Are you designing a product you plan to sell, or are you interested in improving your sketches for the future? The most fundamental form of product design sketching is simply drawing what inspires you.
You’re turning an idea in your head into a tangible form that captures what you had in mind. Sketching allows you to show your thoughts to others.
If you don’t have experience with drawing, start with something simple, like an easy-to-follow guide on how to draw a mushroom. It can give you a few ideas on proportions, perspective, and three-dimensionality. And the best news is you can easily apply this knowledge in product design.
Here is some info on design sketches and five things you can learn or perfect to convey innovation when working on product design sketches.
Types of product design sketches
Sketches convey design concepts. But they can show many differences when it comes to creation and details. As your project develops, so do the drawings. They generally become more accurate and more detailed.
The sketch makes you think of pencil drawings, but product development actually refers to any graphic image that doesn’t show precision. Sketches are just visible suggestions that exercise design thinking and product development without going into too much technical detail.
The simplest sketches are doodles made by hand on paper – they’re made of lines and sometimes shading or hatching. Renderings add color and details, like textures or materials.
It’s possible to make sketches on computers, too. The resulting images can be more accurate. With the right knowledge, you can even create 3D computer models (CAD). And you can use them in rendering software to produce a photorealistic image for your product.
Sketches can show up in various phases of product development. Most commonly, they come up in the ideation phase, when you set up the general look and feel of your design.
During the configuration phase, you build on initial sketches to explore more and find a configuration for your product. Use perspective or 3D drawing to get more realistic effects.
During the design phase, you will make sketches using CAD models. Then, your product design team can work on fit, feature, and function options.
Of course, you’ll use sketching for marketing, too. Usually, you employ photorealistic rendering that allows you to promote a product even before it’s physically ready. Sketches in this stage should look like the final product.
Your sketches should be unique to stand out from the crowd. Try out the following things when working on product sketches.
Try a 3-point perspective
Think about incorporating gestures into your design sketches. Gestures are the feelings of motion created by lines. You do it by employing a 3-point perspective.
In short, the 3-point perspective refers to three vanishing points in a sketch that form a triangle on the page. You can see this shift in perspective in real life when sitting in front of a tall object or building. You’ll notice that the sides of your object are slowly tilted in, giving the illusion that they could converge.
This perspective demonstrates realism and gives the eye more reason to look at your sketch.
Use line weight
Line weight influences how people look at your sketch. Because sketches convey ideas, line weight becomes important. You want to ensure that each line is thick enough to convey what you’re trying to show.
Realism is essential to a good product sketch. Try thickening lines that would be on top of something. Replicate what happens in reality and what gives objects volume and weight.
Thick lines can also hide mistakes if needed. They can hide the little mistakes you don’t want people to see. If a line isn’t in perspective, for example, correct it and go over it a few times to highlight the better angle.
Thicker lines are also great for highlighting certain details you want people to see. Put the focus on the specific things you wish your audience would notice, especially when presenting a product idea.
Give your product an “X-Ray”
Drawing through an object is essential to show your knowledge on natural mechanisms. Sketches should show realism, and they’re a great way to highlight the elements that make up a product. Of course, “X-rays” of your products go hand in hand with line weight.
Because you’re trying to communicate an overall look of the product, the internal pieces can lack details. So, you don’t have to draw too much of the “entrails,” reducing the line weight. It creates a nicer transition from light to shadow. It’s more interesting to see, too.
Drawing through the product communicates more about form, usage, and interactions with light. Simple things can be highlighted better when trying to nail down a project.
Keep realism in mind when you self-correct your sketches. That means working on perspective and proportions.
When it comes to perspective, your brain will easily notice the subtle inconsistencies that make your object seem less than real.
You can start by explicitly drawing points on paper to help get the right perspective. As you get more accustomed to sketching, you’ll learn where lines should go without visual help.
Proportions are essential to creating good sketches. Small changes can have a huge impact on proportions.
What you can do is ensure that what you’re sketching matches reality. That means spending time looking at examples and practicing drawing. In time you’ll get a feel of what looks natural and improve your skills.
Build a library
It will take a while to see results, but building a library includes studying what surrounds you and drawing those things.
Your visual library will create a connection between your brain and your hand. You must practice to understand what you’re drawing, its pieces, and its connections to reality. That’s why studying things when you want to be good at drawing is essential.
Hopefully, this guide to innovating product design has been handy for you. Maybe it even inspired you to turn your ideas into more tangible products.
Whether you’re a novice or already have some drawing knowledge, this info can prove practical when working on incipient or ending phases of product design.