Thought it would be fun to share the very different sketch styles of the designers at 37signals. They range from very neat to a mess (mine).
Jamie’s sketches are neat, well organized, and readable. They’re fairly high resolution and anyone who’s looking at them can decipher them without assistance. They also often contain supporting materials – ideas, questions, explanations, and goals.
Jason Zimdars’ sketches are also really clean. Nicely organized, consistent, detailed (including shading), and self-explanatory. Everything has its own space. He’ll often iterate a variety of ideas, one after another, on the same page instead of using separate pages for each new idea.
Ryan’s sketches trend toward abstract shapes and general ideas, not specific detailed executions. But they’re still neat, logical, and mostly readable. They’re often used as a jumping off point for discussion instead of “this is the solution.” He doesn’t spend a lot of time on drawing, most of the time is spent thinking. The sketches are just a rough way to get an idea into a form that can be shared with others. Ryan almost always uses a thick, low resolution sharpie marker.
My sketches are generally a mess. Lots of overlapping ideas, text you can’t read, and very abstract shapes, lines, squiggles, and arrows. A page like this usually takes me about 30 seconds to spin out of my head. I just draw an idea without thinking too much about how it looks. They are rarely (if ever) given to someone without explanation or discussion. Like Ryan, my sketches are almost always drawn with a thick, low resolution sharpie marker.
I have no idea if any of this is interesting, but we thought it would be fun to share the different sketch styles of the designers at 37signals.