Hands on Graphic Design
I’ve heard many of my more seasoned design peers reminisce on a time when graphic design didn’t involve computers and they spent their days drawing, measuring, cutting and pasting. Although I’m too new in the game to have experienced this world, the idea of getting hands on and not relying so heavily on my computer fascinates me!
I have occasionally stepped out of my comfort zone and explored hand-lettering, paper crafting, and some painting. I might be more inclined to get hands on more than many graphic designers thanks to my love of illustration and how I often combine my pen drawings with my digital work.
But I think I’d like to be more adventurous… my computer could easily be considered an extra limb. I want to get out of that comfort zone more often and get crafty. Some reasons why I think this approach will improve my work are:
Making things by hand stimulates your creativity on a new level. Simply more movement verses the static state at a computer stimulates brain activity. Not to mention it’s also physically better for you to keep moving. Making things by hand creates a unique outcome that can’t be replicated therefore resulting in a more intriguing and often more memorable outcome. You do also have less control for imperfections but I believe that should be something to be embraced. When something looks handmade and has a few imperfections this becomes a part of the work and can make for a more compelling result.
Personally I also feel a greater satisfaction is gained from work with my hands, it’s a more involved and personal process than picking an existing typeface or drawing with the pen tool. It will certainly have more of a personal stamp on it.
I’m making a pact to myself to make more of an effort to get my hands dirty and push my computer aside every so often! Whose with me?!
If you’re looking for some inspiration, here are some hands on graphic designers to note: Beth Collin’s floral creations, paper masters at Lobulo Studio, and hand-lettering Goddess, Mary Kate McDevitt.
Title Image: Stop animation of a paper sculpture designed and created by me for the Institute of Designers Ireland Awards.