In a world of glossy renderings, spec sheets, and 3D printing, using sketching as a core design tool may seem antiquated, but it will always be a valuable skill in the designer's tool belt. When sketching, ideas spill out of your brain and onto the page much faster than any current process. It may lack the fidelity of detailed renderings and mockups, but by starting with sketches you are able to quickly work your way through many ideas. And in the end, come to a better and more informed solution.
For most people every idea is perfect in their head until it’s down on paper. It's abstract and idealized; the problems only showing up once it’s brought into the real world. Sketching is the easiest and quickest way to do this. All it takes is a little patience, a pen, and a piece of paper. Once you draw something out, you’ll be able to edit and build on the design more effectively. You’ll be able to see it in ways not originally thought of.
At Design Packaging sketching is an important part of our process as it allows us to quickly share and develop ideas early in the process. For our Barney’s Electric Holiday invitation, we were able to explore many concepts within a short time line by sketching out ideas and sharing them with our internal creative team, and the client. This allows the best ideas to rise to the surface, and keeps lines of communication open as issues are worked through and the design is refined. There were a lot of moving parts to keep track of including mirrors, LED strips, a battery pack and a magnetic switch. Once the final concept was selected, sketching allowed us to quickly determine the best method of layering these components as they went into the box. It also helped us find the ideal placement of the magnetic switch, so that even if the lid was placed backwards, the lights would still turn off. From there we moved on to 3D renderings, art files, and the finished piece. Renderings may look realistic, mockups may look cool, and the packaging impressive, but it all starts with the first step in the design process: sketching.