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By Kristin Ellison | Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Use a Wacom tablet to improve your designs

Use a tablet to improve your designs

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Whether you’re designing a website, a logo, a product, a building, or an app, it’s valuable to begin that design process with a drawing. Drawing enables us to focus on the overall vision without getting distracted by details like color, font, or texture—which at this early stage are not important, and can actually hinder the development. The beginning is about the broad strokes, which is why drawing is such a perfect medium. Drawing on a Wacom is even more perfect, for a couple of reasons:

Greater accessibilityWe live in a world where the majority of the content we create (text, designs, messages, etc.) is digital, so having your initial drawings in digital form lets you share them more easily, and import them to other programs where they can be further refined.

Better articulation A mouse is a great pointing device, but it’s not good for drawing. A mouse can only go up and down and back and forth on a flat surface. A tablet stylus, on the other hand, has the ability to sense the articulation of an artist’s hand. It enables highly expressive gestures that mimic analog drawing. The pressure-sensitive stylus behaves like a pencil in that the harder you press, the darker and fatter your line will be. So if you have experience using traditional art tools, you’ll be happy to find that your existing skills transfer to the computer intact!

Next Steps When you’re setting out to create your next work, don’t dive directly into InDesign, Illustrator, or a CAD program. Instead, clear off your desk, grab your stylus, and start roughing out your ideas. Make mistakes, push the boundaries of what you normally do, and then pull them back if you need to. You don’t need to be careful, conservative, or precious—this is your sandbox, so experiment liberally.

Be sure to watch John Derry’s course Wacom Essential Training. He’ll show you how to get up and running with a variety of Wacom tablets, and teach you how to speed up your workflow and enhance your command of the drawing surface, as well as other controls. You’ll be on your way to your next masterpiece in short order!

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