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Sketch Your Infographics

April 1, 2014
Concept sketch for CBaSE information graphic by KAP Design

Early conceptual sketch for ‘Centre for Business and Social Entrepreneurship Overview’ information graphic by KAP Design. Click to view larger.

First things first. When designing information graphics, focus on the ‘information’ before diving into the ‘graphics’. The success of an infographic rests on the quality of the story.

When it comes time to create the ‘visual’ in visual storytelling, it’s time to sketch. But wait! Don’t turn to your computer or tablet just yet. While many infographics are beautiful, vector-based, visual assets, you should begin with paper, pens, markers, pencils, and more paper.

ABO concept sketch by KAP Design

Early conceptual sketch for ‘ArtsBuild Ontario’ information graphic by KAP Design.

Sketching is the perfect technology for creating your infographic concepts and sketches are ideal for sharing them with collaborators and clients.

Sketching Is Fast

When a designer is brainstorming alone or with others, ideas are rapidly flowing and transforming. Anything that slows down the process threatens the evolution towards a solution. Saving files, setting line weights and picking colours are all time-sucking, finicky adjustments inherent to working on a computer. Keep your laptop closed and instead grab some paper, quickly sketch your idea, grab a second sheet and sketch a change, scribble a note, overlay one sketch over another. At any time, lay out all of the sketches and survey all of the ideas. Only sketching can keep up with the speed of concept generation.

Sketches Are a Work In Progress

Collaborators and clients alike are more apt to critique a sketched infographic concept. A sketch communicates an idea in a design process and the quick, rough appearance welcomes honest feedback. A refined, “perfect” vector graphic looks complete and long past the point when big changes can be suggested.

Sketches Aren’t Fine Art

You don’t need to be a graduate of the Ontario College of Art and Design to create useful sketches that drive the design process. The best sketching is quick, minimalist and just a step above scribbling. The goal is to clearly capture your infographic ideas. Stick figures, simple shapes and some colours do the job.

Concept sketch by KAP Design

Early concept sketch for the Health Link visual explanation by KAP Design. Click to view larger image.

Whether you are brainstorming around a whiteboard with collaborators or presenting to a marketing team at corporate headquarters, always include sketching. It’s efficient, engaging and honest. It’s every infographic designer’s most versatile tool.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. April 1, 2014 1:36 pm

    Reblogged this on Things I grab, motley collection .

  2. May 10, 2014 4:56 pm

    Very helpful tips! I’ve been trying to work on my sketching process when it comes to design (rather than illustration.)
    Thanks for sharing!

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