Make the most of your drawing time by using the thumbnail sketching technique
and get ready to masterfully draw a range of backpack designs!

How To Masterfully Draw Backpacks with Thumbnails in 5 Steps

  • TIP 1 Start by drawing basic forms
  • TIP 2 Ask for feedback early
  • TIP 3 Brainstorm ideas
  • TIP 4 Use underlay to save time!
  • TIP 5 Draw with inspirational pictures

how to draw backpack thumbnails
How to draw backpack thumbnails

How to find ideas for 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 creative ideas in a very short time.

  1. Multiply ideas fast.
    You don’t want to make 1 perfect sketch. You want to focus on idea generation.
  2. Focus on the essentials.
    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, and family…

TIP 1| 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.

Start drawing thumbnails of bags with simple forms
Drawing basic forms

TIP 2| 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
Share your drawings for feedback

>> 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 has been started, no sample, no marketing…

TIP 3| Brainstorm ideas

When you draw your backpack, think of the user and you may think of functions and 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
Draw BackPacks with a ballpoint pen to brainstorm ideas

TIP 4| 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
Use underlay to save time

TIP 5| Draw with 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
Salomon BackPack drawing
Salomon bag inspiration
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 by the quality of the drawing.
drawing of backpack thumbnails with ballpoint pen
An extra TIP is when you like a thumbnail a lot, you can scan it and print it bigger for a size of an 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 smile on their face.
Woman point a backpack selection on the thumbnails
Remember that a thumbnail board is a great document to share ideas with others.

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