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Blog // Images // Thoughts
November 12, 2015

Why Do We Let Computers Restrict Our Ideas

I recently had an online exchange with a friend who was trying to design a logo for an upcoming project. In a perfect world we would all hire a badass designer for every assignment like this. But, most of us don’t have the money. And, given how bad the lottery of cheap design, on sites […]

I recently had an online exchange with a friend who was trying to design a logo for an upcoming project. In a perfect world we would all hire a badass designer for every assignment like this. But, most of us don’t have the money. And, given how bad the lottery of cheap design, on sites like fiverr and the like can be, it sort of makes sense just to DIY it.

My friend sent me something been done on a computer drawing programme (Photoshop, or something like that). It was a good idea badly executed, so I quickly sketched an alternative out with pen and paper and sent it back. This sparked my friend to go in a different direction sending me another, computer created design and we went back and forward like that a few more times.

It soon became clear what my friend was creating was being limited by the programme and their ability to use it. Of course, we always face that kind of technical challenge when producing a final piece of work. But, why impose it upon ourselves at the start?

My first suggestion, the one that helped my friend down a better design direction, took seconds to draw, photograph and send. If I had tried to do the same in photoshop, it would have taken me minutes, quite a few minutes probably. Early on, you want to be able to sketch out ideas quickly, to test what works, so doesn’t it make sense to go to the medium that is fastest for sketching, which for most us isn’t a computer, it’s paper.

I understand the appeal of trying to design on a computer, especially if your final product is going to be digital (for a website, app, podcast or video). But, even if your product is digital, there’s no reason why you have to do any or even most of the design process electronically. In fact, you might get to an idea faster by staying away from the computer completely, at least at the start of the process.

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