John deWolf's Sketchbook

" Speed of exploration over the quality of line work is my maxim."


John deWolf
Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Earlier in the day, I was asked to submit images from my sketchbook. I thought: How did they know sketchbooks mean so much to me? Did I say something? Perhaps it was an uncanny coincidence. Only hours earlier I remarked on a student’s sketchbook and their progress exploring and collecting ideas. Maybe it was leaving the house sans keys and wallet, yet with sketchbook in hand?

Marty Gregg's Sketchbook

Little bits of paper, stickers and ephemera that would have otherwise been lost, have a home in the journal.


Marty Gregg
Arthouse Design, Denver

I have been keeping journals since college and found it to be a perfect vault for my ideas and record of inspirations. I’m always surprised by how well the journal process (when reviewed at a later time) takes me back to exactly what I was thinking and what I was inspired by. Little bits of paper, stickers and ephemera that would have otherwise been lost, have a home in the journal.

Sam Pease's Sketchbook

A lot of designers learn to sketch projects before creating them digitally, and my parents always said that I spent more time with a crayon in my hand than anything else.

Gabriel Gallina Sketchbook Graphic

When I was little, I was nuts about the Disney universe, and Carl Barks was my first great idol. I believe that this is why my drawing style today is closer to animation than architecture.

I belong to a generation of architects who began college drawing by hand and finished it drawing in AutoCAD.

Curtis Roberts' Sketchbook

Like so many people, I started drawing at a young age and for purely recreational purposes. I think if there is a style to my sketches, it dates back to those early years and my affinity for Marvel Comics.

Michael Courtney's Sketchbook

“Sketches don't have to be perfect. They just have to get the idea across.” I sketch in meetings, at my desk and on planes. For some reason, classical and chamber music concerts really get me thinking, so I always take a few blank 3x5 cards and a pen so I can discreetly sketch if the mood strikes me.

Ken Carbone's Sketrchbook

I consider my collection of journals as 5,000 pages of "beginnings," which is creatively liberating. On occasion I'll use these books to sketch out a specific concept. I like to challenge myself to find a solution to a problem within a single two-page spread. This constraint is both terrifying and exciting.

Andreas Uebele's Sketchbook

Drawing by hand is an unmediated physical experience, a craft. It sharpens the feeling for form, it refines the judgement. Drawing is a beautiful discipline and a precise language for the designer.

Lucy Holmes' Sketchbook

As part of a generation that left college without touching a computer, perhaps I am different… There is a computer on my desk, but I mainly use it for e-mail. My key tools remain a box of pens/pencils and a roll of tracing paper. For me, sketching is free thinking. It doesn’t have to look great, it doesn’t have to be anything, it just becomes a visual stream of thoughts.

Wayne Hunt's Sketchbook

For developing ideas quickly, sketching is not only efficient, but for me provides a kind of iterative feedback not possible with the computer. I once heard that one's inability to draw perfectly actually leads to productive variations as an idea develops -- your mistakes suggest new directions. This is not possible on a computer where everything looks "perfect."

David Harvey's Sketchbook

Sketching is always my first impulse, writing a distant second. Sketching is a means of thinking visually—on the page—and thoughts are generated as I watch a sketch unfold. The first mark is defining, raising many new opportunities for making the next mark, and new possibilities materialize while others fall by the wayside. The drawing process is a conversation between my imagination and the page, mediated by my hand, and that dialogue challenges me to respond.

Lance Wyman's Sketchbook

In 2012, SEGD asked me to create a limited-edition poster celebrating its 40th anniversary. I was inspired by the notion of SEGD’s passage into a new era, and I tried to communicate the idea of forward motion. The idea of passing through—of being at a crossroads—made sense to me, and that’s why I combined the “4” and the “0” in such a way that they form a full circle.

Working in design for half a century, I have always found it difficult to tell my clients how the project will look, so my sketches give them a general idea. I usually sketch on pieces of scrap paper or whatever is at hand. Many of my preliminary drawings later prove to be true.

Lee Skolnick's Sketchbook

Most children draw before they can write. I was certainly one of them. Sketching is perhaps the most primal means for identifying and embodying even the barest seed of an idea, for testing and shaping it, and for expressing it in its purest and most distilled form. If one can retain the essence and yet achieve the potential in the realized project that the initial sketch suggests, then the challenging creative journey can be deemed a success. All design is communication.

Andrea Fineman's Sketchbook

How do experience designers use sketching? I use it to quickly test out ideas and develop new ideas as I go. Sketching even very common interaction design patterns (for smartphone apps, for instance) can reveal new ideas for data visualizations or other interaction features. More often, though, making a quick sketch of an interface that seems simple in your mind can reveal fundamental flaws in the idea.

Jan Lorenc sketchbook

For the Chinese developer Vanke, we created the immersive brand experience for OPALUS, an urban development in Guangzhou. The scope included storyline and branding strategy, and we even wrote a fairy tale to set the tone for the project. We also led the team of architects, interior designers and landscape architects who realized our placemaking vision including the logo, signage, sculptures, the entry sequence, lighting, fountains, pavilions and other public spaces.

Hal Kantner's Sketchbook

Our Possibilities Sketchbook process can be summarized as rapid conceptualization through visual listening. The ideas generated in interviews and group discussions are turned into visual meeting notes. The sketchbook’s minimal investment in production allows all stakeholders’ ideas to live equally, side by side, inside a readily distributable, easily reviewable deliverable.

Terry Graboski's Sketchbook

It started 30 years ago when I needed a Valentine’s Day card for my wife Constance. In the office, late at night, all I had was paper and an X-Acto knife. I started cutting out a flower design. After a while I decided to keep cutting and see how much paper I could remove from the sheet. The shapes I removed were as important as the solid areas I left.

Richard Walsh Sketchbook

Richard Walsh, Studio Director, SKN Creative (Culver City, Calif.)

Drawing has been a passion of mine for as long as I can remember. My high school math books were filled with drawings of hot rods, monsters and visual interpretations of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds." My mother, a high school math teacher, agreed that art school was the path for me!

Header for Tim McNeil's Sketchbook

Spontaneous, rapid, gestural, impressionistic, fluid, preparatory, observational, documentary: these are just some of the words that describe why sketching for me is both a design tool and a form of personal expression.

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