Many high school Graphic Design students are unsure what to include within their sketchbook or how to present their assignments in an innovative and appealing way. This article provides examples of artist and student sketchbooks to motivate and inspire those who study qualifications such as IGCSE / GCSE Art and Design, A Level Graphics and NCEA Level 3 Design (Scholarship). It is written for those who are working in areas such as illustration, publication design (pamphlets, brochures, websites, magazine and book design, CD / DVD covers), corporate identity, advertising and marketing (logo and branding, promotional merchandise, posters, internet and television advertising), packaging design and/or symbol design.
An A Level Art sketchbook by Harriet James-Weed:
Sketchbook pages by graphic designer Claire Coullon:
An NCEA Design Scholarship workbook page sourced from NZQA:
Character designs by Mike Butkus:
An AS Graphic Design sketchbook completed by Jenny Ha while studying at ACG Parnell College:
Sketchbook pages by graphic designer Susanna Foppoli, completed while studying a Post Graduate degree at the London College of Communication:
An artist research page by Illustration student Jack Stevenson, completed as part of a Foundation Diploma course at West Thames College, London:
An NCEA Level 3 Design Scholarship sketchbook page sourced from NZQA:
An excellent discussion of a sketchbook by Henrietta Ross, provided by Tony Pritchard, leader of Postgraduate Design for Visual Communication courses at the London College of Communication:
This video walks viewers through examples of completed sketchbooks, giving invaluable insight into the design process. It stresses the importance of research, which helps to build an understanding of the subject matter and can inspire new and original thinking. The artist’s typographic exploration involves the deconstruction and reconstruction of letterforms and the observation of shapes and forms. Each page is composed beautifully with a balance of creative pieces and annotation of work.
A sketchbook by designer and illustrator Kevin Power:
Logo design sketches by film and animation student Eniko Toth:
A sketchbook by Graphic Design graduate Danny Haines:
AS Graphic Design sketchbook pages by Bhavisha Ramji of ACG Parnell College:
A sketchbook exploring bats by product designer Chris Armstrong, a graduate of Art Center College of Design:
Logo development by Lucas Quijada, completed as part of a Masters Thesis exploring ‘dual functionality within packaging’, while studying at London Metropolitan University:
An NCEA Level 3 Design Scholarship exemplar sourced from NZQA:
A graphic design sketchbook by Max Kerly, completed while studying Art and Design at Kingston Art College:
An A Level Graphic Design sketchbook project by Jess Young:
A Graphic Design sketchbook by Mo Riza:
A sketchbook page by Callum Copley, completed while studying Graphic and Media Design at the London College of Communication:
An A Level Graphics sketchbook by Stefan Abrahams:
Need more sketchbook ideas?
This article is part of a series showcasing and celebrating outstanding sketchbooks by students, artists and designers. We have also published collections of excellent Painting / Fine Art sketchbooks, Sculpture and 3D Design sketchbooks, Photography sketchbooks and Textiles and Fashion Design sketchbooks. If you found this article useful, you may also like to read our Sketchbook Presentation Tips, which contains advice about how to annotate sketchbooks and an overview of what is appropriate within a high school Art and Design sketchbook.