After pulling together images, color palettes & ideas for inspiration, it's time to start developing concepts. With the ease of modern technology, some creatives overlook concepting & start working with digital tools right way, but I find developing concepts plays an important role my creative process.
Creating a series of rough sketches with pencil & paper—usually a minimum of four sketches—for each project, helps me explore different layouts, styles & accompanying illustrations quickly & effectively to find the best solution. They encourage me to develop additional concepts that are distinctive from my initial concept. Using concept sketches also helps my clients to visualize the variations that a design can take, introduce them to new ideas & help them determine which options best fit their objective.
From there, I refine the best concepts using ink & tracing paper to adjust awkward spacing, uneven alignment & errant strokes for a clean design that preserves the original sketch. Sometimes I even retrace a sketch multiple times to get the design just right before creating the final design digitally.
For some, concepting may seem like a redundant & unnecessary excerise in the modern, digital age, but it helps me cultivate my own distinct style & create the best solutions for me & my clients.
“Hand Lettering 101” is an ongoing series that discusses various topics on hand lettering, including the creative process and behind the scenes.