I have been trying to perfect the use of my 3D Designer program with varied success. The thought has occurred to me that customers might prefer the traditional hand drawn design which has a more one off personal feel. I would be interested to hear the thoughts of designers and customers alike. As I have never trained in IT hand drawing comes more naturally to me.

 

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Whilst I like the 3D view of a CAD plan and the facility to 'walk' around the garden they are without soul, too brightly coloured and perfect. For me there is nothing better than a clean sheet of A1, a pencil and the ability take in all the space available, it's pure freedom. And there is nothing as wonderful than a beautifully produced garden plan, wonky paving lines, shadows created by rendering and perhaps some added watercolours of some of the planting. Knowing that someone has spent time and great care producing something by hand, is rather special.

Don't know if you are like me, but when I am designing I am actually 'walking' around the space in my head. There is the feeling of scale and purpose to the design.

When designing the planting scheme I see the plants in their mature state and whole garden comes alive. It is then up to my skills to convey this vision to the clients, but if you are passionate about what you have created, this is easy!
I agree with all Kerrie has said. I prefer hand drawn and 2d design. My CAD 'expertise' is limited but that apart I always think CAD 3d looks too unnatural and sharp - the opposite of what I'm actually wanting to create.
Thankyou kerrie/vhowe for you thoughts. like you kerrie I visualise as I am drawing and see every part of the design before a single stone has been laid. I think a hand drawn design shows natural creativity with the wow factor. Technology still has a fair way to go in creating this. Any one disagree?

Kerrie said:
Whilst I like the 3D view of a CAD plan and the facility to 'walk' around the garden they are without soul, too brightly coloured and perfect. For me there is nothing better than a clean sheet of A1, a pencil and the ability take in all the space available, it's pure freedom. And there is nothing as wonderful than a beautifully produced garden plan, wonky paving lines, shadows created by rendering and perhaps some added watercolours of some of the planting. Knowing that someone has spent time and great care producing something by hand, is rather special.

Don't know if you are like me, but when I am designing I am actually 'walking' around the space in my head. There is the feeling of scale and purpose to the design.

When designing the planting scheme I see the plants in their mature state and whole garden comes alive. It is then up to my skills to convey this vision to the clients, but if you are passionate about what you have created, this is easy!
I on the other hand have limited drawing skills but had trained in CAD for my previous jobs so was able to take these skills over. I really like hand drawn designs and i do agree that they look better however the time taken to produce them is just not practical sometimes.

The added advantage of CAD is that once you have produced the drawing to scale you have all the information including lengths, areas and volume to lift off for your quote!
Hi Daniel, I suppose the type of software that you use can make a huge difference in the quality and complexity that you can achieve. Do you think that there might become available at some stage software than can give you the more subtle lines and colouring/shading that you can acheive by hand drawing.
Nigel

Daniel Kaye said:
I on the other hand have limited drawing skills but had trained in CAD for my previous jobs so was able to take these skills over. I really like hand drawn designs and i do agree that they look better however the time taken to produce them is just not practical sometimes.

The added advantage of CAD is that once you have produced the drawing to scale you have all the information including lengths, areas and volume to lift off for your quote!
I have been involved in so many discussions like this one and it is amazing how polarising the subject can be. It does seem to me though that many of those who "prefer" hand drawn are also the ones who do not have the skills/training in CAD.

CAD is a tool, nothing more, nothing less and the results are as good and as attractive as the skills, creativity and inclination of the designer. My drawings can easily be made to look "hand drawn" but you have to ask why would you want to.

As a mischievous experiment a while back, having been told that CAD drawings would never be good enough to get through a Society of Garden Designers adjudication, we set out to achieve exactly that. It took some time to create the drawings in the form required but full membership was duly awarded.

The argument that freehand drawing is more creative or fluid was made redundant years ago by the introduction of the graphics tablet. I have an A3 tablet in front of me now and using the "pen" I can produce soft flowing curves at will (great for adding your signature to the word processor, too!)

I have a 30 year background in horticulture, have been a professional garden designer for more than 15 years and a keen artist since childhood. I draw and paint for pleasure but use CAD in my work as a garden designer. Around 1,000 clients down the road, I have had few complaints and as my wife points out, they didn't design a BMW to look like a horse!
Hi Colin, You are right that people like myself that have limited skills in IT favour hand drawn design. Do you think that clients see the designer as more artistic if hand drawn designs are produced. Or do CAD designs get the same Wow?

Colin Elliott said:
I have been involved in so many discussions like this one and it is amazing how polarising the subject can be. It does seem to me though that many of those who "prefer" hand drawn are also the ones who do not have the skills/training in CAD.

CAD is a tool, nothing more, nothing less and the results are as good and as attractive as the skills, creativity and inclination of the designer. My drawings can easily be made to look "hand drawn" but you have to ask why would you want to.

As a mischievous experiment a while back, having been told that CAD drawings would never be good enough to get through a Society of Garden Designers adjudication, we set out to achieve exactly that. It took some time to create the drawings in the form required but full membership was duly awarded.

The argument that freehand drawing is more creative or fluid was made redundant years ago by the introduction of the graphics tablet. I have an A3 tablet in front of me now and using the "pen" I can produce soft flowing curves at will (great for adding your signature to the word processor, too!)

I have a 30 year background in horticulture, have been a professional garden designer for more than 15 years and a keen artist since childhood. I draw and paint for pleasure but use CAD in my work as a garden designer. Around 1,000 clients down the road, I have had few complaints and as my wife points out, they didn't design a BMW to look like a horse!
CAD certainly has a place in my view and I have to agree with both of thoe 'polarized' camps.

CAD is certainly beneficial for commercial design and allows several designers to collaborate on a design in a disparate way. The files can be converted and shared and sent electronically with instant effect. Rubbing out and changing errors or making modifications is also simple.

Yet, I seem to love the personalisation of a hand drawn atmospheric design but, I am talking from the point of view of someone who never totally grasped CAD and never found the time to take a course but stumbled through it for the odd hour here and there in the office in a quiet moment.
Thank you Philip for your comments. I think it is clear that personal preference is the key here. I would agree that where many people are involved as in the more commercial sector, sharing and altering designs is more likely. But still favour traditional design for the private client.

Philip Voice said:
CAD certainly has a place in my view and I have to agree with both of thoe 'polarized' camps.

CAD is certainly beneficial for commercial design and allows several designers to collaborate on a design in a disparate way. The files can be converted and shared and sent electronically with instant effect. Rubbing out and changing errors or making modifications is also simple.

Yet, I seem to love the personalisation of a hand drawn atmospheric design but, I am talking from the point of view of someone who never totally grasped CAD and never found the time to take a course but stumbled through it for the odd hour here and there in the office in a quiet moment.
Before graduating I worked on a big project for about a year,I worked with a man that was a gardener for about 30 years. he was very clever and knowledgeable- Jeremy. Jeremy always said that the sketch is mainly to be able to create a great garden- so he never tried to make it nice.

Sure it should look professional if you want to show to customers, and it can help to sell ideas.
But in the end of the day- If the garden will look great- a nice photo and happy customer are the key for duplications.

totally agree with Philip,There are great benefits in each way and it is about the project that I do.
Having worked for companies that have used both methods I would agree that a hand drawn plan does look better and have a certain charm about it. However a good Cad drawing should look just as good. The downside is that to create a good Cad drawing you have to be proficient, which takes time and practise. If not you end up with a crude drawing (think Etch-a-sketch).

We always use Cad for our plans and I will often use Sketch up to produce a 3D model. If needed we will hand render a plan with watercolour which gives us the best of both worlds.

The advantage of Cad id the quantifiying for pricing and the ease of making amendments.
I thought after I wrote my little comment, everyone would think I was "having a go". Far from it, just an old timer trying to help!

My work is mostly small gardens and I find CAD is the way to be efficient. Changes are easy (I often do them in the office in front of the client) and a setting out plan, planting plan and all the other drawings can be produced from the outline design very rapidly. Quantities? Piece of, er, cake.

We do now do a bit of international work, swapping files with landscapers/architects/ designers and saving days of work each time.

As I say, riding a horse is great for trips out, but give me the BMW every time

NIGEL GRAHAM said:
Hi Colin, You are right that people like myself that have limited skills in IT favour hand drawn design. Do you think that clients see the designer as more artistic if hand drawn designs are produced. Or do CAD designs get the same Wow?

Colin Elliott said:
I have been involved in so many discussions like this one and it is amazing how polarising the subject can be. It does seem to me though that many of those who "prefer" hand drawn are also the ones who do not have the skills/training in CAD.

CAD is a tool, nothing more, nothing less and the results are as good and as attractive as the skills, creativity and inclination of the designer. My drawings can easily be made to look "hand drawn" but you have to ask why would you want to.

As a mischievous experiment a while back, having been told that CAD drawings would never be good enough to get through a Society of Garden Designers adjudication, we set out to achieve exactly that. It took some time to create the drawings in the form required but full membership was duly awarded.

The argument that freehand drawing is more creative or fluid was made redundant years ago by the introduction of the graphics tablet. I have an A3 tablet in front of me now and using the "pen" I can produce soft flowing curves at will (great for adding your signature to the word processor, too!)

I have a 30 year background in horticulture, have been a professional garden designer for more than 15 years and a keen artist since childhood. I draw and paint for pleasure but use CAD in my work as a garden designer. Around 1,000 clients down the road, I have had few complaints and as my wife points out, they didn't design a BMW to look like a horse!

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