Your sketchbook


Moving beyond capturing your ideas is a way to work on them that’s convenient. You won’t always be sitting at a desk. You need something you can use while riding on transit, sitting in front of the TV, or waiting for a pot of soup to heat up. This is where your sketchbook comes into play.

This is the playground for your ideas. Make it your goal to fill them up with as many as you can. They are also a great way to review your progress over the years. I’ve kept most of my notebooks over the past few decades (that’s the image above).

The type of sketchbook I’ve used has changed over time. This decision is one of personal preference. I would suggest choosing one that’s not so large that it becomes difficult to carry around. I like an A5 size. It’s large enough to sketch in, and it can be easily carried by itself or placed in a bag.

I’ve also gotten more picky about my sketchbooks. For a time, I didn’t care what I used so long as it was cheap. Now I splurge for a hardcover Leuchtturm 1917 with the dotted grid. In the end, it doesn’t matter what you use, so long as you find something you like, keep it handy, and use it.

Keep a few pages empty at the start of your notebook so you can index your projects. Many times I’ve flipped though years of notebooks trying to find–often unsuccessfully–a particular project. I would also suggest dating your entries, so you have a chronology of your work.

I also keep my sketchbook my sketchbook. This is not the place I put in my grocery list, general to-dos and other minutia. This is where I work out my lettering ideas. All that other stuff goes into my calendar or to-do app.

So go out and find a sketchbook you love, and fill it with ideas. Pen or pencil, it doesn’t matter. Perhaps you have one you started that’s sitting lonely in a drawer somewhere.

Oh, and don’t forget to put your name and number in it.