Details are important when sketching concepts to figure out if something “works.” When that “figuring out” spans media—opening up materials, sounds, and other aspects of a design, those details get even more important.

Sketching Details

Below, I sketched out a spork I am designing (yes, this is a real product—the Light My Fire spork (which is excellent.) The details I show below in my sketches capture important aspects of the design. Its overall form, the thickness of the spork, and also how it would work when cutting things. These sketches communicate the prototype with adequate detail.

Color and Material

When it comes to my spork design, I also need to show the color and the material makeup of my proposed solution. Luckily, I found an image of spoons that showed what I needed. However, if I could not find spoons, I would just pick anything that’s plastic in many colors to show the physical makeup of my proposed design.


Showing the step-by-step operation of a design can be essential for many proposals. The sketches below show a series of screens that may be used to select a player avatar’s eye color in a game design. Note how I also showed how big the screen would be for this design. If these sketches were nested in a wide range of sketches about an overall design, this sequence would help show the moment-to-moment interactions with the design.

Dennis Cheatham

Associate Professor, Communication Design

Miami University