04
Aug
08

Why you sketchin’?

Project Brief as Submitted by Client

Project Brief as Submitted by Client

The design flow we use at work goes like this:

1. Client submits a project >

2. Designer creates a mockup (comp) >

3. Designer sends comp to client for review >

4. Client replies back with Approval (A) or list of Edits (E) >

5. If (A), then project gets produced (printed) and delivered to client.
If (E), then designer makes edits and replies back to client with a revised comp (go to step 3).

The process is simple, but sometimes it’s difficult getting from step 1 to step 2. Maybe you’re thinking about something else. Maybe you’ve got too many ideas and don’t know which one to try out. Maybe you don’t have any ideas at all. Whatever the case, you’re at a point where you can’t proceed. It’s called designer’s block. When it happens to me, it sounds like this:

What do I do? How do I want this to look? How does the client want it to look? What else am I working on? How about my personal stuff? I’m gonna be famous, you know? How much time do i have? When’s this thing due? Man, I’d rather be working on something else. This brief sucks. Look at that screen. I wonder how many pixels are on that thing. This write-up’s wack. Did they give me anything else to work with? When’s lunch? Man, I’m hungry. I’ll get on this after I eat. Where should I eat…? Who wants to roll? Where’s my cell?

Maybe it’s not exactly like that. But, you get the picture. If I’m thinking about all of that, how do I flush all of the tangent thoughts out of my head and get focused? I doodle…like a motha!@#$%…like I’m hitting up a blackbook.

Usually I have a blank sheet between me and my keyboard so I can write down ideas or bust sketches. Even if it’s not relevant to what I’m working on, I write it down or draw it. Whatever’s on my mind, I just gotta get it out and onto some paper, napkin, flyer, anything.

Here’s a recent doodle:

Project Brief after Designer's Block

Project Brief after Designer's Block

Writer’s call it freewriting. Shrinks call it therapy. Your boss will call it procrastination. It’s all of the above. But, in the end, it gets your ideas out and clears the thoughts cluttering your head – leaving room for you to think about the task at hand.


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