How to draw BackPack thumbnails

How to draw multiple backpack designs with thumbnails

DRAWING TIP-A-DAY CHALLENGE 1/30


How to find ideas drawing with thumbnails?

If you wonder what to draw,
thumbnails are great to generate ideas. I love drawing with thumbnails.
It’s a fast sketching method to come up with multiple and creative ideas in a very short time.

Start drawing thumbnails of bags with simple forms
  1. Multiply ideas fast.
    You don’t want to make 1 perfect sketch. You want to focus on idea generation.
  2. Focus on the essential.
    Do rough sketches so you don’t waste time on perfecting details.
  3. Be more productive.
    By doodling each idea fast, you can drop all the creativity you have in mind fast on paper. Then you can take your time to refine or select your best ideas that will be worth exploring more.
  4. Share.
    We rarely work alone as a designer. Thumbnails help to get feedback fast from colleagues, friends, family…

TIP A| Start by drawing basic forms

To challenge your creativity, start drawing multiple 2D basic forms. you will use them as a base to draw the design of your backpack.

Preview of the bag thumbnails as basic forms to start

TIP B| Ask for feedback early

In the industrial design R&D (Research and Development) phase, drawing thumbnails is the first stage of the creative project.

However, a common mistake from beginners is to spend too many hours on a beautiful drawing adding refined colors and shadows… then only ask for feedback. They bet all their attention on their first idea.

This is risky. You may realize your first idea is not that good enough or not suitable. You will then go back to point zero (sometimes demotivated).

Ask for feedback of your drawings early

>> Ask for feedback early will save you tremendous time, energy, and motivation.

>> One of the tips I learned from a consultant from LVMH, Louis-Vuitton-Moëtt-Hennessy about product development is: “Earlier modifications are made, less waste of time and cost they involve.”

>> At the stage of thumbnails, any modification made is basically “Free”! No sample, no chain of production have been started, no sample, no marketing…


TIP C| Brainstorm ideas

When you draw your backpack, think of the user and you may think of functions, accessories to your bag. Here I added two extra bottles on the side. It’s the beginning of an idea. I could then draw later another thumbnail on how to incorporate them inside the bag. No idea is idiot, immature or ridiculous. If the idea comes up in your mind, there is a reason.

Brainstorm ideas of your sketches of bags

TIP D| Use underlay

To draw the designs of the bag, I added a sheet of paper on top, and draw through the paper transparency. Try to keep your sketching fluidity when you outline the template.

Use underlay to save time at drawing many ideas of bags

TIP E| Find inspiration pictures

Anytime, do not hesitate to look at existing bags or find pictures of the backpack on the Internet.
Creative people learn from others and mix and match ideas almost all the time. It is pretty much unconscious, but I recommend you to deliberately learn from others.

As a designer, you don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Find something interesting:

  • Study it
  • Modify it
  • Mix it
  • Improve it
Find inspiration pictures = Salomon BackPack
Drawing with a ballpoint pen I got from a hotel. You would be surprised sometimes of their quality for drawing.
Drawing with a ballpoint pen I got from a hotel. You would be surprised sometimes of their quality for drawing.
An extra TIP is when you like a thumbnail a lot, you can scan it and print it bigger for a size of underlay of your choice
An extra TIP is when you like a thumbnail a lot, you can scan it and print it bigger for a size of underlay of your choice
The little model gives some life to your thumbnail board. That is why I like to draw a little smiley on their face.
The little model gives some life to your thumbnail board. That is why I like to draw a little smiley on their face.
Remember that a thumbnail board is a great document to share ideas with others.
Remember that a thumbnail board is a great document to share ideas with others.

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About The Author

Chou-Tac

Hello! My name is Chou-Tac. I am a Product Designer from France. If the sketching methods I’ve acquired aid me in my life and in my industrial design career, I believe that they can also help you reach your design goal as a student or professional. My aim to help you all along with your design projects and journey. Anytime, feel free to leave a comment in the blog or send me an email at choutac@thedesignsketchbook.com : )

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