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Have you ever found yourself stuck on a logo design, business card composition or poster? I have many times. A few years ago, when I would design a business card or something with a strong composition I would go straight to Adobe Illustrator, it seemed like the most time efficient option. I would imagine what the composition would look like and try and base the entire business card or poster off’f that imagined composition. It didn’t work.
I found that because I haven’t physically gone through the composition somewhere that I really didn’t have any basis of design. I didn’t know what direction to go in.
If you feel the same way as this, then don’t panic! This is easily avoidable; start on paper.
What’s The Point?
When designing a website, business card or poster a lot of us fall into the trap of thinking that because it’s not a logo design we don’t need to draw some ideas. I totally understand this thought, it seems like just a huge waste of time. But when I did it for the first time I’ve never gone back.
It seemed when I drew out a very rough plan at first, the whole process became a lot clearer and easier to understand. I think that the biggest obstacle we can face as designers and creative people is organisation. I don’t mean in the physical world, but in your mental space.
The Conceptualising Process
When we roughly draw a plan, concept of image of our imagination, it helps us organise our brain — it gives us room to think of other things. I always think of this in a technical term; write down or draw something you need to remember and it will free up space in your brain for other things you need to remember. The same goes for when you’re designing anything. Free up some mental space prior to actually designing on the computer and you’ll see that you’ll be thinking of ideas and concepts you’ve never thought of within that free space.
If you’re a designer that specifically works within the logo design sector then you’ll know that most of the time; the conceptualising stage is the most important stage of the process. It’s where we dream up the idea of the logo. When you’re dreaming up the logo design the instinct you should have is to dream it up on paper.
When we use paper, we take away all unnecessary distractions – we use pencil, pen and paper. We don’t have the Character Window where we can change fonts. We just have our imagination. This is the exact reason for drawing on paper before going onto the computer. When you draw on paper you’re free. There’s nothing superficial that will influence your concept because it’s coming from the content and the goals the client has given you within the brief.
You’ll find that when conceptualising the logo on paper that you’re ideas will flow better. You’ll also see that the concept you first thought out isn’t going to work, so you’ll need to change it. Getting our thoughts onto paper makes it physical. We’re now able to see what’s going to work and what’s not.
More Freedom More Options
When we conceptualise on paper first, we allow ourselves freedom to do draw anything we physically want to draw. When we use software we’re compromising our ability to draw with what we want to conceptualise. Do you understand?
Have you ever been in ”The Zone”? Whenever I start a new lettering project, or logo design commission I fall into “The Zone” of focus and flow. This is the state of mind I and many other creatives fall into when designing. We get into this certain flow when our head is free from the distractions of a computer or other tools that take our focus away from the problem we’re trying to solve. To get into “The Zone” you have to be in a place without distraction – paper and pencil.
You’ll find that when you’re limited to using just paper and pencil you’ll be able to come up with ideas you’ve never thought of seemingly by accident. There have been many times where I’m in “The Zone” and I’ve surprised myself at what I’ve just made – it solved the problem straight away! I then start to refine that one concept and work from there. (Logo Design Is A Problem Solving Service)
Once you’ve refined the concept you can then take it into the Adobe Illustrator where you mess around with different tools to get the effects you need.
It’s Not About Software