Milton Glaser Draws & Lectures


I love watching people draw, and Mr. Glaser has some good insights on the importance of drawing.  This video made me think of the quote by Leo Burnett: “Big ideas come out of big pencils.”  And he loved his big black pencil, the Alpha 245. (His agency played around with this idea pretty well in their old site. The new site’s attractive, but a bit of a mess. New for new, it lost the warmth and message of the original concept.)

I almost always use Col Erase Blue or some other nonrepro-blue, a holdover from comic drawing days.  They’re hard and clean and light. They allow me to build up lines and shapes and see the drawing before I commit it to final inks.  I can develop the drawing just enough, so that I can ink without thinking, from spontaneous to highly technical.

However, in kick-off and brainstorm meetings with clients, you don’t have the luxury of building-up and finding the drawing.  The sketch is all you have,  it’s both the tool for communication and the final delivery. It’s moments like these the big pencil was made for.  The lines are imprecise and sloppy, but they can carry a gesture.  Their very crudeness allows participants to use their own imagination to fill in the gaps and engage in the process.

A good sketch isn’t always the best drawing.  It’s part artistic execution, part storytelling, part listening, and part showmanship.  After a good session, people won’t walk away from the table remembering the sketch, but they will walk away remembering the idea. That’s what’s important.

Still, it doesn’t hurt to learn to draw.