What is a Scamp in Marketing?

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Scamping: The Quick and Simple Way to Bring Your Design Concepts to Life

Do you ever struggle to develop design ideas or waste too much time on a single concept? If so, scamping may be just the tool you need. Scamping is a technique used in the graphic design industry to quickly jot down rough sketches and preliminary designs before moving on to the final product. In this article, we will explore what a scamp is, why it is useful, and how to use it effectively.

What is a Scamp?

A scamp is a quick and rough sketch of a design idea. It is not a final product but rather a way to visualize and organize ideas. Scamps are often used in the early stages of a design project to brainstorm and experiment with concepts. They are not meant to be perfect or polished but rather a way to get ideas out of your head and onto paper.

Why is Scamping Useful?

Scamping is useful for several reasons. First, it allows you to quickly and easily explore different design ideas quickly and easily without investing too much time or effort. This can be especially helpful in the early stages of a project when you are still trying to figure out what direction to take. Second, scamping can help you communicate your ideas to others. By creating a visual representation of your ideas, you can share them with clients, colleagues, or team members and get feedback. Finally, scamping can help you refine your ideas and make decisions about what works and what doesn’t. By experimenting with different concepts, you can narrow your options and focus on the most promising ideas.

How to Use Scamping

To use scamping, start by gathering your materials. You will need a sketchbook or some paper and a pen or pencil. Next, think about the problem you are trying to solve or the project you are working on. What are the key elements that need to be included in the design? What is the overall aesthetic you are trying to achieve? Once you have a clear understanding of the project, start sketching. Don’t worry about making mistakes or creating a perfect design at this stage. The goal is to get ideas out of your head and onto paper. Experiment with different shapes, colors, and layouts until you find something that works.

Once you have several scamps, take a step back and evaluate them. Which ones are the strongest? Which ones communicate the message you are trying to convey? Which ones are the most visually appealing? Use these scamps as a starting point for your final design.

When to Use a Scamp Drawing

Scamps are a valuable tool for anyone who needs to brainstorm and experiment with ideas, especially for UX designers. They are essentially a wireframe with additional visual design information. Designers create scamps in the beginning stages of a project to communicate their creative concepts to clients, team members, or bosses.

How Scamps Help Clients Give Feedback

Scamps often help clients visualize campaign ideas without getting stuck on details. If you present a concept that looks too polished, clients can view it as unchangeable. Informal sketches allow clients to focus on the bigger picture and provide feedback on the overall layout and impact. It will also prevent clients from getting distracted by a particular image, color, or font choice they dislike.

Test Whether the Concept Works

When it comes to scamps, doing less work upfront can help you produce a better design. Presenting a simplistic doodle that lacks typefaces, copy, or photography may seem counterintuitive, but it allows you to test the impact of your design before moving forward. The primary question you want to answer when you’re presenting a scamp is, “Does the concept work?”

Scamp VS Prototype

While scamps are excellent for outlining, planning, and visualization, they cannot replace a design’s working prototype. Be careful not to confuse scamps with paper prototypes. Though they may look the same, they have a few key differences. Paper prototyping is essentially a scamp used to test a user experience or interface project. It also often involves a script. These prototypes help figure out things like where to put navigation buttons.

A scamp is a reference for what a design will look like in an application like InDesign. Typically these designs will be printed. On the other hand, paper prototyping is primarily for designs that will be digital (like web pages or apps).

Origin of the term

The origin of the term “scamp” in graphic design is unclear. Some sources suggest that it may be an acronym for “scale model and pencil” or “scale and measurement for proportion,” while others suggest that it is simply a shortened version of “thumbnail sketch.” Regardless of its origin, scamping has become a widely used technique in the graphic design industry for brainstorming and concept development.


In conclusion, scamping is a valuable tool for graphic designers, artists, and anyone who needs to brainstorm and experiment with ideas. By creating quick and rough sketches, you can explore different design concepts, communicate your ideas to others, and refine your ideas. So next time you are working on a design project, try using scamping to help you get started.

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