Sketching A Cake Design For A Customer

Business By ltj2010 Updated 8 Apr 2014 , 12:02pm by katebaking

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ltj2010 Posted 2 Feb 2010 , 10:56pm
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Does everybody here sketch out a cake design to show the customer first? I am just starting out and I have not yet had a paying customer but I cant draw to save my life and it worries me. All the cakes I make I just invision in my head and just do it. Any thoughts would be appreciated

19 replies
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sugarandslice Posted 2 Feb 2010 , 11:05pm
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I can't draw either and I tend to tell customers that cake is my artistic medium rather than colouring pencils! However, I do give it a go. Have a look at the Templates gallery. I generally print the one I need and go from there. I also find that if I scan my sketch and email it to the customer it looks a lot better than it does in person.
Most people don't expect you to be a good artist as well as a cake-artist!

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leah_s Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 12:46am
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As Indydebi always said, "I draw stick cakes."

Sad, because my DH is an artist.

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jammjenks Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 1:32am
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Not once have I ever sketched a cake for a customer.

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tesso Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 1:57am
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funny thing...I have artistic talent, I can actually do oil paintings, sketches, clay .. you name it.. EXCEPT when it comes to my cakes. I can't draw out my designs to save my life. But I do manage to draw enough to get my idea across. Usually with a cake.. the image is in my head and I keep at my cake until it matches.

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Lambshack Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 2:08am
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I LOVE to sketch out the cake design before I even think about sizes. I have been known to change pan shapes and sizes while in the design process and its so much easier to plan out a multi-colored cake. Sometimes its just easier to see it on paper and then you can play around with the colors and which color goes on which layer, accent pieces, toppers, shooting wire art, etc.

I have never had someone ask for a sketch, but a few times I have had so many ideas from one person, that it was best that I sketch out everything they asked for so they could see it might be overkill.

I love having my sketchbook to look back on - its fun to take a picture of the cake and add it to the sketch to see what last-minute changes might have been made.

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ayerim979 Posted 3 Feb 2010 , 2:28am
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Well I dont have customers but I do usually always sketch my cakes. but I start out printing this template from the Sketches & Patterns & Templates gallery and start from there:

This was uploaded by Doug. Currently on page 19

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TeeAngel Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 3:56pm
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Where are the Sketches & Patterns & Templates ???

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Susie53 Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 4:17pm
post #9 of 20
Originally Posted by TeeAngel

Where are the Sketches & Patterns & Templates ???

Here's the link:

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hilly Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:10pm
post #10 of 20

I almost always do a sketch before I start a cake, whether the customer asks for one or not. It gives me an idea of how the colors are going to work together, where things should go, etc. before I get started.

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QueenOfSweets Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:20pm
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I also can't draw to save my life, but I'm pretty savvy with Microsoft Word and Publisher drawing tools. I do up a "sketch" using these and then send to the customer after they've booked the order (I do a rougher "stick-cake" type sketch manually during the consultation - the refined sketch is based on that one). This helps to give them an idea of how the cake will look, and it helps me to visualize everything (I'm a very visual person and have to actually see it somewhere other than in my head). The customer signs off on this design to indicate their acceptance. I've attached a sketch I did for a recent order to give you an idea.

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cdgleason Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:31pm
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I tend to produce much better results when I have a sketch to start with!
I may change the details slightly, depending on how things progress and how paient I am...but rarely do I go too far from my original design!
Oh.... my sketches look like something my dog could have done if I give him some colored pencils... they're REALLY bad... but I'm usually the only one who sees them!!~~

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cdgleason Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:37pm
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What a great idea... I agree with you 100%...and that sketch is really amazing!

I'm also a visual person... generally, IF I can see something, I'm more inclined to be able to do it.... not just in caking!! heaven help me if I watch an old episode of Bob Villa!!

I wish I knew how to work the computer better... I would go crazy over a program that would help me put my ideas onto paper in a better form than my childish sketches!!

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leah_s Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 5:56pm
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I don't think I'd ever have a customer choose to book with me, if they couldn't see a sketch of the cake I 'm proposing.

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catlharper Posted 11 Aug 2010 , 9:32pm
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I sketch out every cake. No, my sketching abilities are minimal but usually enough to get the point across. I have found that whatever I can sketch I can make into cake...if I can't sketch it then I may want to rethink that idea<G>. I usually sit down with the client, talk about what she may have in mind then I'll sketch out a few cakes as choices for her. Sometimes, with my Bay Area clients, the first "meeting" will happen over the phone or in email so I'll arrive to the first face to face meeting with a sketch in hand. After the sketch meeting I will resketch the cake depending on what the client has said so that there is a full page sketch of her cake for her to approve. The client then initials the sketch and that's what I go on. She has till the last 4 weeks before the event to change anything on the cake and for any change comes a new sketch that she needs to initial. Now this covers me in two, I have proof of her approved changes and two, because there is an "ordeal" of having to approve each sketch most brides stick to one or two ideas and don't call me every day wanting to change this or that on the cake. And, like a will, the last signed/dated sketch is the final cake. It's a very helpful tool for me.


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dguerrant Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 12:29pm
post #16 of 20

there are some really good basic cake templates that you can print off. whenever i meet with a bride/customer, i usually take along an expandable file folder that has copies of my most basic sketches, round, square,hex stacked, mixed, topsy turvy and a set of colored pencils and fine line markers. I also have some with 3, 4, and 5 tiers. many of my brides like things from several cakes (OFTEN NOT IN THEIR COLORS) and want them together, and some like to try several different color combinations. if needed, i make a new sketch in a different shape if i don't have it. by doing this, the customer can get a better picture of what their cake will look like. it also helps me to keep up with the design, especially if the wedding is 9 months to a year out or so.

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Mindy1975 Posted 12 Aug 2010 , 9:57pm
post #17 of 20

I ALWAYS do a sketch for wedding cakes and high dollar party cakes. That way you are both looking at the same thing, and there are no surprises on that special day. Sometimes 6 - 9 months go by and you never see that person again, maybe not even on their special day, and I want to make sure I have exactly what they wanted on paper, and that they saw it too. And I even make them buy their own ribbon, so at least I know that they saw it before hand and they will know what it is going to look like. I don't take chances! lol

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dguerrant Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 1:21am
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i also forgot to add that i learned something last november, i have taught for 13 years and have now learned that not everyone can picture/envision things in their heads. artistic people can see it completed, others aren't able to picture anything. i always thought everyone could "see" things in their heads too. sooo, by drawing a picture that ensures that everyone is on the same page icon_smile.gif

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scp1127 Posted 13 Aug 2010 , 5:13am
post #19 of 20

I cannot sketch, but if I use graph paper, it looks pretty good. I sketch to scale on the paper.

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katebaking Posted 8 Apr 2014 , 12:02pm
post #20 of 20

Hi guys,


I'm a few years late in this discussion but it came up when I was searching for something else? Have you tried using online tools just to show customers the basic cake? I use the "cake sketcher" on I can print it out and then sketch some design around it. Makes life a little easier.

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