece of this process unfold with an example from a previous event branding project.

Design Process: Sketches

After many more iterations and digital creation those sketches became the final product below.

To see the previous step to this design process you can check out a previous post on moodboards.

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