Friday 22nd October 2021

IDS Students: Step Away From the Computer

You can come back to it later!

When thinking about design, creating on a computer is a captivating experience. You get to see clear, crisp pixels glowing at you through a vibrant screen. Within in a matter of seconds you can make something gorgeous and finished, whether that is a website, poster, or even a blog post. Almost everything can be created from start to finish on a computer if you use the right software.

However, just because you can make everything on the computer doesn’t mean that you should. Enter in the pencil, or a pen, maybe a marker, or even a cracked crayon. What are these tools good for? Sketching.

Sketching is a great way to start any task or project without feeling like you’re staring at a blank computer screen with nowhere to go. If you have ever felt overwhelmed by the daunting task of starting a project, sketching is a great way to ease into something and to jot down some really great initial ideas. Here are a few reasons why you should start your next project by sketching.

Brainstorming is Easier

When thinking about starting a new project, you usually have a million ideas floating around in your head. Using a computer is a quick way to make great products, but it’s not fast enough to get all of your ideas down quickly before they leave your head. When you sketch, you can jot down things quickly without getting caught up in little details too early. Another reason sketching is good for brainstorming, one idea might lead to another, to another, to another! One stroke of a pencil might spark an even better vision of your final product.

Your First Idea May Not Be Your Best

But it might be. When you sketch, you can jot down everything in your head quickly, but sketching also allows you to sit back and see all of your ideas laid out in front of you. You can look at them objectively and start to decide which route you should take and which would be the most logical for what you want your final product to look and be like. You’ll want to ask yourself a few questions about your final products before you push any of your sketches further. Those questions will vary depending on your project but a few good places to start might be: What do I want to accomplish? Why do I want to produce something? How will I achieve the end goal?

Sketching Can Save Time

You might be thinking to yourself, “That’s a lie. You have to spend extra time sketching.” The response to that, yes and no. Initially, yes, you might spend extra time sketching before you start a project on a computer; in the end, you will be saving yourself from spending unnecessary time on something that might not work for what you want to accomplish. Sketching doesn’t take long, and in the end, will provide greater results and help create a better final product.

Fun For Everyone

If you can’t draw, that doesn’t mean that you can’t sketch! Sketching isn’t to show how great of an artist you are. It is meant to help put your ideas on paper and to start to visualize what you want your project to be like at the very end, after you have worked hard and diligently. Sketching isn’t just drawings: write notes, descriptions, and even number things by sections. Sketching shouldn’t be stressful, and if anything, it should be exciting to see all of your ideas being poured out onto a page.

This Isn’t The End

Sketching can be messy and crazy. It doesn’t have to be good, and it doesn’t really have to make sense to anyone else. It’s your free reign to create quickly and capture your thoughts onto a piece of paper. In the end, you don’t even have to use your sketches. Maybe sketching helped lead you on a totally different path than where you started, but that’s okay because it gave you a foot hold to jump off into a new, fantastic idea.

If you’re still intrigued, check out these other great articles on sketching.

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About The Author

Bailey is a senior at the University of Northern Iowa studying graphic design and Interactive Digital Studies. Combining these two degrees, she recently lead the creative direction of the IDS Practicum project, Imagine Iowa. In addition to her schooling, Bailey works as the marketing assistant at the Department of Residence where she helps create graphics and informs students about living on campus.