Sketching - Who's it for Anyway?

Sketches  - Who are they for? 

If a client asks you for a "quick draft" or a sketch do you send it over? 

Before we delve into that, my good friend Eric is hosting summer of sketching. I am taking part this year and it just so happens to fall on my birthday. I'll be doing a bonus post this week on the blog. Be on the lookout Friday. 

First let's define what sketching is used for:

Sketching is used for quick ideations often used to communicate between designers, architects illustrators. I would say hand lettering is a combination of illustration and design. Sketching can be quick and loose or tight and detailed as one would like but ultimately - who is the sketch for? Should it be used to communicate with clients?

The sketch is for the designer. It should never be used to communicate what a final design can potentially look like to a client.
 
Why Not?
I am glad you asked - you have assumed the client has creative ability to imagine what the outcome will look like. Not only that, a sketch may be done in a different medium than the final piece. 

I had someone request a design for a specific event and they then proceeded to ask me for a sketch.
 
This person didn't fill out the form or review my process. Red FLAG not only that, I wouldn't be getting paid for my creative sketching. Lastly, unless someone has the ability to imagine creatively of what the final outcome of a sketch will be it can be detrimental sharing it with a client.

This client now has an image of reference, "I want it to look like that", however, the texture, color, even choice of paper or where it will be viewed all have an effect. 

Needless to say this "potential client" ended up cancelling before I could even consider putting pencil to paper.
 
When I sketch, my pencil strokes are either very dark and show movement or they are very light - barely noticeable as I am taking a project to the final stages.
 
What to do instead.
Build up a body of work in which your potential client can choose from. A sketch isn't a finished project - it’s part of the process towards a finished product. 

What are your thoughts? Let's talk about them below.