Sketching question??

I have noticed throught the months that portfolios that have a lot of sketches are getting the Industrial Design jobs. For example I have followed the folios of Michel Alvarez and J. DLR on the ID Folios site and they all have suddenly gotten internships or jobs.
Those who have a job… Should I turn my whole folio into a sketch gallery???
thank you

Sketches show process and how you think. 3D images don’t. I guess people prefer someone who can generate and put down ideas fast, and it’s commonly agreed that hand sketches are the most efficient method.

There are probably other reasons to your case. Why not show us what you’ve got?

Hi Molested Cow…Who do you currently work for and what do your design managers really walk towards … when selecting an intern or Staff designer…?I am asking to get an idea about your status/experience.

Uh no, I’m still a student. All the ID related working experience I have was 2 internships and a freelance that went nowhere. Looking for 2 more internships next year, if possible.

I see the need to explain my idea the best way possible, and sketching is my strength. Some of my friends draw nice sketches that only themselves can understand. To me, sketching is the immediate communication device that links you, as a designer, to others who can be anyone.

We just had an portfolio interview at school where people from various companies come down to give us critques. I don’t know about other people, but they certainly look for the presentation of process, which is best backed with sketches.

So, really, it’s not entirely the sketches that are getting people’s attention, because what the sketches show is the process. If your sketches are not efficient, then people won’t understand the process.

Hi mark…
I looked up who you where referring to about sketch/design ability (Michel Alvarez/ J.DLR)
Basically they have great skill and a spark about there folio…You just have to present your best stuff bottom line and have a clean VC layout structure.
Some firms hire based on one or two things, but if you really want to get better and get a job… I guess its smart to follow some Individuals folios like you mentioned and if they get hired before you… try to see what they are doing and hopefully you can improve your Folio.
I am currently working in Florida for a ID FIRM.
Best of Luck.

Hey Mark…
You have to remember that the coroflot folio really does not express someones entire package… once you get an interview… self presentation and verbal skills are just important…ALSO CONFIDENCE…remember that for sure.
Maybe your weekness is… once you do get an interview…how do you speak?? is your attitude right, do you speak about the specified user for every product… conducted research…all those things… you have to have a personality my friend… make them laugh at the interview…or at least smile.
I graduated last June and currently working as an intern in San Fran.


There are all types of designers out there. Some are big on research, others big on form study models, some big on 3D data and others still who are hige on sketches. As MC already pointed out, pen on papre communicates an idea the fastest way. THere is a common language that designers use to communicate on paper. If you are a good sketcher, you should technicaly not have to speak to explain your idea. Not that that is a good idea, but just wanted to express the idea.

As an ID professional, and part time educator, I will not hire anyone w/o clean/comunicative sketches. It is a great tool to have a sketchbook in your portfolio. You should have a variety of levels of finish. They should also be 100%. DO NOT reduce them. I want to see exactly how you work at full scale.

Remember, you want to make it as easy as possible for someone to hire you. If you are a good sketcher, then you can work on a variety of hand drawn projects. It also does not require big capitol to get you some paper and a pen. It is a great tool to get you in the door.

If all you want to do is modeling in a 3D application then your portfolio is fine.

If you actually want to design you need to show your process and how you come up with ideas… no one wants a designer who can only come up with 1-2 ideas.

I have found my interviewers more interested in my sketches then the final execution. Most are very excited to see sketches in my book.

If you see that sketches are helping people get jobs, then guess what. Maybe you should put them in your book.

Hey Mark if you are still listening…my opinion would be to display your conceptualizations and embrace them for half of your Portfolio and then for the rest … demonstrate your visual communication/graphic design skills with some 3d work, or some yellow foam study models…


another way to look at it might be like this, the 3d model stage is costly, so before dumping a hole lot of money in the form of man hours into a model or 3, an employer/client wants to make sure that all of the ideas have been exausted, functionally and aestheticly.

Another way to look at is: if you try to polish a turd all you get is crap on your hand. If the idea blows (or even is percieved to blow by a bad sketch), a great model isn’t going to save it if you even get the opportinity to make one. And if you can make a great 3d model but you can’t generate and communicate innovative ideas QUICKLY, your might not get that designer position.

A lot of companies and even firms have hole teams of modelers to either completely do models or sew up and refine quick models, so be careful where your skill set lies, an employer is going to hire you to do what you do best, not something you are not so good at.

So, it sounds like you’ve got some strong skill sets, and you have an eye out there looking at who is getting hired for what. I think a good plan might be to figure out what type of design job you want, and then figure out what skills/experience you need to get that job, then get those… I know it’s easier said than done.

Good luck bro… that help at all?

when looking for a job, it’s important to remember what kind of company you are applying to. you should have different versions of resume and portfolio for different company. it’s also important to know the nature of that company’s busniness. we heard the term, “user center”, but before your idea/product have to go thru many people before it gets to the hands of the end users’, so you need to know what’s the person’s biggest concern in the whole process and then show him your abilities that he might be interested in. for example, i showed a lot of products that are already out in the market and how good they are doing when i applied to a product development manager job at a major trading company, yet i showed mostly skectes when i applied to an id designer job at a design studio. you need to know what they are looking for and then show how your abilities taylor their needs.