We’ve all seen those amazing process photos of just gorgeous logo work on Instagram, Behance and Dribble to name a few. The picture perfect layout with 6-9 logo options that are meticulously positioned with perfect spacing and of course…numbering. With my blog series, my main goal is to give young designers insight on how the process works from getting a brief, doing the work, getting paid but above all - making sure they have confidence and develop their own process that gets them paid on a consistent basis. Remember, we aren’t designers just so we can look cool on social media and showcase our skills - we all need to get paid at the end of the day or else this isn’t a job at all and it merely becomes a hobby. So here are my thoughts on sketching that will most certainly get you there quicker.
First things first, for this stuff to work, you really need to know your way around Adobe Illustrator - because when the time comes and you wanna build your shapes off of your sketches, it needs to be perfect. Believe me, I know from experience - once you think you’ve learnt all you can learn, something always comes up that you wish you knew prior. This is the only time you want to be meticulous by the way. So as a direct example, get to know your Pathfinder tool, Pen tool, make sure you use the Alignment tool, duplicate shapes as you go to ensure you can always go back a step if needed. I PROMISE you that if you take a few days to focus on fixing the kinks in your armor, you’ll be solid and best of all…get noticed by people who need you. Best way to do this is to look up videos on youtube and/or other learning platforms.
So lets say you’re pretty confident with Illustrator and you get a client brief - you’ve read it, created your mood board etc. Unless you’re an impeccable sketcher like Frank Frazetta and you have been drawing since you we’re a infant - it is a complete waste of time to try and perfect sketches on a piece of paper prior to vectoring them. Reason being, in Illustrator, if you’re quick you can probably build a logo with simple shapes very very quickly. Which means you’re efficient, you just wasted less time and you’ve created time to make new ideas (which by the way is the best thing you can do - more ideas, quicker you get paid). Logo designers get paid because they know how to use software? Sure, but the main reason is that we’re creatives and coming up with genuine, 100% original work isn’t an easy task.
In most cases I spend so much more time sketching than I do in Illustrator because software is merely a tool to make ideas come to life - the ideas need to come from somewhere. So please guys and gals, don’t spend time trying to create perfect lines on paper because it will limit you opportunity to create more and more ideas that will ensure your client you have put time into creating them several ideas to choose from. You really wanna aim between 3-8 but 3-6 is still very solid. Use your time wisely because if you don’t, you’ll be working too hard for stuff that isn’t relevant to your clients brand. Be smart!
I will however say that if you choose to create perfect sketches and take your time with each one (provided you were successful at delivering the brief) than by all means - DO YOU. For example, typographers should spend more time on each letter and word as their craft requires a more delicate touch than say icon design. In my experience, the old saying time is money is totally relevant as a freelancer, so all I ask is - use it wisely and you will earn money faster and more efficiently.
Words: John Bresciani
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