good sketching....good designer....or it????

welll i guess the subjet itself explains what i wanted to ask …is it so …that a person with bad sketching skills cant be a good designer …id or archi…

Of course not. They just can’t get a job. If you can’t communicate your ideas quickly you are not cost effective. Models take to long and are costly to present quick ideas.

I’ll let you know when I find a good designer who doesn’t sketch.

You don’t have to be able to sketch like DaVinci, you just need to be able to produce sketches that people can wrap their minds around. It has to be legible and make sense. Some people convey an idea with a few refined tight sketches. Some people, like myself, tend to speed doodle (with an amount of precision) to get lots and lots of ideas on the page. If you’re having trouble with your sketching, try this. Get yourself a black ink pen, not a bic, but something like a Pilot V-ball. Forget about making pretty sketches, and loosely, but quickly, start filling pages. Pick a faily simple object, and try to fill as many pages with variants of that object as you can. The point to the excersise is idea generation. You can get very sloppy with a pilot pen, but that’s alright. If you find that you start sticking to one sketch, like by trying to get the lines right, or the shadows, stop immediately and start a new one. Once you have a few pages, go back through them and check off the sketches you like, and THEN work on doing more refined sketches of those, narrow those down, and pick one or two to render.

Like “Guest” said, straining over a few tight sketches is not cost effective, but if you can generate 30 variants of an idea in an hour, then you’re on a good track. So we’re talking 2 minute sketches. When I started working in design I was amazed how some of the roughest sketches were loved by clients and fully developed into something more.

hey thanx for ur idea…i will try out …i work with water colours actually …or sketchpen …bold presentation

I tought myself in college how to really sketch. I use to study engineering for years and only knew how to draw a straight line with a ruler. A good designer needs to communicate well, but does not need to be an artist. Not all designers render, especially now with more and better computer programs.

Most people do not understand a sketch on a paper. Even a good one can confuse people. But you need to be able to verbally present your idea, as well as on paper. Without a combo of those 2 skills, you will be useless in the design field.

Well, I can’t agree 100% on the render part. I do think designers need to know how to render, because it really affects on how you perceive your final surfaces to appear. A person who knows how to render means he/she has great understanding on how light acts on different surface finishes and different surface curvatures. Also, he/she will be able to understand the finish of the particular material better.

Yes, you can always build a model in the computer and throw materials onto them and hit the render button, but that’s only after you are done with your form design. It means that while you are designing the product, you actually leave out the “surface” aspect of the design, then see if your design works by rendering it with computer.

A designer who can render will take surface changes into account while he/she designs. This may mean more to car designers, but there are more and more products out there that are aesthetically driven, like 3C products. Being able to render gives you an edge over other designers who can’t.

I’m agree with greenman.

I’ve worked with designers who can’t sketch well turning out good designs, and I’ve also worked with designers who can sketch well turning out bad designs.

Having a good sketching ability is important, but only to a degree. All things equal, sure, a good sketch of the same design may be better taken than a poorly drawn one.

At the same time, I have seen many cases where a concept may look awesome because of nice sketching style, but when actually brought into 3D and materialized, the concept isn’t as good as it used to look on a sketch. ( I see this quite often in automotive design ). We are designers, and we love looking at sketches. Sometimes, we fall in love with sketches and forget to see past the effects.

I think you should be albe to sketch at least decently. So many ideas, both technical and aesthetic are a result of the process of sketching. No one really needs to be doing old school renders anymore, but being able to clearly delineate a complex form or technical spec is pretty important imho. I think having the skills to make a sketch a little flashy is kinda fun too…

May be taken better? More like will be. And if it’s important to you, don’t you want to make sure your concept has every chance to make it?

Don’t confuse the ability to sketch with the ability to design. You need to be able to do both well. TO have the best idea in the world with no wat to quickly show it is worthless, as is the ability to communicate anything, with out an idea!

The design doesn’t stop at the sketch. Design happens at every stage as the concept becomes reality. Every point is a gut check, evolving, refining, and revising the idea. If the sketch is the first stage that everything else rests on, you better be sure your foundation is sound.

Definately a good follow up to the thread Yo. Many will find that as you spit out ideas quickly, you also sharpen your mind to developing more depictive sketches. It’s the passion for your ideas that can shape how well you can represent them in a sketch. Of course it’s important to develop your sketching to a point where it’s legible, but don’t forget that legible sketches are pretty useless unless the ideas are there to really back them up.

I must say that as a new visitor to these pages, I find it disappointing to hear such value loaded on computer and sketching skills. It seems that you are confusing design with illustration. I am a hopeless sketch artist, however I never have problems communicating my ideas to clients, as they are delivered with belief and passion, not for the image…. but the idea. Some of the most creative people and designers I know, are woefully bad at sketching, and this hasn’t stopped them from having wonderfully successful design careers.

If you can walk, you can dance……and if you make marks on paper, then you can sketch.

Sketching is only important to those that can do it. Don’t be fooled by these people.


Its really tough to make it in ID if you don’t sketch well.

I think it depends on where you work. I’ve been at some places where designers do very little sketching, unnecessary for that environment. If you’re the company putting the product on the market, cutting down on the total development time is essential in a lot of instances. Polished sketching and renderings in that instance can be a total waste of time. Some do thumbnails, just enough to let the director understand what’s going on, then they go into their “refined line” program. Then tack on color chips, and spec material finishes and it’s out the door. Those folks don’t have to convince anyone outside of their group of the validity of the design, so no photoshop renderings or any hand drwngs that take any more than 5 min. are needed. Designers in that company put out very nice work, very quickly.
I was even at one place where you pretty much just thumbnailed, went straight to 2-d cad, and all models were in-house cnc’ed in actual material except for the really rough concept foams. There we were doing mostly plastic covers for electronic things.

Now I do a lot of work for design consultancies where the business is a bit different. They’re not manufacturing these products in most cases. Their main job is to quickly sell ideas to another company. In that environment, quick, high quality sketching, rendering, etc is mandatory because their end product may end up being a sketch. A consultants involvement may easily stop at the concept stage. So big emphasis is on presenting those ideas beautifully, exciting the client about the ideas so that they can be selected to go to the next phase in the development. Then when at that next stage, they have to be able to do those things quickly.

The goals are different in different types of places, it’s all about doing what’s most appropriate for what you’re trying to accomplish. Best bet, get good with as many tools as you can, you want to be prepared for everything. Better to have too many skills than not enough.

from experience: the best feeling as a consultant is when you stroll into an inhouse office that doesn’t sketch much and pladow some hot renderings down on the table that didn’t even take you that long. You walk out with more work every time. Getting people excited about an idea that will take millions of dollars to develop is a good skill to have.

i met a designer. won a major competition. just left a top corporation. joined where i interned. couldnt sketch worth a damn. but an awesome designer.

few years later met another. awards in multiple comps. star designer at leading design firm. well-known. i joined company that hired him. his presentations renderings were scribbles. but he was an excellent designer (tho tended toward difficult tooling).

old-timer once told me “90% of the design is in the design control drawing”. maybe not 90%. but generally agree with him.

my experiences. after these i dont judge by a sketch. i judge by the final ID concept model. no one sells “sketches at retail”.

Summary: most say that designers dont necessarily have to sketch well or sketch at all. other point…the nicest drawings are typically chosen or at least looked at first.

Everyone has the ability to develop great sketching skills why say “I cant sketch”? If your designs are good, dont you want to develop your communication skills to push those designs into fruition? You wont hear an engineer say “Im not that good at math.” Sketching is a tool. Whether you use it everyday or not at all dont you want that tool to be the best it can be. The most exciting thing to a client is to see your ideas and their ideas come out of the tip of your pen and congeal on the page. everyone can sketch when practiced. It will come just work at it. I do disagree with greenman however and all the nice pen junkees out there you dont have to sketch in hard line signature pens. Try verithins or bics or chracoal or whatever a good drawing style should shine through the media. I have worked corporate, consultancy and freelance each had different requirements you should know all.

good luck sorry for the motivational coach tone practice practice practice

spot on