Product management

7 tips to make an impressive concept drawing of your new product idea

3 tasks every project manager should schedule in her calendar
I'm Marie-Louise!

In my 20 years of working as a product & project manager, I’ve got to know some great tools and gained valuable experience to efficiently develop products. I love to share my knowledge and these tools with you.

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Are you an entrepreneur and do you have a great new product idea? Of course, you have a vivid picture of it in your head. And it does look amazing, right?  But a picture can say more than a thousand words. That’s exactly why you need to show your great idea in the form of a picture as well. Lots of people have a visual focus and grab the content better when they can see what you mean instead of only hearing you explain it.

That’s why it is so important to put pen to paper and create a drawing of your product concept. There are agencies who have specialized in this and can help you create astonishing product concept drawings. But when you are tight on your budget, I have a few tips for you to get started. Even when you’re planning to hire and agency to do this for you, you can benefit from these tips as well, as you can use the concept drawing, which you have created yourself, to brief your agency.

Let’s dive in.

Step number 1 Collect materials

  1. Take a large piece of paper, A3 size preferably.
  2. Pick a few Sharpies in different colors.

Step number 2 Create a mind map

  1. In the middle of the paper, you write down your new product name or project name and draw a circle around it.
  2. Around the product name you’re going to note down the features and benefits of your new product. Why is your new product important to your customers? What problems does it solve? What will be the effect in their life if they buy your product?
  3. Draw lines from the features and benefits to your product name in the middle.

Step number 3 Define the technical solutions of your product

  1. Take a new piece of paper.
  2. Draw a large circle in the middle.
  3. Note down, around the circle, how the features and benefits would be solved in your new product. You’re going to show the proof of the features and benefits on your product.
    • For example: your product will provide your customer information on their body temperature. You would mention for example: ‘body temperature can be read from a display’.
    • If your product is also able to provide audible information on body temperature you add: ‘audible message on body temperature via loudspeaker’.
    • If the sound volume on your product can be adjusted, you add: ‘sound volume can be adjusted via volume Up and volume Down button on the side of the product’. Or ‘sound volume can be adjusted by touching the + and – icons on the display’.
  4. Draw lines from the solutions you have noted down to your product name in the middle.

Step number 4 Note down your product values

  1. Take a new piece of paper.
  2. Write your product name in the middle.
  3. Note down around your product name the values that belong to your new product. For example: robust, reliable, high quality, soft material, child friendly, bright colors, clear graphics, round shaped, heavy quality feel, light as a feather.
  4. Draw lines from the features and benefits to your product name in the middle.

Step number 5 Sketch the shape of your product

  1. Take a new piece of paper.
  2. Now you’re going to combine all the information from the other papers.
  3. You are going to make a first drawing of how your product might look like. You do this based on step number 3 and 4, the features and benefits and the values of your product.
  4. You need to define the shape of your product: does it have round shapes, or is it square? Is it bulky and fat or slim? Does it need to be ergonomically? Write this down in the left top corner of the paper.
  5. Should it be hand-held or does it stand or lay on a table. Write this down in the left top corner of the paper.
  6. What size does it approximately have? Write this down in the left bottom corner of the paper.
  7. Start sketching the shape by drawing the outer lines of the product. Base your drawing on the shape characteristics you have defined.
  8. Add elements to your product like buttons, display, LED, rotary wheels, wiring, antenna, knobs, screws, loudspeaker, microphone, etcetera.
  9. Write down the functions of these elements around the drawing.
  10. Draw lines from the functions towards the elements of the product.

Step number 6 Indicate your product colors

  1. If you already have an idea about what color your product needs to be, start coloring the housing of your product.
  2. Mention the color tones in the right top corner of the paper.
  3. Also indicate the color of the LED’s if your product has lights. For example, mention ‘ON/OFF LED flashing red when not connected’, or ‘solid green when ON’. Mention this in the right top corner of the paper.

Step number 7 Add your product graphics

  1. If your product has graphics and text on it, add this to your drawing as well. For example, the volume wheel might have numbers (1-10) or the text low, medium, high. Write down this text near the volume wheel. You might have an ON/OFF button on your product. Add this text as well near the respective element.
  2. Draw a line from the text to the respective element to indicate where it belongs to.
  3. Note down in the bottom right corner of the paper the font type you like for your graphics.


When your product concept drawing is ready, make pictures with your phone of all the papers and save the pictures on your computer in a folder named ‘Product Concept’.

Add the final picture from step number 7 to your project briefing.

With these 7 steps you can create a decent product concept sketch yourself.

When you need to brief your team, your communication agency, or your supplier you can provide them with detailed information on your new concept.

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Hi, I'm Marie-Louise.

I help project managers and entrepreneurs become successful in managing
new product development projects.
And create space in their day so they work efficient and can manage their teams with confidence.

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