Something I constantly stress to any intern who comes through our creative department is to not jump right onto the computer and start designing a project. Whether you are a designer or a copywriter, you should not start typing on the keyboard or clicking your mouse until you have spent some time exploring ideas with pencil on paper. No matter how fast one works you can’t quickly explore ideas on a computer.
If you start working on any project by using the computer first, you are already diving too deep into the fine details of a piece. You are immediately begining to use color, choose fonts and in general ignore the larger picture of the concept and overall layout of a piece.
I am going on this rant because a friend on Facebook recently shared a great article on Flavorwire.com showcasing a look into 15 sketchbooks from famous authors, artists and more. Below you can take a look at a few pages from Mark Twain and Leonardo da Vinci. Granted, the people featured in the article didn’t have the option to get on a computer at any point, but my point remains that you need to think through a problem before you can solve it. Even just looking at the two sketchbooks below, I am encouraged by the plethora of crossed out ideas for character names in Twain’s book. Even the masters had to struggle to make something great.
So if you are a Marketing Director, or anyone being presented to by an agency, ask to see the sketches. If they aren’t already showing you marker comps for round 1 then they should be! Not only will you be seeing a peak into their thought process and how they came up with their conclusions. But you will also get to find out if they are spending the proper amount of time needed on the projects they are working on for you.