I maybe have a rather oldfashioned approach, but I would definitly
go for the traditional method.
In my opinion, drawing skills are essential to our trade I even
consider it as an asset.
In the workshop, the eye-hand discipline of drawing is an important
skill to develop and maintain. Moreover, it always seemed to me that
drawing my projects somehow prepared my hands to actually make them,
like some sort of rehearsal or warming up… In addition, I usually
think that if you can’t draw it… you’ll probably have a hard time
But your question was about a retail situation, and I would say that
it depends on the type of retail itself, the image that the shop
carries and the skills you (or your freind) already have.
In a business point of view, what would the customer expects is
probaly what I would go for.
Does the shop have a contemporay and stylish display, do the
products show smooth surfaces, clean cuts, geometrical designs…
Then I’d go for CAD If the shop is more of a “traditionnal” type, if
the work features intricate natural patterns and figurative themes
then I’d go for hand drawing. CAD designs are precise, modern and
clean, but they are also impersonnal and “cold”. Unless one really
masters the design interface the result can be quite dull.
When it gets to intricate patterns, CAD can become rather time
So it depends on what you are selling and who you are selling it to.
Will you have to do sketches with the customers? Would you be
efficient et fast enough to do the same job with a computer? Sticking
to client’s expectations is probably the best advise here.