back to basics

:smiley: hello

im new here and would like to know the basics of drawing that industrial designers use in the industry. I just became a qualified design and technology teacher in Australia and now would like to become an industrial designer and use teaching to support me for a while
Anyway here are my questions

  1. What do you sketch with? e.g. felt tip pens over pencil sketches (is this ok?)
  2. Do you use rulers and guides when sketching? (i find i cant draw straight lines otherwise)
  3. What size paper do you sketch on?
  4. How many concepts do you produce a day? How quick and accurate should you be?

Any questions or help would be great!
:smiley: thanks! :smiley:

  1. anything you find comfortable. (i find the wacom tablet comfortable but when i was poor i used a biro)

  2. yes, if you can’t draw straight lines to save your life. i wouldn’t recommend using rulers though. you should keep the ideas flowing

  3. Again, anything you find comfortable.

  4. it depends on the day…if i feel good lots, but on a bad day…none

  1. I try to mix up my mediums all the time: digital, pencil, pen, marker, pastel. Keep it fresh

  2. there are no straight lines

  3. usually about 9" x 12", and a small 6"x8" sketch book

  4. Varries. On a good day about 12-15 keepers (and a lot of throwaways)

I think the main thing to take away from this thread is that every designer does things differently. There are house styles at some firms and schools, but for the most part everyone develops their own way of working. There really aren’t any “standards”

With that said…

  1. Bic Round Stic Medium Pens

  2. No rulers, no circle template, no nothing…

  3. 8.5" x 11" - 94lb 104 bright laser paper

  4. Whatever number the client needs. It really depends on the project though, and whether I’m dedicated to the same thing all day (which never happens) I’d say 6-12 pages of doodles, concepts, ideas, etc…

thanks for the replies
i thought this post might just pass through without comment

yo - your right there are no stright lines (when im drawing anyway)

nate - you really sketch with pen?

jooish - Do you have more bad days than good days?

So now more questions, Do customers get to see your sketching as it progresses through to final product or do they just see the end result? Does everyone expect you to make “the next best thing”?

thanks for your time again!

Pen for sure. When students are first starting out (myself included) they are often VERY timid about putting down the linework, making “mistakes”, etc. Once you start using a medium that you can’t erase you can start to become more comfortable with letting the sketches fly from you brain and onto the paper. You become less worried about “fixing” sketches and just move on to the next one. It forced me to draw a lot more when I made the switch…

Clients see some level of sketches in the beginning (though they are ususally not TOO rough) and through the entire process they need to be kept involved through the refinement stages, otherwise you could end up delivering something that doesn’t meet their needs. Good design can’t happen in a vacuum. You need the input of your clients, other designers, etc to achieve the best possible result that meets your client’s needs.

Each business (and designer) has their own way of presenting. I like to show the really down and dirty thumbnail sketches (though I make them small and will show a lot on screen - power point, or put them in a side bar while showing consumer imagery, competion, stuff like that) This way it becomes a natural progression to the final concepts.

Every place is different. I’ve seen some where you do quick, non-presentable thumbs and functional models for process, then get straight to final presentation/documentation format. Gotta have faith in your designers experience, aesthetic sensibilities, and decision making ability to go that route without having to be wowed by a pretty drawing first.

I’ve also seen some where they want every stroke and page to be client-ready at all times. No thumbs really allowed and all drawings are to be with details well resolved, etc. That seems to be more prevailant when you’re just styling.

Some I’ve seen do almost no sketching at all. Work straight with functional models, getting things to work is most important. Then styling is the quick part you do last after everything else is right.

Some places present b+w drawings, some photoshop renderings, some 3-d models, every place has there own way. You either have to be versatile enough to be excellent with any kind of working style, you find a place with similar workflow to your own, or you work for yourself so you can do it your way.

I’ve tried using the pens and it doesn’t really suit me. I’ve always drawn with a really hard lead pencil all my life, I’m used to that feeling and friction. In recent years I’ve been doing the pen thing because that’s what everyone around me was doing, but results were not very good. I think you’re going to be good at whatever it is that you’re used to doing and have experience in.