“…You draw, better be Picasso, you know the best. Cause if this is not so, ah, god bless.”
An essential tool to a designer is their sketchbook; it is an extension of their mind. Their sketchbook is a place of capturing whatever is captivating to them and sparks a thought. The pages are forever filled with thumbnails, clippings, quotes and ideas that have to be brought out of their mind and put onto the page. Continue reading Design Insight: The Sketchbook…
A sketchbook can be used for many things. I tend to use mine more for note taking and story building. It helps me to organize my thoughts and realize what they really are. Sometimes the thoughts and images in my head are very abstract, it is important to capture them so I can realize what they can become.
I used to not like sketchbooks because I did not like the paper, I did not like carrying them. Even in college I hated them, so I would carry folders of loose paper with me to be ready to draw. I just didn’t understand what they should really be used for. Then I had anatomy class and the sketchbook was mandatory, 80% of my grade to be exact. Now, because of that class, I cannot live without mine. Rarely I am without my moleskin and, if I am without it, I have my iPhone. Which works great because I can take photos, notes, draw and do research with it.
What follows here are pages from old sketchbooks. The stuff you are about to see is all at least two to five years old. I cannot legally show any current work because New Balance is the owner of it. So what I have here is work from my college years, mostly from my sophomore year (2005), my senior year (2007), and from the summer before NB hired me. With that being said, I have learned a lot since then, so don’t critique too harshly.
A sketch is defined as a preliminary drawing for later elaboration. Sketching is the genesis of the design, where the creativity begins. My sketches are my thoughts and represent what I envision a project becoming. They can be anything from aesthetic or to how I think the shoe can be constructed. I tend to start out with an abstract idea and then at some point while I am drawing I realize what it can become and that makes me want to sketch more. What makes sketching fun to me is capturing the excitement of a new idea and making it become a reality.
I am constantly collecting images. I try not to limit myself; I collect whatever inspires me and can or will relate to a project. My sketchbook provides a great place to keep these images and take notes on what about those images inspired me.
My favorite subject to draw (outside of shoes) is the human body. I love it because it challenges me and I feel it directly relates to footwear. Drawing the body is all about proportion; similarly, good design relies so much on the proportion of graphics and patterns.
Brett Golliff is a Designer 1 at New Balance
Check out previous “Design Insight With Brett Golliff” posts: