A design begins as a thought and evolves into an idea that is expressed, transforming as an iteration to continuously improve. Through this process, a mere thought is crafted into a reality. To design is to create and construct, functionally and aesthetically.
Countless sketches, illustrations and “doodles” make up the design process. To work in such a way requires the proper set of tools, and each designer’s is unique. Armed with a pen or pencil, collecting thoughts on a sketchbook or a sticky note, every designer works through the creative process differently. We asked our designers to sit down and talk about some of the tools you’d find in their toolkit.
Tool: The Pen
Madeline's Choice: Paper Mate Flair Felt Tip Pens “The fluidity of using a fine point marker without the bleedthrough. I love to use them in sketching and anything that needs an inked feel. Makes me think about my lines more than I would with pencils.”
Kate's Choice: Staedtler Triplus Fineliner “I like that it’s more like a marker, but I don’t have to worry about bleed like a fine point sharpie. I feel more comfortable using it in Moleskines because I know I might have to write on both sides of the paper. They are also triangular in shape and fit really nice and stable in your hand. You can get them in like any color and line weight. The holder they come in doubles as a stand, which is also nifty.”
Tool: The Pencil
Brian's Choice: GraphGear 1000 Drafting Pencil “This pencil looks like it was designed by NASA. It’s got a chiseled, metallic grip with little kneaded areas that make holding it for long periods more comfortable. Good for those with a heavy drawing hand; the lead tends not to break as often.”
Laura's Choice: No. 2 Pencil “I like traditional pencils. Mechanical ones remind me of elementary school and make me uncomfortable; the lead always breaks and there’s a time for a sharp point but there’s also a time for a dull point. So, I like traditional pencils since they allow for this. I also like starting something with a freshly sharpened pencil.”
Tool: The Workbook
Alex's Choice: Moleskine “Moleskine. I feel like whatever I write in a Moleskine is important (probably because of the cost) so I tend to care more about what I’m writing or drawing than if it was on a piece of printer paper I pulled from the laser’s tray. I don’t like spiral bound, so Moleskines bindings are great.”
Brad's Choice: Field Notes “I like to use two types of notebooks for different uses. I prefer to use lined field notes or the small-sized Moleskines to carry around for quick meetings or if I have a quick idea I can easily put it down on paper without having to carry around a large notebook. For more refined ideas and sketches, I like to use Behance’s Dot Grid journal. The dot grid gives you the benefits of a full grid without being as intrusive."