From Doodle to Design

I confess: I’m a doodler. Doodling gets a bad rap, but it can be a useful exercise for generating ideas. The cover and text designs of University of Georgia Press books are produced on computers, but ideas start forming before we designers ever sit down at our screens, and for some of us, myself included, sketching is an important stage in the design process.

I graduated from the University of Georgia art school the quarter before the graphic design department got its first computer lab. My training goes back to the days of tracing type, creating marker comps, and using press type. The process of doing thumbnail sketches was drilled into us students by our professors. In the stairwell of the graphic design building, a neon sign commanded us to “Do More Sketches.”

There is something about putting pen or pencil to paper that gets the creative juices flowing. It’s a way to quickly explore multiple concepts and narrow down the ones worth pursuing. I find it easy to discard ideas that don’t work because I haven’t invested a lot of time developing them. Sketching is also helpful for working out composition and type arrangements. The sketches are rough and hastily drawn. The point is to get a lot of ideas down on paper without getting bogged down by details. Below are a few examples of sketches that became reality.

And please don’t judge the chickens in the Vegan Studies Project doodles.

Click on any image below to see full-size images with captions and begin the slideshow:

Erin Kirk New is a designer and the art director at UGA Press

2 thoughts on “From Doodle to Design

  1. Pingback: From Doodle to Design | After Montaigne

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