Whenever I feel uninspired I try to change the way I go about my work. Lately I have been feeling I am getting into a creative rut and just haven’t been feeling “in the zone”. That’s why I have decided to get out of my comfort zone (which is designing “as I go”) and try something I do not usually do – plan the project in advance…
I went ahead and used my Adobe Photoshop Elements 7.0, that makes my life a lot easier, but the same can be achieved with a simple grid paper, a ruler and some shape templates.
The benefits of using a sketch
Seeing the big picture. Sometimes only after the fact I see that some elements don’t go well together. The scale isn’t right or the space between the elements is either too big or too small. The design is too busy or too empty. By sketching the design on a scratch piece of paper (or a computer file) I can see if things work out or not, before pulling out the expensive products and adhering them down.
Easy placement and measuring. Working on a grid does the measuring for you. Instead of calculating how tall and how wide should be a panel in a 3 panels design, with an even gap between the panels and the edges of the card… – you just draw the shapes and start counting the square slots… Nothing gets easier than that. Translating the sketch onto your project is easy with the use of a T-Square ruler or a grid ruler. One square on the ruler is usually the same as one square on the grid you’re working with (usually an 1/8″ square)
An inspirations boost. Although it seems conversely, using a sketch with bare elements actually sparks your creativity and do not limit it. Each element in your sketch can be interpreted in a million ways. You can play with different products, textures, dimensions and so on and so forth. As the design is taken care of you are free to think about the rest of the elements without fearing it wouldn’t work out.
I was working on some card sketches, and this is what I came up with:
[Click on the sketch for a larger view. Feel free use the sketches for personal use]