Filling the digital divide

Lindi Koprivnikar - Art DirectorWritten by: Lindi KoprivnikarArt Director

In today’s digital world, many designers omit sketching from their creative process. It’s a little too easy to jump straight to a computer before truly brainstorming and exploring your concepts. Now don’t get me wrong, I do think digital applications are great in their own right, and the role of drawing beforehand will vary depending on the size, scope, and end-product being created. But despite there being dozens of devices and applications to help you record your million-dollar ideas, good old-fashioned drawing still remains the most flexible and efficient medium out there.

At Avenue 25, we believe this is a crucial step in the design process. Whether we’re designing a logo or a website, we invest time and energy into properly brainstorming a project and sketching it out. For example, when working on a wireframe for a website, we pull our team together and physically draw it out on a whiteboard. That’s right: we draw a digital website. Everything in design is about layout and hierarchy. So with the ability to quickly erase and redraw, it proves to be much faster than trying to shift the whole design around in a program like Photoshop.

Don’t worry, a designer doesn’t need to be a modern-day Da Vinci. In fact, the majority of my sketches look like this nonsense. However I knew what those scribbles meant, and it gave me a visual imprint of what I was going to do once I was in front of my computer. It’s true that a graphic designer can get by without putting pencil to paper, but when you consider that all design is rooted in the fundamentals of drawing, do you really want to work with someone who can’t even be bothered to sketch a few rudimentary concepts? We have more tools available to us today than ever before, some of which people 50 or even 5 years ago could never have imagined. But there's something warm, analog, and human about putting ink on paper that digital devices just haven't been able to replicate. I’ll take pencil dust and palm smudges over a plastic drawing tablet any day.