graphic design, design process

Client’s Sketches Welcome


MARCH, 2016


The creative process of a project can have many different starts, sometimes we need to start from scratch, sometimes we need to listen to the client and discover or translate what is in their mind.

Some clients draw their ideas in a piece of paper. I find this very interesting because one can see exactly what they want.

I consider it an honour to be chosen to bring a dream into real life and wish all my clients would spend some time putting their thoughts and concepts onto paper, even if it’s done on a paper napkin during a relaxing cup of coffee. For me, this means that they have been through an unconscious visual research that involves:

  • Observing their industry competitors
  • Feeling inspired by their own ideas
  • Taking that extra step into knowing what is it that they really want.

Science also explains why this is a very good sign:

“External representations, e.g. diagrams, sketches, charts, graphs and even hand-written memos not only serve as memory aids, but also facilitate and constrain inference, problem-solving and understanding” – Masaki Suwa & Barbara Tversky, Advanced Research Laboratory, Hatoyama, Japan/ Department of Psychology, Stanford University.

Here are 5 examples of client’s sketches I’ve collected over the last couple of years. I have to say that some of these are not just doodles, they are well developed illustrations:

1. Piers Gilbertson – The Shack

Piers from The Shack, a sound design and recording studio based in Wellington, approached me to help him with a logo idea he already had in mind for a while. During our first meeting he developed a few doodles to explain exactly what he wanted.

Design Sketches
Design Proposal
Design Proposal
Design Proposal

2. Simon Elwell – Inspire Photography

Inspire Photography is an award winning, Wellington based photography studio. When Simon (photographer/director) told me he would ask around in the studio if anyone had layout ideas to contribute, I expected something good would surely come out of this excellent attitude.

Design Sketches
Design Proposal
Design Proposal

3. Susan Waugh – Te Papa Museum

Susan is a doctor of biology and Senior Curator Sciences at Te Papa. She reminds me of those scientists who were also illustrators, that would form part of the team of the great European explorers and navigators. Susan had recently participated in a ‘zine’ workshop and had the idea to transform her latest research journey into a ‘zine’ story poster. Her illustrations are quite stunning.

Design Sketches
Design Proposal

4. Markyrious Muliipu – Private invitation

Markyrious doesn’t work in the art or design industry, but he has an acute sense of aesthetics and balance. I remember he handed his sketch to me already apologizing for it. I told him this is an art director style diagram.

Design Sketches
Invitation Design
Design Proposal

5. Anna Finkenaur – Good Hood

Anna is an amazing fashion designer. Every fraction of a millimeter makes all the difference to her visual needs. The intention of the mood she wants to transmit was essential in this job.

Design Sketches
Design Sketches

People might feel insecure and embarrassed to hand a professional designer a hand made drawing or diagram, and when they do, they very often apologise first. We actually see that little doodle/drawing as a little piece of the history of their project and it really helps us to read their mind and clearly visualize their needs.

Contact us if you have an idea in mind, or a doodle to share!

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