I'm in HR and was given the task to define levels for some design related skills. This is for use in performance evaluation sessions. One of the categories is "hand drawing", a basic skill any designer should have. The format is comprised of 5 levels, ranging from low to high aptitude.

Will anyone tell me how the basic level of hand drawing compares to the higher levels please?

  • 3
    Hand drawing is most definitely not a skill any designer should have.
    – Summer
    Jul 19, 2016 at 13:11
  • 1
    It may not be a required skill, but hand drawing most assuredly is required for people who study design. For 22 year old entry level people, it may give some insight into whether they e.g. actually attended the school they claim :O
    – Yorik
    Jul 19, 2016 at 17:08
  • @Yorik times change, this may have been true in the past and for certain schools but is not universally true anymore. Besides a company with little experience wih designers should start out with a more senior position if possible.
    – joojaa
    Jul 20, 2016 at 5:01
  • 1
    @Yorik I have finished a design study and have never been asked to put pencil to paper even once. I am an interface designer, I occasionally sketch out some wireframes but they certainly do not have to look pretty. Having someone draw something out does not show wether they have attended a school they claim. That would be a diploma or even better, a good portfolio. Which should be the key instrument to 'rate' a designer anyway.
    – Summer
    Jul 20, 2016 at 9:21

2 Answers 2


Hand drawing is not a basic skill any designer should have. I'd argue its quite the opposite. That's a specialist skill for illustrators.

You need to discuss this with your staff and see what type of hand drawings they're looking for and ask them for samples of the quality. Then field candidates with a similar or better portfolio.

Anecdote below

I'll also say from personal experience, these "rate 1-10" are the most painfully dumb things an HR can do so if that's your intent on "levels" please don't. I once did a phone interview and then was asked to come in for an initial interview. At the initial interview which I had to take off from work and dry clean clothes and all of that for I went in and all she asked me was 10 rate yourself questions (Rate yourself 1-10 on Photoshop, Creativity, InDesign, Copywriting, etc). Biggest waste of time and completely open to interpretation, lies and bias.

  • 5
    I'd also add, that drawing skills heavily depend on required style. Some artists are 10 in "realism" and 1 in "cartoon" and vice versa, not to mention there are dozens of such distinct styles. Thus whole point of rating some "general" drawing is on quite weak grounds for practical purposes.
    – Kromster
    Jul 19, 2016 at 12:27

Nearly every profession out there is not what your average layman thinks it is. I do not envy your task.

In this case drawing by hand is not a skill that is central to a graphics designer. Though it might be central to other designers such as industrial designers. But as a general rule you want to see the portfolio and choose based on that.

It would be much better if you only measured skills that you actually need. Do you really need hand drawing skill? If you do then you need to specify kind of hand drawing skill? This might lead you to hire a production artist or an illustrator instead.

But then if you really need a person able to sketch by hand rating that skill is not entirely straightforward. First there is a huge difference between a thumbnail sketch and a final rendering (which might take weeks to complete). This would be counter productive unless you need a hardcopy as many persons work exclusively digital.

Skills like this are not usually interchangeable. Ultimately drawing skills dont make a designer.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.