When given a design problem, designers follow a methodology to solve the visual problem. It is starts with the design brief. It then moves to thumbnail sketches, and then to the rough layouts
The rough layouts (or “roughs”) is an important stage that is often overlooked by designers. It is your chance to see the thumbnail in full size on paper. At this stage, it is so much easier to make adjustments. You simply erase and redraw.
You will make a rough for each piece being designed. You will draw on a clean, blank paper. Remember, neatness counts. This is a major part of craftsmanship. Don’t cram everything on one page. Take your time. Use a ruler. You would hate to have a good idea dismissed – simply because it didn’t make it past the initial review.
Try to capture the essence of the action. Make the image look dynamic with good action.
Margins. Are you planning to have the design “bled” off the page? If not, you need to allow a half inch (1/2 inch/.5 inches/1.27cm) margin around the edge of your page. This outside margin allows your artwork to go through the printer without losing any artwork. A margin is simply the white space around the artwork. Use a ruler to draw it the edge of the margin. Use the computer to create a margin.
Choosing fonts. Which fonts best convey your message? Each font has a particular personality and emotion feel. A good designer takes this into consideration.
In closing, roughs are an important stage in your design process. It is often overlooked – to the detriment of the design. Make a strong rough and you’ll have a stronger design.
Once you make rough, show a friend. Get their reaction. Do they understand the drawings? Does the idea make sense to them? Do they laugh at the joke?