Here’s a question I often get asked about my design process:
“What’s the best thing to show a client for an initial pitch?”
I see many treatments that go out with beautiful, photoreal renders anchoring the concept imagery…
Here’s what I prefer, in the beginning:
Pencil and paper.
Simple pencil storyboards communicate concept and idea, without tripping up the mind of the observer in details.
Instead of focusing on textures and details at this early stage, our collaborators and clients can focus instead on shape, and composition.
We can find consensus on big fundamentals, before we start particularly parsing the critical details. That will come soon enough.
It allows us to divide the thought of design process into a sensible progression. First shape and composition, then color and motion, and finally detail and polish.
I have put in a lot of practice with my own pencil skills so I can adequately work live brainstorming. It’s not necessary to be accomplished. People get the point with stick figures, and everybody enjoys watching art being created. I don’t worry about judgement – I worry about the feeling I am conveying.
But I also joyfully engage a professional to produce these pencil boards, and it’s been worth every penny.
Somehow the human brain focuses on the feeling of the image, and the joy of it coming from a human hand. In other words we tune immediately to a creative mindset.
When I pitch, I am always trying to convey the feeling and sense of the outcome most effectively. Sometimes in the design process, less is WAY more.