I've often been asked what my design process is. I tell every person the same thing: Sketching! In graphic design, people think that all of us designers head straight to the computer, but that's not the case. Sketching is extremely important and I'll tell you why: Sketching allows me to visually explore different areas to a design solution.
Recently, I was commissioned to design a logo for an accounting business, Symphony Business Services. I don't know anything about accounting, so I explored my client's website. After going through her website and doing some research, I had a general idea of what I wanted the logo to look like and the kind of message I wanted it to convey.
Now comes the sketching frenzy! I must of filled up three pages with sketches. I tossed ideas around in my head and sketched them out on paper. Some ideas worked, some didn't, but I kept exploring with my pencil. I did so many because I wanted to come up with something unique and not so obvious. The general rule is: the first idea that comes to your mind has probably been thought up before by many other designers.
Trust me, this is never an easy task, especially when a solution doesn't come to me right away. Whenever that happens, I usually stop working and go to sleep. Usually, I'm able to sketch something good after sleeping on it.
Page of Sketches
Remember, the sketches don't have to be great. The paper is a tool to get your ideas out. Once you have a good idea, refine the sketch and then go to the computer to make it into the cool looking vector graphic.
I've made many sketches and explored different ideas for the Symphony Business Services logo. The one the client approved was the golden tree graphic. I created an abstract tree graphic to symbolize growth and used a gold color to symbolizes success, achievement and wealth; important qualities for an accounting business to have and to portray to their target market.