The benefits of sketching.

Sketching is a vital part of the design process with lots of benefits.

The design process that we follow here at Toast design agency is one that we have developed over the last 20 years, allowing us to achieve the best possible result for each project that we work on.

Our process is fluid and flexible and can be tailored to each individual brief, but sketching remains a vital part of almost every project.

Sketching allows us to get our ideas down quickly without overthinking them, or even dismissing them before they’ve even left our brains. It allows us explore ideas and to clear our minds, brainstorm, plan things out quickly and think away from the restrictions of the computer screen.

The benefits of sketching

Click the image to view the completed project.

Benefits of sketching

Click the image to view the completed project.

When sat in front of a computer with a plethora of effects, fonts and images to play with, we sometimes lose the real purpose of what we’re doing – engineering the perfect solution to solve our brief.

This doesn’t mean that there aren’t the times where we can jump straight onto the computer and put something together quickly, but they usually come after some creative thinking has been carried out previously.

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Pushing ideas forward.

By working on pen and paper first, once you’ve got the idea, design sketching those initial thoughts along the way, by the time you get to working digitally, you know that the creative options are narrowed down for you.

You know what type of layout you’re looking to create, what fonts will work, as the groundwork has been done and now you can design with conviction.

For many of the projects that we work on, we present our sketches to clients before they see anything worked up. This means that we’re not too precious about one particular direction, we haven’t wasted hours in working something up that the client dismisses in one minute because the idea doesn’t work for them.

Sketched ideas can also be interpreted in different ways by different people and then developed on paper, making the final idea even stronger before we get to working it up on screen. In our experience, presenting a client with an idea that is too polished can make them feel like they can’t change it.



Sketching is a big part of the craft of design that not all clients of design agencies will see, which is a shame. At Toast, we’re proud of our ability to communicate our ideas with pen and paper and not hide behind shiny visuals.

We feel that it’s just as important for our clients to know how we got to the end result as well as it is to see it. This means that our clients can be confident that we’ve actually thought about their project rather than designing for the sake of it and making it look pretty.

So, if you have a project in hand or would like to talk to us about what our design process can do for you drop us a line and we can get sketching for you.

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Inspiring Others.

Design sketching is something that comes much easier with time.

You start to see and understand your own processes form, and honestly, it’s just quite nice to be able to sketch out an idea physically.

Sharing Knowledge: Our aim is to demystify the design process, providing designers—both seasoned professionals and aspiring talents—with the tools and inspiration to get sketchy.

Joining Forces: Collaboration is where the real magic happens. We’re all about teaming up with other design enthusiasts. Whether it’s partnering on projects, rocking up to events here and there, or simply exchanging ideas, we believe in the strength that comes from merging diverse perspectives.

Leading the Sketching Revolution: As pioneers in championing the sketching cause, we’re on a mission to show the world the true value of this time-honoured craft. By embedding design sketching deeply into our process, we hope to inspire a whole generation of designers to rediscover how cool it is.

Small ways to improve your design sketching.

  1. Practice with the same determination as the Terminator (he doesn’t quit): Take the time to sketch regularly. Habitual practice can seriously help creative juices flow.
  2. Experiment with different tools, mediums, tablets etc: You may get on better with pens as opposed to pencils, or digital more than paper, so try some stuff out.
  3. Observe: Look at the world around you and practice drawing even the smallest details, or not. The more you get familiarised with how objects sit and interact with each other, the easier it is to draw them.
  4. Seek constructive feedback: Either from teachers, friends, or unleash the internet upon your work. It can help you see things a little more objectively…

Design sketching is something that’s a little personal but goes towards something that’s not yours. So keep in mind that you’re sketching for a client, and keep your practices for yourself.

It’ll for sure be something that never dies out, so why not start today?

Chris Tymon

Chris Tymon

Chris is a founding Creative Director at Toast and works across Food Branding and design work for clients in the food sector.