a great debate for some industrial designers (or just me)

February 05, 2019

I always used fineliners for all my sketching and writing. I considered it to be my ultimate weapon of choice. But I’d never really given the ballpoint a chance. Realizing that many designers actually vouch for the other side, I decided to give it a shot. For a week, I didn’t look to the side of the fineliner. Used a BIC pen for all sketches and writing. Though I didn’t like it at first, I grew a taste for it in a couple days. I fell in love with the wide variety of line weights I could produce by controlling the pressure. It is quite more difficult to get lighter lines with a fineliner compared to the ballpoint. What I didn’t like too much was the padding I need to keep underneath my sketching sheet while using a ballpoint. I tend to turn my paper a lot to get good straight lines at a comfortable angle. But if I use papers underneath as padding, I cannot turn as quickly and this in turn slows down my sketching. Sketching to me is Communication (of ideas, of stories) and I use it everyday as a Language to communicate with colleagues, classmates, coaches, and other stakeholders of projects I work on. What I share daily on Instagram is only a part of what I do, solely to improve the strength and skill of using this dear language of mine. Coming back to the choice, speed and efficiency are more important to me than quality. Perfection is not even a word I look for simply because that is too far from the purpose of design sketching. In fact, I like rough and dirty sketches much more than hyper-realistic art. Anyway, after all this rambling in my mind, I cannot let go of the dark lines gives me and it will still be the tool that is always in my pocket. Sorry ballpoint. We did have a good time though.