Catherine Jo Ishino


“Use thumbnail sketches to explore layout options. … are rough drawings, sometimes only comprehensible to the designer. … quick pen or pencil sketches allow the designer to try out … ideas and zero in on the most likely layouts before beginning a project.

Creating thumbnail sketches is a crucial part of the brainstorming aspect of your design work. Don’t discount the value of this step in the design process. …

Designing with Thumbnail Sketches
Don’t fret over details. Use thumbnails to establish approximate locations for major elements. (the examples described above may actually be “too perfect” — don’t worry about making “pretty” pictures.)

Try for an approximately proportional …. size… You’re aiming for a general idea of how the piece might look.

Make lots of rough sketches. Repeat: lots of sketches. You’ll rule out many design ideas quickly this way before wasting time in your page layout program.


Thumbnail sketches
“Art directors and graphic designers use the term “thumbnail sketch” to describe a small drawing on paper (usually part of a group) used to explore multiple ideas quickly. …

“The word “thumbnail” is a reference to the human thumbnail… and alludes towards the small size of the image or picture, comparable to the size of the human thumbnail.”


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