Sketching as a visual thinking tool

Sketching as a visual thinking tool

screenshot of websiteOver on A list Apart, Mike Rohde has written a great article on the use of sketching as a visual thinking tool.

I always say that when you design on a computer lots of interesting things happen and the design process can develop along unanticipated and exiting ways, but when you work in a sketch book the pace and process produces different work again and one can supplement the other. It is not an either or situation but combining both processes that can really enhance skills.

Mike Rohde makes similar points

“Adding sketching to the design process is a great way to amplify software and hardware tools. Sketching provides a unique space that can help you think differently, generate a variety of ideas quickly, explore alternatives with less risk, and encourage constructive discussions with colleagues and clients.”

If you are at all interested in design and of course textile design falls into that category pop over and read Sketching: the Visual Thinking Power Tool


  1. Yes the i cant draw hurdle is also self imposed as its more reframing the activity to 'working out a little design'

    Judy I do that too but good ideas get shifted tot he computer and worked up – I cant imagine designing without both now.

    Sharon B
  2. This make me smile a bit, as it's a startling thought – sketching is my ONLY visual thinking and designing tool, as I started my odyssey many many years ante computers. I cannot imagine using a computer as any part of my work. I keep a sketch book a pencil beside me always – even in the car.

  3. That's a great article, Sharon – thanks for the link. I agree with Mike that design work with pen/pencil and paper often helps ideas to flow more quickly at the beginning of the process. It's just a matter of getting over the "I can't draw" hurdle.

    And the trick to that, I've found, is to just get going and dive in!

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