Everything I do starts with a pencil

You may have seen in one of my previous posts how I like to collect things for inspiration ( https://dynamitedesign.co.uk/inside-a-designers-mind/ or https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/inside-designers-mind-paul-mcenery/ ). In this post I hope to show how everything I design starts with a pencil and paper.

Knowing what the client needs and wants to achieve, shapes the whole process. So with this in mind a blank piece of paper is a great way to thrash out all your random thoughts, so you can see things taking shape and going in the right direction.

Starting with a blank piece of paper is always daunting, so the best way to start is to get something/anything down, that first mark. Sometimes it might be the silliest idea, sometimes it’s the best idea, it doesn’t matter!

Good design and good typography are an important mix in the creative process. But before we get there we first have to make sure the concept is clear in its communication, as good design is about constantly sifting the many elements you have at the start down to the essential ones that work. So that’s why I prefer starting on a bit of paper, whether it is a layout pad, a scrap of paper, a beer mat, a Post-it note or the back of a pack of matches, it really doesn’t matter. The important thing is to start extracting thoughts from your head and seeing things take shape, it is the most natural way to do this.

I nearly always start in black and white, often not adding colour until later in the process, as I feel if it works in black and white it will work in any colour. I then develop a palette of colours to suit, or use what is on brand. Starting this way is also the most uncluttered way to work as colours can sometimes define a design too early on (unless of course that’s what you’re trying to achieve).

The images in the article show some very early scribbles or sketches before I start experimenting on the Mac. I like to get a few shapes and ideas out of may head on paper first, it is often the quickest way to experiment. Helping set up some workable directions in the early stages of the process, before you touch the computer.

It has taken me many years to be able to quickly access what is the correct direction to follow and which ideas should be developed. But design isn’t a scientific process so sometimes, whatever you do, whatever you try it still doesn’t work and you just have to allow for more time and just ‘RELAX’, because the solution will come. Like anything in life, as long as you know what you are doing, the more time you put into something, the better it’s usually going to be anyway.