Pencil meets paper

After some years of being a student in San Jose State University and taking classes in hopes of getting into the graphic design program, I had times where I jump right into my Adobe softwares such as:  Illustrator or Photoshop.  It’s crazy how the world of technology can really pull you into thinking that you can do tasks quickly or even multi-task.  Our computers, tablets, smartphones, and more are intelligent devices.  We, as everyday users, obsess over them and they often distract us from taking in real experiences.  With this idea of the digital age being pointed out, it is evident that we rarely revert to traditional systems.  As a designer, I think it is important to go back to pencil and paper when it comes to designing.  As “old-fashioned” as it sounds, pencil and paper is the #1 design tool to help get your ideas across.

“Design: to create, fashion, execute, or construct according to plan :  devise,  contrive <design a system for tracking inventory [Merriam Webster, 1].”

When I think of the term “design,” I think of the words: plan or blueprint.  It’s literally what it is because our brains are working with our hands.  We are in a developing period of technology.  Technology is always improving and adding to the betterment of society’s lives. Although this may be true, I think reminding individuals in the design world, who may struggle with some creative block, that there are better ways to come about their process.   I think it’s a MUST to be able to address the issue that design doesn’t have to be always done electronically.  In fact, jumping to these electronic systems in our design thinking processes can make it difficult for one to come up with good ideas or, perhaps, make better modifications.


Without pencil and paper, we would probably not be able to create the devices we use today.  It can be so restricting to have to stare at a monitor for four hours not knowing how to go about your work.  I’ve found myself sitting on my bed, papers crumpled up on my floor, my hair tangled up in knots, and staring at a blank/rough canvas at 2 in the morning.  I’d be working on the design for hours before, yet I still come up with… well, not much.  I did this so often because I jumped onto my programs instead using my sketchpad  There is great restriction with the pushing and pulling of the mouse.  You have more leeway once you revert to these tools because you can write out your ideas and sketch out drafts comfortably.  There are so many benefits to pencil and paper like communication.  Eventually, if you are one in hopes of pursuing a career with design, you’ll find yourself being able to work with a client; traditional systems/tools like these will help you share ideas, concepts, and come up with great solutions in the design.