With technology being as advanced as it is today, picking up a paper for anything seems a bit unnecessary. Nevertheless, those who do, know that outcomes on paper and on-screen are as different as chalk and cheese. As a designer, this decision to adopt or skip sketching logos is a lot more important than one might think.
Indeed, there are several factors that could affect a logo designer’s design decisions. With each decision, you would be affecting multiple elements of your design in your logo. Therefore, it becomes important to consider each and every factor while designing a brand logo. In this article, we start from the beginning: sketching a logo.
To Sketch or Not To Sketch
There are around half a million fonts in existence as of today. Similarly, there are hundreds of graphic design software available. If we look at it statistically, starting your logo design process at your desktop sounds more reasonable than sketching. However, let us change our glasses for a minute and see how sketching can affect – for good or for bad – your logo design in its entirety.
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Impact of Sketching
As a skill, and a tool, sketching has been serving its purpose with subtlety to all logo designers. From exploring new ideas to finding a long-last idea as a sketch on an old tissue paper, with numerous purposes on the table, sketching and logo design are a stronger combination than bacon and egg.
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Sketching is Your “Dear Diary”
There was a time when I presumed that journaling was a cliché laid out by people who wanted to sound woke. Yes, I know how bizarrely crude that opinion sounds. Well, a design approach with no sketching sounds something similar to those who know better as of now.
While journaling, you could learn about yourself, come up with a business idea that could change the world, or simply form a purposeful habit. In the same way, when you start sketching, you could find the perfect idea at first go, invite new ideas for hours and put it on paper, or do a bit of both: explore your options and finalize whichever seems the best.
Sketching out your ideas is an astounding way to rapidly build the same into a more polished and understandable concept. You can draw for a couple of hours and that could help you in working out different options for a certain logo design requirement. In addition to the same, sketched mockups are a lot different – and more effective – than the first draft on your desktop. For instance, if you want to update your clients or colleagues, or require feedback, presenting them a computerized design could do more harm than good; they could focus on other details such as color and typography instead of focusing on the concept as a whole. On the other hand, if you share sketches with them, you simply get an answer as to if you are moving in the right direction with your logo design.
Puts Your Eye Off The Clock
After your third design, when you will do it on your own and not only because it is suggested to you, you will be surprised by the time you save by adopting sketching in your design process.
In the beginning, to some, it may seem like an additional step in the entire design process, which will eventually lead to becoming a time-consuming activity. However, it is just the opposite. By sketching, not only will you allow your mind to wander at new places, but also create a sense of confidence in your designs. Later on, ruling out the need to redesign and overthink every element of your logo. Moreover, there is a good chance that while presenting your concepts to the clients, you will receive suggestions. Now, making changes on paper right away (or even later on) could take a few minutes, whereas, you will be obsessing with each piece on the photoshop home screen for hours to make the right edits.
As Versatile as Paper
I have known designers who have been in the industry for some time now, fretting about sketching and drawing skills. Certainly, one can mistake drawing skills as a requirement for creating a good sketch. However, this misconception can be cleared out only when you make your first sketch, and realize that all you needed was a pencil, paper, knowledge of shapes, and creativity.
The entire purpose behind sketching is to make the job more structured and easier for the logo designer, this could not come to fruition with expecting logo designers to draw like Picasso. At best, you may have to practice stick figures for some complicated logo design requirements, but besides that, sketching is for everyone.
Effective Sketching Instead of Random Drawings
As discussed above, logo designers do not need drawing skills or become the best illustrators. Having said that, it is important to understand that simply because there are no specific skills required, it does not mean that sketching can be taken for granted. In fact, there is a difference between doodling random thoughts and giving life to your ideas through sketching.
To get you started, here are some steps leading to effective sketching:
- Brand check: Before you start sketching, it is important to know all about your client, the designs used by them in the past, their customers, and their tone of voice. You could get the gist (even details) of this through a design brief. And studying that in detail is your first step to ensure that you do not end up sketching something entirely irrelevant.
- Branding elements: As you get to sketching, make sure that you have a list of all the branding elements associated with your client’s brand. For instance, if it is a sports brand, know their colors, players associated with the brand, and the unique selling price.
- Market research: This is something many logo designers skip. With thousands of companies growing rapidly, branding and rebranding are no more a one-time task. Consequently, brands expect logo designers to create something unique – given that logo is the first symbol of brand identity. However, to ensure that your logo stands out, it is crucial to conduct market research to understand what your client’s competitors are bringing to the table, and how to outshine the same.
Section 4: To Conclude
With a little extra effort in the beginning and a little more to form a habit of sketching before designing a logo, you will adapt sketching mockups, and experience its benefits soon. All in all, while the above-mentioned approaches are something I live by as a designer, I make sure to bring my own touch to each design as well. Similarly, while I strongly believe that sketching is an essential and unavoidable part of logo designing, I suggest creating your own design process, explore it all, and then land on what works the best for you.
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Article Contributor (s):
Author: Manas Chowdhury
Bio: A Digital Marketing enthusiast with a PG in Economics and specialization in Finance. I am an entrepreneur who is interested in stocks, bullions, and blockchain technology. While I run my startup, I also enjoy writing on a variety of topics. I am also involved in various activities contributing to the betterment of the environment and society as a philanthropist.