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A little thumbnail can deliver big results.
For your next conceptual presentation, try getting thumbnails blown up to fit a tabloid sized sheet. A first-time audience of this presentation approach may be pleasantly suprised by a trio of realizations: (1) It is graphically pleasing to see the jet black hand rendered lines that result from a thumbnail being enlarged about a thousand percent. (2) Rather than being lost in technique, the viewer is either enamoured with an idea or is not. Any possible confusion about merit is completely eliminated.And if an idea is great, the presentee's mind's eye will do a much better job of imagining the outcome than a comp layout ever could. (3) With no time spent on the comping of concepts that might not be approved, there is more budget left to ensure a spectacular finished product. After all, when a client is sure enough to hire creative help on the basis of seeing past work, the ability to deliver professional work should be a given. So under normal circumstances, there are few good reasons to waste resources by taking idea development much past the thumbnail stage.
         Finally, for clients who dread buying creative messages because of inexperience, thumbnails are a great education. It is like having a comforting light shine forth, at long last, on the mystery of financing a home. After an experience or two, suddenly we see that there really is leeway in a mortgage rate. Likewise with a thumbnail idea, suddenly we can easily see its great advantage. These little jewels simply won't allow us to get sidetracked by a lot of fluff.





The thumbnail style itself can sometimes suggest a good look for the finished illustration.
Sometimes the spirit of a first sketch can carry an entire piece. That is, image style can suggest itself at anytime during the creative process. This is easy to overlook in the earliest stages of concept development when creating a relationship between headline and image is usually the primary focus. That's why I hang on to everything related to a job. Each stage's work is a reminder of what the thinking and feelings were at different times. When a visual idea as seen in the earliest work holds the right answer it is important to be receptive. Otherwise, if a strong image style is ignored, the finished piece usually won't measure up to original expectations.
         For this brochure, there was no established brand, so the look could be guided soley by the content and anticipation of future needs. However, the idea of retaining the charm of that first thumbnail's style needed to be conveyed to my client. A simple line rough with color fill did the trick. As a matter of fact, the actual line work used for the rough was cleaned up and used in the finished illustration. Thus, the spontaneity of the nicest lines drawn during the process was preserved.

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