Freehand elements as a design component

Whilst there are many web designers out there today who never ever put a pen to paper, you will find that the very best still start by sketching out their designs. These initial sketches can help a designer formulate his or her ideas. An increasing trend for web designers is to incorporate some of these sketches within their finished design, or even create hand drawn sketches specifically for the job.

They can make quite a change to all the slick edges, smooth bevelled finishes and sharp garish colours of most of the current Web2.0 style sites you see today. Web sites that incorporate hand drawn elements have a unique feel to the, they convey personality in a way only hand written comments and drawings can offering a truly creative outlet for the web designer.

The way in which designers incorporate hand drawn elements varies. Many utilise hand drawn icons, notes or messages, backgrounds and section breaks. They all help to lend a human touch to your website design. The amusing thing is many of these designs tend to be created on a tablet PC so a pen or pencil is in fact never used.

Depending on your audience and your brand their can be a variety of benefits to using hand drawn designs and elements within your website.

Greater Scope for Creativity
When you introduce hand drawing into your website you offer yourself an enormous opportunity to channel your creativity and inspiration especially if your background is in fine art or as a traditional designer, graphic artist or illustrator.

Design to enhance content
Hand Drawn web design provides an excellent way to support the actual content of the website. So often you find content has to fit into the design. With hand drawn elements you have opportunity to use sketches, doodles and notes to enhance the main content elements of the web page. You can highlight a feature or service with a hand written note for example.

You do not need to employ a completely hand drawn design either. What can be extremely effective is bringing in just a couple of handwritten elements within a standard or straight-edge web2.0 design. Something as simple as a hand drawn arrown to highlight your RSS feed for example. This is something we do allot with our free themes at

Superior Message Delivery
There just seems to be an innate ability to be more creative when drawing freehand it offers an opportunity to express yourself in ways you cant when your thinking blocks and edges. This freedom of expression and outlet for creativity is perhaps one of the biggest benefits. From a user impact perspective it is that these images impart information on a very personal level.

So now some examples

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