DoodlesWhy did the designer take a pencil to bed?
…To draw the curtains!

Do you doodle?

Where and when? what do you doodle and does it take you by surprise when you see what you have scribbled?

Whats on the back of your cigarette pack?

Its great to find a piece of paper that has been at the bottom of a pile of papers to find the mad ramblings of your mind that occurred a few months/years previously – depending on how high the pile was!  Years ago, when the phone book sat by the phone all the pages where completely illustrated across all panels. It was also very scary!

Doodling has got me through many meetings and then caused genuine alarm when analysing the stars, faces, eyes and swirls entwined across the page!

Did Freud analyse doodles?
He certainly developed many theories on the unconscious mind!

The unconscious mind can solve many problems when left to its own devices. How many times have you solved a dilemma after walking away from a problem and letting it float around?

Many of my tricky design challenges have had a eureka moment during a prolonged swimming session ( I swim) or driving down the M1! I solved a packaging construction problem doing backstroke in the pool one tuesday morning, and it worked!

When I’m pulling my hair out with a design that just doesnt ‘fit’, walking away and finding something less boring to do instead allows the unconscious mind to do its stuff. Seeing something or reading something completely different can be the solution to all your current problems and looking at it from a different approach and direction can make all the difference.

Scribbling at random moments or in that very boring  meetings  can suddenly produce another concept that is ideal or at least has exciting possibilities! Of course that random doodle can open up a whole can of worms and when identified as the only solution possible it’s priceless and should be guarded by MI5 at the very least! The frustration of having the ‘ideal design solution’ on a scrap of paper ‘somewhere’ under the pile of papers or in the bottom of your brief case is too much to bear when it goes walkabout. So many fabulous graphic elements originated from scribbling!

How many cigarette packets carry million pound logos scribbled on the back?

One major problem I have often found is that while the computer scanner transfers those doodles to your screen, they often just don’t look the same anymore. The quality of a pencil drawing can’t always be reproduced by the computer without losing the depth and detail and sometimes the freedom and flow of the pencil is lost. Sketching and drawing is an essential part of design training, the lights and darks, the textures and detail created by a sharp HB pencil or the texture produced by the softness of a 6B has a quality that only natural talent can achieve!

Hand rendered story boards and preliminary designs are sadly now a thing of the past. Artists today have fantastic software to use and the Cintiq range of interactive pen displays are amazing (on my christmas list) but never cheap!  Always fascinating to watch the YouTube videos of artists ‘creating’ and demonstrating their skills for our amusement! Click here to watch the creation of a dragon!

If you can’t draw but would like to – take a course and enjoy it rather than worry about what you can do and can’t! (its called being ‘abstract’) If you can draw but have forgotten how, doodle, sketch, play with line and texture and carry a sketch book around for those boring meetings – you can look like you are taking notes, when in reality you are creating caricatures of the speakers!!

I have a very abstract drawing by a guy I was at college with, he’s become well known for artistic installations so I’m hoping it could be worth a fortune sometime!! (I’d better remove it from my downstairs toilet!)

Angie Phillips of A.N.G Creative Design, based in Essex, UK, helping you communicate your message to your clients and generating more leads and sales.