Does a Graphic Designer Need Drawing Skills?

Does a Graphic Designer Need Drawing Skills?

Today we have computers, printers, tablets,
digital cameras, typefaces, digital art brushes and creative software tools which help bring our imagination and design to life. Technology has and will continue
to change the way we create. Enabling us to experiment and explore an
endless dynamic of visual effects and methods to create and communicate
more complex concepts, messages and achieve more sophistication in our design. Today it is common for a designer to create work predominantly on computer creating: logos, branding, magazine layouts, infographics,
3D models, web design, social media and motion graphics to name a few. For the next generation of designers and
even existing designers, today it may be natural to wonder about the usefulness
and importance of traditional techniques. This video question comes
from Diaa Hassan and he asks: Does the Graphic Designer need drawing skills? So as designers it will help us to think
of drawing a serving two functions: One to carefully construct and complete
a piece of artwork. If you want to draw hand lettering,
graphic novels, cartoons character designs, portraiture
and more illustration and art related work you would require a good level of
drawing and rendering skill. So for function one let’s call this: Drawing to Render Art. The next function: To think about a
design idea and communicate it visually. If you’re conceptualising design ideas
perhaps for logo designs, magazine layouts storyboards, web layouts or
advertisement posters you will require a certain degree of skill in sketching and
if you are presenting design direction for other creatives to follow, you will
require skill in scamping also referred to as drafting. So for function two let’s call this:
Drawing to Design. So two functions there:
Drawing to Render Art and Drawing to Design. As a designer it will help to think
about drawing in that regard because as a designer you should only really be concerned with drawing to design. What’s the difference you may be wondering?
Well we will be covering that shortly In my experience a designer should
have good skill in drawing to design but not necessarily a good
skill at drawing to render art. In the design industry today most
designers will not be required to create finished pieces of artwork through drawing. But will always be required to come up with creative ideas and concepts for design and will often express them
through sketches and scamps. Now in a professional environment like a design agency any design work with heavy illustrative execution would normally be tasked to an illustrator who specialises in drawing to render art. If you’re learning to become a designer I would say focus on drawing to design. If you can bring your thoughts and ideas from your mind and project them onto paper you can practice design.
To sketch and think visually is the essence of design. This is one of the most important and creative parts of the design process. In my experience sparks happen on the page! During the sketching process: Ideas
are invented, ideas ideas are crafted, discovered and start to shape a direction
concept or possible design solution. You should only use the computer when you have an idea on the page. So the first type of drawing a
designer should be well practice at is sketching. To be able to sketch will be able
to communicate your ideas visually. Sketching is a great method to render
your imagination fast and bring your initial ideas out of your mind to rule out anything
you feel may or may not work and to progress and evolve ideas.
So let’s take a look at some examples. To follow along and take a closer look at
the examples I’m about to show. I suggest you download the design to draw PDF
I have created for this video. Link is in the description. So with the PDF
open first we have some rough sketches for some page layout ideas for a brochure
looking at possible image and typesetting compositions. Next we have some sketches for a logo type design exploring various routes and ideas. Next we have another example for a logo mark design based on the DNA structure looking at how it may move grow and change to create multiple logo
permutations to create a logo system. Next another logo type design example
exploring various routes and ideas and again design sketches for a logo mark
exploring a variation of what appear to be map tag shapes. Lastly we have sketches for a leaflet plan here we are looking at how the design
will unfold with possible layout options. So what we see in each example are rough ideas. Here a designer will be thinking fast
and trying to discover an experiment with possible design solutions before working up and developing ideas on the computer. Each example may be rough but here you can clearly see what the designer is thinking. This is really the level at which you
will be required to sketch. To see some more examples
of design sketches simply type: ‘Graphic Design Sketches’ and ‘Logo Design Sketches’ into google images. There you can see lots more examples to get a better understanding on sketching for design. To see more examples you can also
find some links in the description So how do you get good at sketching? Well if you don’t feel confident sketching I would encourage you to practice and harness your technique. If you can nurture your skill in sketching it’s really going to help with your design process. Get a sketch pad or layout pad
take it everywhere you go and sketch your thoughts and design ideas. Practice drawing shapes, grids,
layouts and typography. Soon you will be proficient in
general shape and form sketching. which will help you sketch your rough designs. Sketching is something you could
be practicing all the time. I have been practicing graphic design now for over 10 years and I sketch as much as I can. To sketch and develop my ideas
I typically use a graphic pencil, range of markers, thin, medium and thick, tipex and a range of coloured markers. Now depending on what type of ideas I’m sketching, be it for layout, logos or patterns. I will use either a clear white graphic layout pad or a grid pad. This simple equipment works really well to me. It is relatively cheap and easy to replace.
Once I feel an idea is working on paper as a possible design solution
only then will I take it onto the computer. If you are interested to learn
more about the equipment I use you can find a list in the PDF
with links to find out more online. Now there are many benefits why you should sketch your ideas before taking them on to the computer. Drawing to render a finished
idea or created on computer may take hours whereas a quick sketch can take
you minutes. When working in teams sketches can become the discussion point when you have something
visual and tangible in front of you it makes it easier to talk about that idea with others such as clients, senior designers or
creative directors. To quote Paul Arden:
Rough layouts sell the idea better than polished ones. Every time I’m at a meeting I always sketch initial rough thoughts out and show clients or other designers. This helps engage them and see
their reactions and get feedback. Many times through this collaborative process creative solutions have been discovered. As a designer myself that predominately
works on computer I find sketching the most organic and fluid part of my thinking. When I designed for anything before I jump onto the computer I usually start on paper thinking visually sketching up my ideas and
exploring how they may or may not work. Ideas seem to flow much better sketching
on paper than trying to build them from scratch on a computer. So the next type of drawing a designer should be
well practice that is scamping. In the design industry scamping has
quite a practical role. If I want to present initial design
ideas at a meeting in a more clear fashion I will create what is called a
scamp drawing also referred to as a draft. Scamps are used in the industry to
communicate specific design direction. A scamp can be a simple doodle or a more
developed crafted drawing. Because these drawings are used to give clear design direction they are typically more refined than the rough sketches.
These are often clear line drawings and can include color with markers. Depending on
how much you want to communicate and to what detail you can draw your scamps accordingly.
These are also used to brief and give visual reference to other
creative professionals such as web developers, 3D modellers, Illustrators, photographers,
animators or art workers. So let’s take a look at some examples.
With the PDF open first we have a scamp suggesting the orientation and
structure of a leaflet. Here we can see the direction
for photography and composition. Next is another leaflet example and on the next page a closer look
at the previous open spread. Here we can see more clear
direction for layouts of type and image. Next is another scamp example suggesting the layout of a leaflet cover and page layouts. Next is a scamp giving direction
for a photo composition for an advert and to the right is the photo result
taken from the scamp design. Next is a scamp for a poster design suggesting product and design composition and type layout. Next is a storyboard scamp for a
short advert and next is another scamp example for a leaflet layout design
which continues on to the next page. Finally we have a series of scamps
suggesting design directions for a business card a letterhead and brochure page layouts. So here we have a range of scamps
showcasing different styles, techniques and approaches What they will all do is express
clear specific design direction. Compared to the rough sketches we can
see more detail to communicate more direction here. To see more examples of
scamps simply type design scamps and advertising scamps into google images.
Here you can see lots more examples of how scamps are drawn and used in industry. To see more examples you can also
find some links in the description. So how do you get good at drawing scamps? Now unlike sketching you will require more
skill and technique here. When it comes to drawing scamps you will want to take a little more time and focus on clarity. A technique I used is draw and trace.
First draw a design on layout paper using a pencil. This can be really rough like a
sketch, then draw over your pencil sketch with a fine marker, with clear lines to
simplify your initial sketch Once complete rub the pencil away and
highlight any focal points of your design with a bold marker to suggest
hierarchy. Remove any mistakes or errors with TipEx. If the result is still a
little rough trace over the drawing until the end result is clear and precise. With my line drawing I can then fill in
with colour using markers or scan my line drawing onto the computer clean up and add colour using brushes in Photoshop this technique works well for me
but does take a little practice. So skill in drawing for design
will really benefit you in the industry at university or college you will always
be encouraged to think about your design as sketches before jumping onto
the computer to make the final result. Clients love to see an idea come
to life and employers really like to see how you can come
up with ideas. So it’s great to have examples of this in your portfolio. This shows that you really think about your design. So to conclude:
Does the graphic designer need drawing skills? Well for that I would answer: Every designer should have skill
in sketching and scamping, drawing for design but not necessarily skill in
drawing to render art So what are your thoughts? Do you agree with my conclusion?
Do you think designers need drawing skills? or do you think we don’t need any? Please share your experiences
with drawing and sketching and how your lack of drawing
or skill in drawing has helped in your career. Also what equipment do you use to do your drawing? Be sure to share your thoughts and experiences in the comment section. So if you have any other questions you
would like me to answer regarding design like in this video please pop them
in the comment section below or tweet me your questions @TastyTuts. For more details see the instructions in the description I look forward to hearing your
questions and answering more in future videos. Well I hope you enjoyed this video if you did and want to see more like this in future be sure to subscribe and be sure to hit that Bell button to be notified of future videos Well thanks for watching guys
and I’ll see you in the next video. and I’ll see you in the next video!

100 thoughts on “Does a Graphic Designer Need Drawing Skills?

  1. I'm 16 and an art and design student in senior high school. And i want to be a graphic designer or a film and video editor, my problem is i can't draw but can do a basic calligraphy. Looking at my classmates was making me a bit unconfident. Now, i want to learn how to draw and to be creative enough even tho i think it's a bit too late to start. Where do i start first? What books should i read first? Thanks for those who will answer 🙂

  2. You can be a designer without drawing talent, but not as logo designer
    For real, it's the only design field where drawing skills are crucial

  3. I guess I'd say, as long as your pre-design sketches are decent enough to show a client the general idea at hand, you're golden. They'll only see the sketches you want to show them, so… It's kind of a "yesno"

  4. Hey Gareth! I'm starting a blog about teaching myself graphic design. Do you mind if I link back to some of your YouTube videos? With credit obviously. 🙂

  5. Dear, I am a graphic designer. I interested work with you.
    pls see my portfolio
    order on Fiverr
    Message me
    Skype: tusharbabu67

  6. Your channel/website is amazing! Thank you for making this for all of the people that have an interest in graphic design

  7. I love designing too much ..and i want to be a designer But I suffer from my responsibilities as a mother .. Is loving design enough to keep going on and learn more ? Will it be many years before I mastered anything? Thanks

  8. Can you make a tutorial on the Affinity software, please? It's a cheaper version of Adobe software I saw that it's good. That would be great.

  9. Firstly thanks a lot for the videos. Actually I have not drawn almost anything. I want to follow my passion for graphic design. I am 28 and I want to speed up the process to change my career. Can I learn sketching by my self or I should take courses?

  10. Thank you so much for these videos. I am learn Graphic Design and teaching myself techniques. Its time for a career change. Haha. I think it is very important to put your thoughts on paper through drawing. Yes, drawing is great. I'm traditional so I like using a pencil. For now. Thanks again.

  11. Excellent video, you are excellent at what you are doing. I have watched only 2 videos from you sofar but I have learned already a lot . Thank you !

  12. Hi I’m a graphic design student I want to buy a new device but I don’t know which one I need it a laptop or office computer or iPad pro?

  13. OMG… today I landed first time on your channel, it is super awesome, topic and collections simply food for designers, a bundle of thanks for sharing all these videos for free… <3.

  14. So, quick question. I recently discovered your channel and I am really enjoying your content. But I noticed you haven't posted in a while.. So are you planning to pick up YouTube again?

  15. Simple answer: Short term – no. Long term – definitely YES.
    You don't need to if you are strong with visions in your head, but it will only take you so far…

  16. I have a qustion in all of the movies we see like thor when acters are acting and jumpiping we see like cool looking art like planets and magic stuff and like king kong and big wolves and all that stuff that is created by an artist is that a graphic desing? And what type of it? And if not then what is it? And the people that creat games like gta and call of duti and lol are this games created by graphic desing? And what typ of it and thank you.

  17. I'm self-conscience about drawing and playing the drums: I never wanted to draw (no pun intended) attention to myself.

  18. Hi thanks for the videos great help 👍
    I have a question wher can I find ideas I mean the message And information Im starting the design practicing I hv no clients to order me wher should I look for?

  19. Am a graphic designer for several years now and i dont have any drawing skills, i used to do graffiti in high school and university but that’s it

  20. Your videos help me alot, i don't know how to express, i learnt adobe illustrator from your tutorials, it gave me a confidence!
    I really like how to explain each and every topic in depth and cover each and every part of it!!
    Moreover (Cherry on top) you also share PDF and Links in description!
    I don't know how to express YOU ARE HELPING DESIGNERS ALOT!
    Thanks for being there! LOOKING FORWARD FROM LEARNING MORE FROM YOU!!♥️♥️

  21. Thanks for sharing this video. Good information and great editing. To know more

  22. You don't need to draw anything. Drawing skills is not a must skill to have. Just be imaginative and always keep up with latest designs.

  23. i am a graphic design student right now and i am finding myself investing alot more in developing my sketching and drawing skills. Definitely a helpful tool when presenting ideas to clients and collaborating with team members

  24. Great drawing, mate. I use pencils, markers and fine-liners on paper when I draw to design. As for drawing to render art, I use pencils, pens and markers, or Illustrator and Photoshop, depending what I am designing. I also use a graphics tablet do do both drawing to design and render art. Do you use a graphics tablet as well?

  25. thanks so much, you made me find out I do wanna get better at "Drawing To Design" , I don't want to be a fine artist but someone who can design anything visual from start to finish and also express ideas visually in a powerful way.

  26. Hi Gareth, your video is very helpful. Thank you. I wanna learn graphic design and become a real graphic designer but dunno from where I should start it. Some people say it is possible to learn it own self, but I think it's better to join an official course. Please gimme a piece of advice for a person who wanna start to become a graphic designer. I really need real guidance for a beginning. Thank you!

  27. Quick question: people said I’m artistic/creative but I’m not that good at drawing, is Graphic Design still my path?

  28. if you want to learn Graphics Designing with CorelDraw, please visit:

  29. 1 year late but recently started figuring out what i wanted to do with my life like edit/ and make different things so im going more towards doing collages/ album art for artist

  30. Thanks a lot
    This video was really helpful and I got much information about graphic design and portfolio for that ..
    Thanks a lot again..

  31. I was thinking about becoming a graphic designer… And your video helped me, thanks. Though I want to know how you gather creative ideas?

  32. New subbie here 🙂 Thank you for sharing this useful content! Do you have any tips on drawing for design when it comes to interior book layout's? My main confusion is about choosing how much written content should go on a page. Thanks for your time!

  33. Hey there. I'm quite a newbie when it comes to graphics design, despite that I used Photoshop before (During the CS3 era) while playing Counter-Strike. To be honest, I ain't that well-versed in drawing, but I'm a but good in typography, since I write letters in a more, futuristic way using different lines. I'm having a hard time to draw something, despite I can imagine or picture something, since, I have to admit, my drawing skills are just like kindergarten drawings. Is there a way to improve it? I really do hope to have a feedback from you, sir. 🙂

  34. Pls share with me how to practice Sketching :<, i don't know where to start this, i'm just good at photoshop and a little bit Illustrator.

  35. I agree every designer should know how to sketch. Thank you for the pointers, I will be sharpening my sketching abilities from here on.

  36. And if I don't know to draw but I'm still learning to design, it does matter anymore? I mean, if I have already some experience and I wanna learn more from tutorials to improve my designs, it matters to know how to draw?
    My opinion is, if you're going to be a freelancer on a niche like graphic design, drawing skills don't matter because you can use your tools as a method to express your ideas from a vast imagination as in my case.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *