The Core77 discussion board is a great place not only to share your bright and shiny final products, but also your ever-evolving process and progress. Given there are a number of people who utilize the boards in some ways we envisioned it and in many ways far beyond, we love giving shout-outs to those who use the platform to connect with other designers and help other readers learn something along the way.
One such designer dedicated to sharing her process is Seattle based designer Sophie Horton Jones, who started posting some of her quick concept sketches earlier last year as she was looking for technical feedback from fellow designers. We've enjoyed following her posts and taking a look at her ideas and ongoing sketch challenges.
As a designer who has worked primarily in the toy industry, she has mastered a toy-like aesthetic with thick borders, large annotations, and a playful style:
Character baby monitors with camera and a multitude of sensors (sound, heat, movement etc)
Kids Nutribullet style blender with multi-function cap.
An alarm clock drawn in Procreate A fun "Happy Toast" sketch
After challenging herself to diversify her sketch abilities to adapt to different design briefs, she started experimenting with design concepts she had previously never tackled in order to challenge her well-engrained methods.
"I tried a more architectural style," Jones writes, "I love the idea of the drive-through ATM's here... how about a walk through coffee stop? Or moving walkway?! With order point, contactless pay and pickup point?!! Limited menu, limited functions, simple coffee?!" A sketch inspired by the Seattle coffee scene made in Procreate ("More of an exercise in sketch style than concept...I'm quite aware that the product itself doesn't make much functional sense!", Jones writes. ) Enter a caption (optional)
User cwatkinson brought up an interesting point in the feed about the utility of having several sketch techniques you can turn to for different design briefs:
"I had a intern when i was managing a housewares focused design office - the intern had a very similar sketch style but did not see the value in following my advice to try and switch it up based on what he was trying to achieve. his first project was for a design that would communicate sophistication and elegance. Now if you where able to see past the sketch style and envision what the designs would look like he nailed it. Unfortunately when presenting to Marketing / Sales / Engineering / President all they could see and say is that the designs looked "toyish" and did communicate what we where trying to do with the brand.
During the meeting i told everyone that we would take do another round of form studies - after everyone left the intern looked at me and said "you want me to re-sketch these in a different style"" second presentation same concepts different sketch style and they where loved.
Now one does not need to change their style but one should be aware how that style reads to other and if it is visually communicating the desired intent."
After accepting a simple challenge to create a sketch without line work or call outs, she really nailed it with this Fiskars clippers design and seems to have added a whole new sketch style to her repertoire:
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Thanks for sharing your sketch experiments and takeaways, Sophie (which you can check out in full on the original discussion board thread)!
See more of Sophie Horton Jones's work here