Notes from the Studio

Sketching For Designers

Sketching for Designers

Derwent Pencils recently asked me to contribute an article on how I use sketching to develop ideas for my design work.

Sketching isn’t optional for me as a designer, it’s essential. I can’t go straight to digital at the start of a project, I always start off with some browser templates or Moleskine (and a few Derwent pencils!)

Sketching kick-starts my creativity and allows me to get ideas out on paper and is the fastest way to brainstorm and convey as many ideas as possible with the least amount of effort.


Staring at a blank Photoshop canvas is not a great way to start a project. Although it may sound exciting to just jump straight in, it can also be quite overwhelming. Sketching gets you over this hurdle and allows you to quickly explore concepts and ideas. I see it as the frame upon which I craft my projects.

Whether it’s a website design, logo design or iPhone app design, it all begins with a pencil and paper. Sketching enables me to break down ideas and fully explore design and layout options and I find putting it down on paper tends to raise questions and ideas, and leads to changes.

To read the full article head over to the Love Pencils blog and let me know what you think!

One Comment

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  1. Ben says:

    Great tip Grace!

    I’ve recently started to pick up a pencil before I open a new canvas. Having the space to adjust, erase and scribble has helped a lot! Especially during those moments of blankness, where nothing seems to make sense and simple words have lost all meaning!

    Having a sketchpad on the go reminds me that I am not just replicating or ‘programming’, but ‘creating’ like an artist.

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