If my mom had told me making money would be this fun, I’d have gone to check with my dad.
ThreeGears.com recently hired me to create some napkin sketch style artwork for his sales/support process.
The sketches were created first with good ol’ pencil and paper and later redrawn in Illustrator. The final versions shown here represent the phases that any company goes through between its formation and its back end support structure:
Sketches like these are a great way to show your customers what your business is all about. They can also, in short order, show your site visitors how to get around, how your process works, where step one is, etc.
What’s the benefit of these hand-drawn icons?
Before I answer that, let’s have a look at the web. The whole thing. What is it? Primarily and simply, it’s just a visual medium for getting your point across. It being a visual medium, it’s one that your visitors scan. Meaning their eyes go from headline to sub-heading, to an image, to bold text, etc.
That’s not news, and it’s why people have been generally getting better at typography, why images are more and more common in web pages and so forth.
But the funny thing, the web is getting very polished now. On the web, corners are always perfectly square or perfectly round. Circles are perfect circles. Precise grid systems are more and more evident. It’s all just so squeaky clean now which isn’t a bad thing. It’s just ordinary and anything ordinary isn’t grabbing as much attention as it can.
Wake up the web!
The solution to a polished (and maybe slightly stagnant) website is to go the other route and give your visitors something different to look at. What’s different on the web nowadays? Wavy lines, sketches, imperfect fills and gradients, hand-writing, pencil strokes.
Try this on for size:
I mean, look how slick that is. In all its simplicity, that icon just looks awesome. As an icon it’s interesting, it’s cute, it’s well-behaved…if I had a daughter I’d let her date that little icon for sure. Or his friend who looks like this:
He’s just as cool, although a tad on the heavy side. I’m sure you see the point, yes? These icons are perfect for your scanning readers.
A little while ago, we at Charfish wrote a post about breathing. Now, just a few short months later, everyone’s doing it. I have no doubt that something similar is going to happen now that we’ve unwrapped the genius of napkin sketches.
Lest you be left behind in the new race to feature old-world, hand-crafted iconography on your site, you should probably write me immediately. Let me know what kind of drawings I can do for you!