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The Art of Landscaping: Why the Look of the Drawing Matters

For many landscape designers, the artistic aspect of design is a top priority. However you do it, drawing is an essential part of the process.

Drawing by hand is a talent without a doubt. The ability to take an idea from a customer and turn it into a detailed hand-drawn design is a skill few possess. Plus, a beautiful sketch is a great showpiece that can wow any client.

But there is a downside. Hand-drawn landscape drawings are difficult, labor-intensive, and time-consuming. Moreover, when trying to get a customer’s ideas across in a sketch, it can entirely miss the point. It may lack some technical aspects the customer thought they would see. Plus, changes are often time-consuming and expensive.

DynaScape customer Christian Brown of Perfect Landscapes had a problem with a designer. He focused on the look of the drawings more than the needs of the business. It ended up costing Brown money in lost time producing art. In the end, it was not a sellable design.

“It was painful to watch,” said Brown. He stated that the designer was more worried about an artistic presentation than he was about selling the job.

It’s easy to see why some designers swear by the hand-drawn look. For them, it’s about the creative process. The result of their drawings matters. They refrain from using CAD software because they fear it will be mechanical and unattractive.

But, the look won’t matter at all if the customer doesn’t agree to start their project.

The Look of the Landscape Drawing Can Sell Itself

Male landscaper reviewing his landscape sketch

Landscape drawing is an art. A well-executed sketch can draw a client into the process. It can help them see the potential of their space. It can get them excited about the results.

A well-drawn plan can also be the best sales tool for any landscaping company.

Trying to get clients to understand the value of landscaping can be difficult. The design work is critical. You can’t do advanced landscaping without it. And a beautiful drawing of the finished landscape—something that helps the client envision the finished project—can help sell your services.

“The less you have to say something to sell someone, the better,” said Patrick DuChene, owner of DuChene Design Solutions. “When you roll that drawing out, you just sit back and don’t say a word.”

Artistic renderings can help them visualize your intended results. Customers need to see a polished-looking drawing that is easy to understand. They need accurate coloring, shading, and plant choice for their area.

A sketch that can clearly communicate the details shows the client something they want to buy. But, doing that by hand is time-consuming.

As landscaping businesses grow larger, they want to find more efficient solutions. They may move away from hand drawings mainly to deliver faster results. Especially when looking at them for what they are – a sales tool.

“Doing it by hand started to become a hindrance,” said DuChene. “It was an obstacle where there was more coming in than I could push out. So, I started looking for software. I chose DynaScape for the graphics, and for accuracy. I started using Design, and within two or three weeks, I was selling $10,000 to $15,000 jobs with it. It’s almost painful to think about how much time a hand-rendered drawing would take.”

Keeping It Realistic, but Efficient

Woman working on landscape design on tablet

One reason many designers choose hand drawing is that it can be more realistic than designs from a CAD program. This is because they were trained to produce realistic hand drawings to appeal to customers.

But, there is a trade-off: realism for speed. Especially when trying to sell that design and earn back an acceptable profit margin. That’s where DynaScape comes in.

DynaScape Design offers realistic hand-drawing features that can compete against any hand-drawn design. It has even converted some committed hand drawers into CAD software users. Designers get the look they prefer while businesses get the efficiency they need.

“I was trained to do everything by hand,” said Wickie Rowland, APLD of Labrie Associates Design & Build. “I enjoy that whole process. But after a while, I started to realize that as much fun as it was, it was cumbersome. I wasn’t able to be all that efficient. When a client had a change they wanted to make, it often meant drawing the whole thing all over again, and that gets old fast.”

Designs can take weeks to complete. Revisions can add even more time. Especially if the drawing must be redrawn from scratch. The art of landscape drawing is great—if you nail it the first time.

However, if you need to revise a sketch, you might have to redraw the design multiple times. Then it’s time to start thinking of moving towards software that will bring efficiency.

Landscape Drawings Add Value to a Sale

Landscaper and customer looking over landscape design

Ultimately, landscape drawing only matters if a customer accepts the final drawing. Done by hand or through the computer, the real art in the design is how it contributes to the sale.

For Glenn Curtis, owner of Plantenance Landscape Group, it was important to keep the hand-drawn look. He didn’t want their designs to look computer generated. He wanted to keep the artistry while adding the efficiency of software.

“We wanted something that didn’t look mechanical, that looked like it was hand drawn, that looked more artistic,” said Curtis. “I remember noticing that right away when I saw the DynaScape software that it had that hand-drawn feeling. It looked like it took a lot more time to do, and customers commented on that.”

When it came to revisions, Curtis said DynaScape Design made things easy. They were able to make changes in real time with the client. It captured exactly what they wanted as they went through the design. That cut down on miscommunication. And since the base design was always there, no one had to start over.

In the end, it brings value to the design process. Customers get a clear understanding of the landscape they are getting. They see a detailed and accurate design with a hand-drawn appeal. They can see themselves in the landscape without it taking weeks to produce.

“A lot of designers are used to doing everything by hand, and when they see how quick and easy it is—that they can actually do more work or get out more designs in less time—they value that we’re putting the effort into training them and we’re using good quality software to do it,” said Curtis.

Book a demo with us today to see how DynaScape Design can help you.

Maintain the art of drawing. Gain the efficiency you need. And produce designs that boost sales to help your landscaping business grow.