Sketching as Exploration

Print design has been around for a very long time. In all areas of design, designers have always been a stickler about the design process. This can include gathering as much background information as possible, draft numerous amount of sketches, simplify it to about three versions, and then choosing one of them to create a final version of that print design. Many people out there in today’s society wants everything to be done as quickly as possible and does not want to wait for long for something, whether it is a design of something, food, drinks, or even to get to a place. No matter what it may be if it is not in our hands or at the location we are getting to in the shortest amount of time, then we start to get annoyed since we are so used to the quickness thanks to rapidly advancing technology that can spit information we are looking for with one keystroke. 

However, when it comes to designing something, in order to come to the most successful outcome, the best thing to do may not involve technology at all and instead it is all about the pencil and paper. While technology is involved in order to look up research or inspiration for the project, the next step is to always sketch out ideas. Sean Hodge states in his article “The Role of Sketching in the Design Process” that “Sketching can be used as a journaling activity to record and explore your interests. It can also be used to explore multiple options you could take in a particular design.” Sketching allows the designer to explore many options while at the time seeing what can and what can’t work at the time all at once on one page. 

Before I was able to begin any kind of sketching I needed to do research and gather inspiration that can help in the next stage of the process. I have already established which time period the posters will be in for each film. So I had to gather examples of film posters from that era but in the same genre as well or else it will look completely off. I also included colors and color schemes that I wanted to stay in that will make sense and fit with the movie as a whole. 

For example, I am using the films, The Princess Bride, Singin’ in the Rain, and Ocean’s 8. For The Princess Bride I’m staying within the earthly colors like the browns and greens. While Singin’ in the Rain was more of an upbeat and happy film, the colors I chose to stay with are the light colors and warm, including yellows, pastels, pinks/reds, purples, etc. Then with Ocean’s 8, I decided to stick with the reds and blacks or any of the dark color schemes that relate to crime, thievery, and comedy. So overall while it had stills from the film, it also had color schemes and examples of posters in the era, as well as the typography that was used a lot for the posters.  

As part of my creation of two to three movie posters I was able to physically write out the plan step by step of how I was going to get it all accomplished in a seven week time frame. From there, I set up a document in Adobe’s program InDesign to house all of the inspiration and research that I can reference to at any point during the project. Once I had enough inspiration, I went into Photoshop to create my sketches. In order for each sketch of a possible poster idea to be the same size, I created a template that I copied and pasted as many times as I needed to. Using my drawing tablet, I was able to sketch like I was using a pencil and paper only the pencil was the stylus and the paper was the document in Photoshop on my tablet. 

While I was sketching out my ideas, many of the items that had to be on the poster was more than I thought. I have seen numerous posters and the amount of information is on most of them, even if it’s so small it is hard to see surprised me. I somehow had to sketch out a captivating image, but I also had to make sure that all the information will be able to fit without feeling like everything is squished together in order to get it all on there. Despite everything, I was able to overcome the obstacles and create some sketches that I can expand upon or change it altogether. 

As part of the sketching, I was also keeping track of how long I was working on everything in a document. This can include reading through the material, gathering the research, creating this post, creating an image for this post, and anything else I was able to get done that week. As a designer this is very important to keep track of so they are getting paid correctly, to make sure everything is getting done, and maybe it’s so nothing gets lost in the shuffle in our already hectic lives and that we take the proper amount of time to spend on it.  

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