What do your "thinking" sketches look like?

I see a lot of fancy sketches online, and I have to ask, can people really explore their designs in such a neat and stylized way? Personally, my “thinking” sketches are pretty messy, and I can only do the nice stylized drawings once I have a clear idea of what I’m designing.

Here’s an example of a page of my thinking sketches. What do yours look like? Are they messy? Do you show them in your portfolio/to clients?

Oh and this is one of the neater pages…
A messier page of thinking sketches…
Scan 9.jpeg


As long as you can communicate your ideas effectively and efficiently is what is really important. There is a time and place for a hot sketch, but not usually during the front-end ideation phase of a project. Those “hot” sketches work well for refining the loose concepts that are worth moving forward and for front-end client presentations. But there is no use in polishing up a bad idea, right?

Time is money and people want a lot of GOOD ideas quickly. So cranking out 50 rough-quality sketches with a lot of thought behind them is a lot more valuable then 10 great-quality sketches where the thought and concept behind them are lacking. Hope this helps.

Also, your sketch pages look nice. They communicate your ideas quickly (I would assume) and effectively and that’s what matters within the font-end ideation process.