Getting back to pencil and paper

Date: April 8, 2019 Author: Steve McVeigh Categories: Blog

I have recently been inspired to revive an old practice that has fallen off my proverbial drawing board.

At Presidential we provide Custom Gifts and Awards as well as thoughtful design solutions to organizations who want to recognize their donors or achievements. We will always co-create custom designs. Personally, I enjoy the collaboration that happens in a project to produce the best outcome for our clients, whether it be Donor Wall Systems or Custom Awards and Gifts. How I approach that at the conceptual or preliminary stages may be headed 180 degrees.

During my career here at Presidential Environment I have designed concepts largely from a computer. C.A.D., 3D Software, Adobe Creative Suite, digital design programs are all amazing tools I use these days. I enjoy the precision and creative capabilities they provide. In my early professional experience however, everything was done by hand: sketching, typography, layout and so on. One of my first projects here at Presidential required a hand drawn mural for an elevator company. We have prepared tasteful displays at SickKids and for Gilda’s Club featuring my illustrations.

As a child I would spend hours with blank sheets of paper and a pencil. In those days I would enjoy creating futuristic worlds, characters, machines or just simply revel in the joy of drawing. With the advancement of technologies and the evolution of graphic design I prided myself on growing with the latest and greatest. The revelry of the pencil fell to the side.

My nephew challenged me with a task that took me back to the dawn of design time a few weeks ago. He asked me to prepare a portrait of his partner’s beloved dog. Two weeks ago, I attended the birthday party and presented my gift to the guest of honour: a framed sketch of her little Boston Terrier. I wasn’t sure how it would be received.

It was a resounding success.  I was thankful she and the fellow guests really liked the gift.  A stir of excitement and appreciation for the neglected art of a handmade illustration spread through the crowd. I could easily have transformed a photograph with a filter or click of a Photoshop button, but I was compelled to challenge my paradigm.  It sparked and reignited the passion I have for drawing. I know that I will continue to hone the long dormant skills that will enhance my creativity in the years to come and enjoy it for what it is.

Since then I have put down the mouse and stylus, and picked up the pencil to sketch, draw and get back to putting ideas down hand to paper. The flair of my younger days will take some work to restore but I have found that I am reinvigorated and inspired by the nuances and craft of hand drawn illustration. Our artisanal affiliates include a wonderful illustrator who has created many impressive portraits and illustrations over the years.  I am reminded that I can apply these timeless techniques in my own practices.

Presidential definitely keeps me busy with problem solving and creative collaboration so our clients have the best solution possible. I totally enjoy the feedback when it all works out as success for our clients. This could not be done without the production expertise of the Presidential team but also our ability to capture a shared vision.  Quick sketches could replace hours of labour at the computer screen to manifest preliminary ideas and quickly establish the conceivable.  The computer design efforts can be streamlined to the best and most viable ideas.

Check out our awards website as well. Become inspired. And hopefully, we can co-create meaningful recognition for your next project as well.