Drawings, Sketching, Designing, And Drafting: Are They All Same?


Humans have been expressing their inner hearts through drawings, sketches, paintings, and other visual forms right from the advent of civilization. However, these human aesthetics have been given proper recognition when the patent regime came into existence, and their importance was realized while documenting the full make-out of an invention or article of manufacture. No matter, how you call them; patent drawings, drawings for inventions, creating drafts for patents, sketches, designing, drafting all involve expressing ideas visually with slight differences. Let’s clarify the difference between some of the most confusing terminologies, such as Drawings, Sketching, Designing, And Drafting.

Though in laymen’s world they can be used interchangeably, and you can be excused for that also, in the world of patenting you can’t use them interchangeably and the patent office will not excuse you for such an act as patent drawing rules are stringent and draftspersons are advised to follow these rules religiously.

Drawings, Sketching, Designing, And Drafting: Spotting The Difference

As we are going to highlight the differences that each of the words mentioned-above are having, we will start the whole process with underlying how drawing for casual works differ from drawings for inventions.

One of the fundamental differences that distinguish drawing for casual works and drawings for scientific works is that in the former case we have the liberty to present things as we wished. Your drawings can have a pun, and the readers are free to interpret as they wanted. However, in the case of creating illustrations for scientific documents we need to be very precise, balanced, and exact about the elements that we use in our drawings. In other words, while creating drawings for patent documents, there are fixed parameters set-forth by the respective patent office, and the draftsperson needs to create their drawings within those set parameters otherwise your drawings could be rejected outright.

Here is a table that will be underlining the differences:

Drawings Sketching
A calculated and calibrated way of creating visuals A freehand drawing that focuses on capturing the beauty or expression rather than going into details.
Drawing is done with pencils, crayons, painting colors, wax colors, brushes, and many more. (Though colors are not allowed in patent drawings) Sketching is done only with pencils and charcoal
The purpose of the illustration is to draw a picture in a detailed form The goal of sketching is to make a brief design/illustration
Various tools are used to create drawings We don’t have much liberty regarding choosing tools
It’s a kind of finished work It is a kind of unfinished work
The process can be slower, and more careful The process can be faster and one doesn’t need to be very careful

Two more terms that are used commonly are “designing” and “drafting” that patent professionals come across and here we are going to discuss how these two terms are different from each other.

Designing is a broad term that includes everything but in a non-precise manner. However, drafting is a narrow term that depicts each element or component of a mechanical device or other structure to determine how the device should be created. Drafting is a detailed technical drawing that can cover one segment of the mechanical device or structure or all of it. Designing prototypes or building drafts for inventions is an art that demands in-depth knowledge of the technical part as well as an inclination towards creativity and aesthetics. Since it requires years of experience in creating drafts for inventions, it is essential to take help of professional companies that are engaged in providing patent drawing services to their clients.

Are you looking for accurate drawings rule for your patent? If Yes, then you must read: Patent Drawings Rules

Our team, at The Patent Drawings Company, takes pride in using the latest software/technologies to cater to any and every output format that exists, regarding any rules/guidelines from all principal patent offices around the world. No matter how intricate are the patent (utility or design) drawings you are looking for, our draftsmen will handle each of those with 100% compliance with patent office rules.

For Super-Easy Access your Own Patent Drawings, visit our service page.

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