My main problem is that I try to put my ideas on paper, after I got my best idea I start to make my logo on AI, so I expect that the digital design should look nice, but it doesn't feel like what I imagined, I mean on paper it feels and looks right, but not on digital version.

It happens on every logo design that I do. What should I do??

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    There is no way to answer this, but this question itself denotes something. You need to focus on specific issues, not in "happens on every logo I do". – Rafael Mar 9 '20 at 20:00
  • @Rafael Thank you for your feedback, but yes it really happens every time :) my design looks nice on paper but when I get to the digital version it looks stupid. – Ali Rezaie Mar 9 '20 at 20:06
  • Try posting two images, one from the paper idea and one of your digital version. – Rafael Mar 9 '20 at 20:07
  • @Rafael - Paper idea and digital version – Ali Rezaie Mar 9 '20 at 20:11
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    Welcome, Ali. In my opinion, your Illustrator skills are not as good as your pencil-on-paper skills. – LeoNas Mar 10 '20 at 11:34

The problem with a hand drawn sketch can be if it's pretty loose and has a lot of unnecessary lines. Your brain interprets the sketch, sees only the ideal average strokes and ignores all the noise. You kind of see a well-defined drawing, but it's halfway imaginary.

When you digitize the idea you are forced to decide exactly where to place the lines and you realize that it wasn't so well-defined as you saw it.

The solution can be to make much cleaner sketches or simply keep working with the digitized version until you get closer to what you had in mind.

(Please note that this answer has nothing to do with whether or not I like your sketch or your digitized drawing.)

  • Thank you for your help, I know that I'm a noob designer, and it's because I started it a few months ago, I work hard to learn more and more. – Ali Rezaie Mar 9 '20 at 21:52
  • Hey, it's not nooby to make rough sketches. I do it all the time. Just accept that there is still some way to a finished design. But it's good to make pencil sketches in my opinion. If you sketch digitally you tend to choose the solution which is easiest to achieve. A good sketch you like can force you to do more complex digital drawing. – Wolff Mar 9 '20 at 22:21

Your original idea has variable width curves or more exactly knife blade or bliz looking shapes. A couple of uniform stroke widths and rounded corners are poor substitutes, the edge is lost.

Draw with the pen closed shapes with no stroke.

The next is only my guess of a couple of the letters of your pencil sketch redrawn with the pen in Illustrator:

enter image description here

As you see, many twists are left out, this is simpler than the sketch. That's because a REALLY skilled pen user would be needed to make more exact tracing look smooth. Try to have a minimum number of nodes (=anchors) or you'll find yourself in the same hopeless mess that I tried to avoid.

  • Thanks for your help, I really got what you said. – Ali Rezaie Mar 9 '20 at 21:39

Too often digital art looks digital. All stroke weights are the same, there's no nuance to the line vocabulary, there's no variation in depth perception, no inherent "wonkiness" to curves, etc. All these things are natural, common, expected, occurrences with hand drawn artwork.

This is a primary reason I have always disliked "sketching" digitally. There's no natural "tone" to anything, everything comes across as digital. Even if "natural" brushes or tools are used. Software has constraints it must live by and it tries to "think" ahead or anticipate what a line/path should look like. Software, while mostly accurate, does make some decisions.

So to overcome this you need to look at your sketches with a critical eye. Pick out what specifically makes your sketch work. i.e. that line is bolder, that arc is not a perfect circle arc, that line has varying thickness to it, that stroke should taper and end in a point not squared off or rounded, etc. Then replicate all this in the digital version, which can be more difficult than it sounds.

My processes is generally a 4 step process...

  • Loose sketches
  • Refined hand drawn comprehensive
  • Scan comp (or digitally photograph)
  • Manually trace scan using software

Refining a sketch with pen on paper allows me to be far more thoughtful about line weights, end caps, arcs, etc, while not being hindered by software. I draw something as crips as I would if there were no such thing as software and scanning. This way I don't have to think about "how" to make something look like I want, I just draw it. While often I could certainly open a new Illustrator document and create the same thing I've sketched, by scanning and manually tracing the comp, I can more closely get the nuances in the sketch. Then refine further.

  • Exactly, I also try to sketch my logos on paper by hand so then scan and trace them on software. I think I have a problem with my hand-drawn sketches or maybe I don't draw them in a subtle way. – Ali Rezaie Mar 9 '20 at 23:09
  • That's why I do the middle step and draw a refined version by hand.. so I can be certain to draw what I'm envisioning. For me, it's too easy to "think" of how a line should look... but once I get to software, that's difficult or forgotten. If I refine by hand first, I know exactly what I want digitally. – Scott Mar 9 '20 at 23:25

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