Do you remember one of those boring classes where you almost dozed off but were forced to keep your eyes open? I bet you do! We have all experienced the bitter battle between the two opposing forces: the dark forces of the “heavy eyes” Vs. the evil gaze of the class teacher. And what did we do to mitigate the situation? Doodle! Yes, doodling kept us alive; it helped us survive the toughest situation known to mankind – the sleep ghost attack in the classroom!
Wikipedia says: “A doodle is a drawing made while a person’s attention is otherwise occupied. Doodles are simple drawings that can have concrete representational meaning or may just be composed of random and abstract lines, generally without ever lifting the drawing device…”
Doodling: An Overview
Doodling is as old as civilization itself. Our ancestors doodled all they could in caves and dugouts to tell us of the things they saw and experienced. Well, our ancestors didn’t call them doodles, but they are as mesmerizing as some modern abstract painting.
The oldest known cave “doodle” is over 64,000 years old. The doodle or the cave art was made by a Neanderthal: our close cousin.
Fact: Neanderthals became extinct over 40,000 years ago.
The word “doodle” first appeared in the 17th century. The origin of the word may lie in the German “Dudeldop,” meaning a dumb person.
In the final scene of the film, Mr. Deeds Goes to Town, the central character explains doodling. He says that a doodler is a name for a person who creates “foolish designs” when he is thinking of something else.
Why are doodles important for brands?
Doodling has turned into a powerful communication tool in recent times. Businesses have benefited from using the artistic mode of communication. Marketers and advertisers have been turning to doodles to create business plans and strategies. For graphic artists, doodles are a simple and practical way of developing new ideas.
From the conventional pen-and-paper mode to the modern digital form, doodling has evolved as an art form. There are dedicated software and websites which help you unlock your creative sides.
Types of doodles
1. Zentangle: Simple elements such as dots, curves, shapes, or lines form the strokes in most Zentangle art. Generally unplanned, Zentangle art does not focus on perfection or the result: it is about calming and soothing the mind by creating images. Zentangles are based on the following principles:
- Unplanned: Art does not have to be planned; you can go with the flow.
- No eraser: There are no mistakes in this art form.
- Focus: There is an underlying intent behind each stroke.
- Calm: Zentangle is about soothing the mind.
2. Mandalas: Mandala is a Sanskrit word, meaning “circle.” The circular figure represents the universe and the endless cycles of life and death, which one can conquer through Nirvana or Moksha.
Mandalas promote relaxation and soothe the mind. Apart from circles, you may choose other shapes; however, they all revolve around a central point. The Colors used in Mandalas have varied symbolic meanings. Following are a few color interpretations:
- Red: Passion, love, and strength
- Blue: Spirituality, the universe, and wisdom
- Green: Earth, mother, healing, and a new beginning
- Orange: Intuition, creativity, and self-awareness
3. Zen doodling: Similar to the Zentangle art, Zen doodling shares traits such as design, focus, and patterns. However, Zen doodling has its individual attributes as well. Features such as size, shape, and colors set Zen doodling apart from Zentangle. You can use objects such as stones, journals, and leaves to create a Zen doodle.
4. Stendoodling: This form of doodling is one of the easiest since it only requires stencils to create image outlines and patterns. You may achieve unique and unusual designs through Stendoodling. One does not have to be a professional or elaborately prepare to start Stendoodling. You don’t even have to possess any special drawing skills to start Stendoodling.
5. Doodle art: This form of doodling allows you to create diverse images. An artist can choose varied colors or stick to a black and white format. Doodle art allows an artist to create abstract images or replicas from the real world. For graphic designers, doodle art can be an important weapon in their arsenal because it can easily woo customers and clients.
Benefits of doodling
1. Increased attention span: Studies have shown that doodling can be useful in releasing stress. The therapeutic art form helps in reducing fatigue and increasing attention span. Doodle art forms such as Zentangle and Mandalas not only calm the mind but increase the attention span by eliminating stress gathered during the day.
2. Promotes catharsis: The world today is defined by speed. Everything from science to technology is evolving and changing at an accelerated speed. While scientific progress is a sign of a world moving in a positive direction, it has its weaknesses. A creative or mental block is a common downside of all technological advancements. Doodling is a means of catharsis for people suffering from mental and creative blocks. Doodling opens up the mind by decluttering unwanted thoughts and inspires you to think out of the box.
3. Boosts creativity: Whatever you create is not by accident. Whether you scribble something on a piece of paper or hit a flat note on the guitar, everything is backed by emotion. And every emotion, in turn, is backed by creativity. In Zentangle, you are encouraged to do what you want; every line and every stroke is meant to free you!
4. Stress buster: Doodling has a humorous side. It is important to take some time off every day to laugh, to do what you love doing. When you draw a human face, your brain’s humorous side gets triggered. Artists have known this for a long time, which is why they draw funny faces of politicians for magazines and newspapers.
5. A quick problem solver: In many ways, doodling is very similar to meditation, mindfulness to be precise. Mindfulness is a type of meditation that is said to be popularized by the great Buddha himself. Mindfulness is about focusing on what you feel and sense at the moment, clearing all doubts and stress. A mind clear of doubts and stress can solve any problem in a matter of a few minutes. Doodling can have a similar effect on the mind since you focus on the here and now.
Incorporating doodles in business branding
Science and technology have taken an unimaginable leap in the last few years. Unless advertising and marketing follow a similar pattern of progress, things will only get difficult. While digital marketing has provided the technology required for the next generation of marketers, the real challenge will lie in the way a story is told. Doodling provides brands and marketers with a unique way of telling stories.
Here are some ways to incorporate doodles into your marketing strategy.
1. Product manuals: Doodling is an interesting way of communicating information visually. Be it e-books or product manuals, doodling has now become the go-to solution for businesses and marketers.
2. Email campaigns: Almost 60 percent of marketers in the B2B industry use email to convey their messages. According to them, emails help convert prospects into potential clients and potential clients into buyers. Doodle can generate the spark among prospects and quickly turn them into loyal customers.
3. Social media: It is an established fact that the attention span of people is decreasing at an alarming rate. And nowhere is it more evident than social networking sites. People quickly flick through images, let alone read texts. A simple doodle can be more attractive than stock images and chunky captions.
4. Packaging designs: Doodles can be used interestingly for product packaging designs. Using doodles as a part of your packaging design can bring back childhood memories and create nostalgia.
5. Blogs: Blogs are an important part of websites and marketing strategies. One cannot dismiss the role of good write-ups in the world today. However, a blog must hook readers within the first 15 seconds, or they can bounce back. Including doodles in your articles makes it interesting for the prospects and customers.
Doodling, like everything else, has evolved. Gone are the days when one created a doodle using a pen and paper; doodling has now evolved into a digital avatar.
In a data-driven world, brands and businesses are looking to create the maximum impact using minimum content. Be it a company logo, or website brands now focus on effective interaction with the customers. Doodling is rapidly becoming one of the most sought-after mediums for communications for brands and graphic designers because of its simple yet impactful nature.
Our ancestors were extremely successful at narrating their life through simple cave doodles. Just like our ancestors, doodling can alter the course of your business if you know how to do it.
How are doodles used today?
- Treatment for depression and anxiety: Doodling has been regarded as a stress buster for a long time. Ingrid Seger-Woznicki, behavior specialist, mentions: “We (doodle) because we’re problem-solving on an unconscious level… creating our life without stressing about it.” The therapeutic qualities of doodling have been recognized by psychologists, which is why it is applied to patients suffering from anxiety and depression.
- Fashion: From Rock’n’Roll to Nike, doodles now occupy an exciting place in the fashion industry. Fashion designers are opting for doodled-detailed dressings for couture brands.
- Digital marketing: Doodling is quickly becoming the go-to solution for marketers and advertisers because of its simplicity. The simple art form can produce the desired impact in a matter of a few seconds. Apart from using software such as Adobe Ideas, marketers also use handmade doodles to promote various brands.
- SEO: In the current market, staying at the top of a search page is one of the most challenging jobs. As an SEO specialist, you always try to find things that can take you further than texts and keywords. Doodles provide an edge over Google’s ever-changing algorithms. Doodles are proving to be an SEO specialist’s new best friend since it takes them to previously unexplored places!
- Graphic design: Businesses and marketers devote a lot of time to devising strategies that would make their brand stand apart from the crowd. They know that logos and websites play a crucial role in establishing the brand identity. The more memorable the visual identity (logos, website, signage, banners, and so on), the better established will be the brand identity. Doodles are a great way to design logos and websites because they are 30 percent more memorable than other designs. Apart from doodles, the seven colors of the rainbow can be beautifully integrated into designs to convey varied messages.
- Architecture: Archi-doodles are used by architects and engineers to sketch a layout. Archi-doodles allow you to create wonderful things such as the interior of a room or various elements of a skyscraper.
From a boring classroom to being placed in a logo, doodles have traveled a long way. Brands and graphic artists have found new ways to integrate the simple art form into their designs. In this fast-paced world, the serenity of doodles stands as the stabilizing factor.
Head of Design at DesignBro and is responsible for UI/UX Design, managing the global designer community, and ensuring quality levels of both designers and designs remain high.