Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How Good is Your Sketch?

How Good is Your Sketch?:
sketching, drawing
I always try to inspire from talented and interesting designers. You can learn from them how to understand users, how to do brainstorming, where do they find inspiration from.

Today I got inspired by a founder of fuseproject and industrial designer Yves Béhar. His products are sophisticated and thoughtful, but what inspired me the most was his sketches that I saw and this is why the following article was created.
What I wanted to write about in this particular article is about sketch quality and why it is okay if your sketch is not perfect. Design students know that it does not matter how good you imagine a product in your head if you are not able to portray it on a piece of paper. Others can’t read your mind and if you will try to describe them your idea, a product they imagine will look different that you have visualized. That’s why a pencil and a piece of paper is here to help us and clear everything out. But what to do if your drawing skills are not that brilliant? Here I want you to show a sketch made by Yves Béhar of a project Talamanca Cocoa.
As you can see the sketch is not breathtaking but it is easy to understand the main idea of a product and how it is used. Very simple but that is the point of a sketch – so that a client or a project partner can understand your idea.
We are not creating a piece of art. Sketches have to be created fast and understandable.
This is what many young designers forget – they are so occupied by the way a sketch looks that they often forget about the main function of a sketch and it is communication between a designer and another person. You are selling your idea not sketching skills (some may pay you more if you can create an amazing sketch). Of course great sketching skills will help you to draw your ideas in a best possible way and this way it will be better for a client to understand your ideas. But it is not always about the sketch – it is also important how you add description or present it to a client.
The final product. Find out more about this project here.
This is another sketch made by Yves Béhar. Can you guess what it is? Is this sketch understandable? Yes and no, but if it was made for another designer he has been working with for years, this designer will understand the idea. It is like in a relationship when you both have some specific words to describe something or a hand sign. They will understand each other when others won’t have a clue what does it mean. That is why it is important to keep in mind the target audience of a sketch.
In the image below you can see the final product of a sketch. Read more about this project here.
My advise to design students to keep practicing sketching and focusing on creating understandable sketches rather than just a neat looking ones.
Your sketch is good enough if others can understand your idea.
And don’t forget to practice presenting your ideas – it doesn’t matter how good your product sketch looks like on a paper if you are not be able to present it and describe with words.

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