Words As Images

November 19, 2013

FH peep_November-02We have all had the experience of encountering someone (maybe a relative) who has a distorted idea about what we do for a living.

When some people hear me say “graphic design,” they think and say, “Oh, I bet you are great at drawing.”

Or, as a social basketball player, I can’t throw a gum wrapper into the garbage, miss and not have someone say, “I thought you played basketball?”

That’s funny. This, like so many other situations, context is everything! Throwing a teeny, tiny wrapper into a garbage can is nothing like shooting a basketball into a basket, on a court, with proper jumpers on.

Getting back to being good at drawing — I actually can’t draw well at all.

Being a visual communicator is not about being able to draw. It is about seeing visual solutions with the various elements of design. Obviously, there are designers who are amazing at drawing. I know plenty. Fortunately, as a designer, I get the privilege to work with an abundance of crazy talented writers, designers, illustrators, artists, photographers. The combination of word and art speaks to both the left brain and right brain, and therein lies the magic. Always telling a story.

I am inundated with amazing visual things all day long. And equally, I hear some amazing words that I want visually around me. When I hear something, I sketch it out (how I draw). Sometimes it is just black type on a white piece of paper and other times, when I have time (not now), they are more elaborate exercises in typography. Regardless, it is good fun and my kind of doodling. These are sketches. Like writing some words on a scrap piece of paper. Even I can take it more seriously justifying the casual quality of these expressions.

So, this may not get us any closer to understanding if I can draw or not, but it might give you that visual or verbal nugget that gets you more happily through today.

Zap Mama lyric_sketch