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Design vs. Drafting (Enter Into The Architectural World)

Design vs. Drafting (Enter Into The Architectural World)

Design and drafting play an essential role whenever an engineering professional, especially those who belong to architectural engineering, is asked to make a model of a building, car, etc. They are the two most common terms used in engineering, and any project starts from this phase till the ideas are fully transformed into a proper prototype.

Whether a project is being created from scratch or restored, design and drafting follow a systematic approach.

In many countries, architectural program graduates from various universities are appointed to do a substantial chunk of work by drawing figures on computer monitors. Meanwhile, many designs and drafting services are available online, where engineers worldwide work on challenging projects.

These two terminologies are not similar; there is a big difference between them.

And so I have written this article today for you to clear all of the dissimilarities.

What Are Design and Drafting?

Professionals creating several drawings
Professionals creating several drawings

Let’s discuss what these terms mean.


Consider that you are living in a rented house and want to build your own, or you are a company CEO who needs to set up an office. Can you begin by just creating lots of walls? Well, of course, that is not possible.

You will envision a map or a picture of what should be the design of your home. And that’s how the design phase begins.

Design is the strategy for carrying out a concept or action. It is an initial phase. Both architecture and engineering employ design.

  • Designing utilize various components and methodologies in a standardized manner to prepare the first draft of any design project. Ideas are born in this space.
  • Depending on when it is finished, designing can take many different forms.
  • It is a process of creating drawings that precisely outline the specifications for ideas or goods to produce the desired results.
  • Many architectural engineers are responsible for creating several complete architectural drawings and design flows.
  • In designing, accuracy and size matter but not much because it is the point where a person is transforming a basic idea into sketches and drawings.

It comprises four pillars and five stages which are as follows:


  • Interaction with clients
  • Content creation
  • Navigation
  • Presentation

Whereas the stages are:

  • Empathize
  • Define
  • Ideate
  • Creating a prototype
  • Testing

Both 2D and 3D drawings are okay for it. In its simplest form, design is the creation of exquisitely designed consumer-focused products.

Watch this video to know the facts about the architectural design process


Since I have made you think about your house or office, let’s carry on that example:

  • The designer has finished the technical details. Now, it’s the turn of a drafter to blow the next balloon.
  • It requires a plan to fit in the available space. The house’s and office’s current length, height, and width must be determined.
  • Now drafting is the next step to converting the drawings into a formal picture, the phase’s final element.
  • The goal is to show those basic drawings in a way that complies with the client’s needs and current architectural office procedures.
  • It can be done either by hand or with a CAD program in two or three dimensions.
  • Following that, architectural plans for the construction projects are prepared using these technical drawings as blueprints.

In simpler words, drafting is the final stage of layout that clarifies the intricacies for easier understanding.

Difference Between Design and Drafting

Some of the differences between design and drafting are listed below:

ApproachDesign is a step-by-step process to transform ideas into a life based on creating sketches.Drafting is the process of creating 2D and 3D drawings.
SoftwareOne can create by using one’s hands or computer programs and software.Drafting is a three-dimensional representation of the object or project; using hands will produce the best results.
OutcomeThe first phase of creativity is design. It only provides a general notion of how the project will seem.Design is followed by drafting. It is more organized and contains practically all of the project’s format details.
Professional personA designer is typically referred to as someone who creates designs. He gives a concept form.In reality, most sketching is performed manually. A draftsperson is also referred to as a craftsman.
TopologySketching is more kin to designing. It all relies on one’s imagination. A designer can create anything.Drafting requires a strong understanding of geometry. While sketching, the person must bear all that in mind.
No. of StagesEmpathize, define, ideate, prototype, and test are the five stages of design.Data, judgment, and appropriate equipment are the three steps of drafting.
Comparison Table of Design vs. Drafting

What is Design and Drafting for AutoCAD?

The process of creating engineering drawings and layouts using computer software instead of by hand is known as computer-aided design (CAD).

Auto CAD Software
AutoCAD Software

The time it takes to develop a design plan can be significantly decreased by using CAD software, which can be used to construct two- or three-dimensional designs.

The auto desk can also produce visual effects in the media and entertainment sectors.

Even though there are various other CAD applications, AutoCAD’s versatility and use in numerous sectors make learning AutoCAD drawing an essential ability.

It has increased the feasibility of the projects. Due to this, it has become much easier for the designers and drafters to complete their work soon.

AutoCAD industries include architecture, engineering, electronics, construction, manufacturing, and computer products. The persons who use AutoCAD drafts in the engineering field include architects, structural engineers, mechanical engineers, and building engineers.

This CAD software is in demand when it comes to jobs as well. Job seekers often demand a person eligible with these software skills. Moreover, they require professionals who can adopt and implement best practices to complete several projects on time.

Difference Between a Draftsman and a Designer

Even though I have shared a tabulated difference between drafting and designing, it may have cleared your thoughts about a drafter and designer.

A designer or a drafter crafting drawings
A designer or a drafter crafting drawings

However, suppose you are still unsure and confused about this. In that case, I am sharing a couple of points below to help you understand the disparity between a designer and drafting personnel.

  • A designer can be anyone who knows completing the initial stages of a sketch, whereas a drafter should be trained in a specific way.
  • The designer suggests an initial picture of the project while a drafter works to lower the levels of interpretations.
  • Drafter provides his services for the project’s blueprint while a designer builds a project’s foundation.
  • A drafter requires no particular educational or certification requirements, even though they may become experts in their industry after years of practice. However, many people enroll in two-year programs or CAD courses.
  • On the other hand, an undergraduate degree, a Master’s in architecture, at least two years of relevant experience, passing a licensing exam, and yearly continuing education courses are all necessary for this.

A designer or an architect receives training in aesthetics, space utilization, visual culture, form theory, and texture theory—everything required to envision possibilities.

Facts About CAD Drawing

Sharing some exciting facts that you should know before purchasing CAD drawings:

  • Engineers may now create things in CAD and can transform data instantly by artificial intelligence, and through ERP systems, bills of materials, products, and routing have become more manageable.
  • The benefit of 3D conversion in drafting now is that it can be elevated. For instance, a freshly converted 3D file can be used to manufacture an object using a 3D printer, improving its visual appeal.
  • Concept ideas and construction plans can be more efficiently visualized with 3D rendering.

Bottom Line

  • Design and drafting are step-by-step processes that involve a complete understanding of a project, necessary skill sets, and a detailed approach to get the desired results.
  • The design and drafting engineers have to accomplish a similar goal but different responsibilities: to effectively complete the architecture project in the least amount of time while adhering to the client’s specifications.
  • Sometimes, in the discipline of architecture and engineering, the duties of both the person overlaps.
  • The article summarizes the difference between these two professions to help you with your client’s projects and solve issues of negotiations. Through this, you will become more clear about your interests, abilities, and the type of projects you can choose while working.
  • Design can refer to the end output of drawing in line with the expected result, whereas drafting is the pictorial depiction of construction projects utilized for engineering purposes.
  • Anyone can be both a designer and a drafter; however, a person has the option of becoming a designer. But it can also be learned gradually. Both phrases have been used throughout history and in modern life.
  • Several computer-aided programs are available for drafting. CAD is the most popular among all. However, it can also be done by hand and the approach taken by a drafts person when creating a drawing is based on technical details required to provide a pictorial depiction of the work that frequently undersells its artistic potential.

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