I read recently that graphic designers at Google have been required to use pen and paper as a first step when brainstorming new projects for the past several years. They believe it leads to better ideas than those begun on a screen. That really resonated with me. I find sketching an invaluable part of the early creative process, whether it’s a logo, a website or a brochure. Once I get past the initial paralysis that comes from looking at a blank sheet of paper, I’m free to explore ideas and concepts quickly and I believe that the physical act of drawing encodes the information on the brain. Then these cryptic notations start simmering like a crock pot in my subconscious. Soon enough, ideas related to the original sketches start popping into my head at odd times, like while showering, driving, or during a run.
It appears the analog world has not been completely turned over to the digital world. In a recent article “Our Love Affair With Digital Is Over,” which explores how people bought into the fantasy that digital made everything better, author David Sax notes: “Sales of old-fashioned print books are up for the third year in a row, according to the Association of American Publishers, while ebook sales have been declining. Independent bookstores have been steadily expanding for several years. Vinyl records have witnessed a decade-long boom in popularity (more than 200,000 newly pressed records are sold each week in the United States).”
I find that uplifting news. While most of my days are spent online—producing and consuming digital content—I still collect books like a junkie and find the tactile qualities as interesting as the visuals and words. Now if only I had more time to read them.
President / Creative Director