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.
Since starting as a designer I have always used hand drawn plans with isometrics and a colour rendered version to assist in customer visualisation. I started to use Google sketchup last year as an exercise on some designs that were already built, thinking it would be time consuming. However, it was very easy, very clever and quick - obviously the more you use it the quicker it gets.
I still hand draw the original designs - to work the scheme out, but then draw the plan in sketchup, colour the plan in sketchup and then transform this into the 3D version (3 files for every garden). This also proves that the garden works, especially on sloping sites.
Reaction from customers has been very, very positive and I will always now present both hand drawn and sketchup visuals (on laptop).
I would still expect contractors to work with plans alone; but on dificult sites a 3D visual explains a lot.
I do not believe that works of art are needed for garden design, the finished work of art should be the garden itself.
I have a selection of designs on the sketchup 3D warehouse under my name and as part of the Landscape Juice collections.