This and the next sketch were done using the Procreate app on the iPad. “For the lettering on the reverse panel,” says David, “you just fill in the panel, then do the lettering using the eraser tool.”
Often a quick rough sketch is all that is needed to firm up the design and get the point across to the client. Unlike a finished drawing, it leaves room for design changes as the design comes together.

Start with a quick sketch

By David Hassan

Posted on Monday, April 27th, 2020

Almost every job in my shop starts with a pencil sketch, if only a rough thumbnail drawing—even though it is likely to be produced with the help of all sorts of the latest computer technology on our MultiCam CNC router. Though pencil-and-paper are about as low tech as you can get, it is still a great way to get your designs off on the right foot.

Sometimes the sketches are just very basic drawings that help me visualize proportions and play with ideas. Other times I refine those for some projects into a more detailed shop drawing. All it takes is some basic drawing skills and an understanding of sign design fundamentals.

These quick little sketches serve several purposes. They make sales easier and faster. They gain the customer’s trust. They make it easier to get a deposit on the sign as well as get paid for doing the finished design as part of the sign. They let me have the flexibility I need to refine the design as I complete it later.


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