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Tingalls Graphic Design’s Creative Process: The Power of Pencil and Paper

Sketch vs digitalIn today’s digital world, where everything happens on screens, it might seem strange to talk about why using simple tools like pencils and paper is still relevant. At Tingalls Graphic Design, these “old-school” tools have a special place in our creative process. Our three talented designers – Nicole, Kallie, and Belle – share why starting their designs on paper before moving to computers actually gives them a big creative boost.

Kallie points out that starting on paper provides more flexibility. She says, “Sketching an idea is quicker. I can generate lots and lots of different design concepts quickly.” This quick process lets her explore dozens of ideas, and one sketch often leads to another. “On the computer, it’s easy to get stuck on the first idea and spend too much time trying to make it work,” she said. Kallie also likes that she’s not limited to the shapes she already knows how to make on the computer – she can draw whatever shapes she wants on paper.

Notebook of sketches for icon designs Girl drawing with pencil at her desk

Nicole commented, “I sketch before using the computer because it helps me quickly gather ideas in a rough form. This helps me sort out the ideas and arrangements that aren’t going to work digitally.” Nicole also likes the feeling of drawing on paper, and it helps her get better at drawing itself, which is important for explaining ideas to others.

Wireframe sketch for website design Woman drawing at a table with a coffee mug

Belle, our summer design intern, mentioned, “It helps me see how I want the overall layout to look. I can try out different ideas before deciding on one to use on the computer.” Sketching gives her a roadmap for her design and lets her experiment with different possibilities before committing to a final digital design.

Social media sketchesWatering can watering flowers illustration

Social media sketches in a notebookBurger illustration

Sketch concepts for a social media posts Google My Business illustration

In a nutshell, sketching has lots of benefits that help our team work smarter and faster. Nicole’s hands-on approach and drawing practice, Kallie’s quick exploration of ideas, and Belle’s visual planning all come together to make Tingalls’ designs stand out. In a world where computers rule, it’s important to remember that simple tools can still be really helpful. Pencil and paper might seem old-fashioned, but they bring a lot of value to modern design work.