Is sketching a logo concept an antiquated method for the modern designer? In some design circles, it has been for a long time. Even before the advent of the digital drawing tablet when a mouse was the only option. And though many designers still prefer to pencil-sketch concepts first, there are a rising number of new generation designers who go right to the computer.
With design-tech industry giants, Adobe and Apple, digital drawing has never been easier—and will keep getting easier as the demand for digital/mobile tools continues to grow. Recently, Adobe has taken its first attempt at developing hardware by creating Adobe Ink & Slide—a designer stylus and ruler built for use on the iPad.
Here are some of my pros and cons for sketching with a tablet versus a pencil:
- Draw freehand or create perfectly straight lines
- Sketch using vector tools
- Pre-built shapes
- Easy to switch colors
- Effortless erasing
- Clean drawing (no lead smears or erasure marks)
- More restrictive or “less natural”
- Not as intuitive for creativity
- Disconnect between your hand and what you’re drawing
As you can see, digitally drawing offers many benefits and depending on the user’s needs, the pros and cons may vary. It’s really a personal preference, but pencil sketches will continue to diminish as new tools emerge allowing designers to ditch the pencil.
Personally, I find sketching an essential part of the creative process. To me, it’s more freeing, which can make conveying my ideas much easier. Sketching preliminary concepts used to be an annoying demand made by my instructors, but is now a necessity for me.
Which do you prefer: sketching with pencil or digitally? Share your thoughts in the comments below!