Using 3D Illustration to Sell Commercial Interior Design


Interior design is an art form - why not present it that way?

3D illustrations strike a balance between hand drawings that are artsy but time consuming to produce and photo-quality computer images that are a little too stark and realistic for the interior design field. They give your clients an accurate representation of the style and flow of your design, but with an artistic flair.

These images are computer generated, but they can be touched up to look more artistic. Lines can be softened, for example, or a watercolor look can be added. You decide whether to tip the scales toward realistic or conceptual. Either way, 3D illustrations give your clients the ability to imagine the transformed space in a way that’s tough with basic sketches and floor plans.

Selling Interior Design With 3D Illustrations

Commercial clients have very specific needs when it comes to interior design. They want a space that customers find inviting and employees find comfortable. They need a design that promotes good traffic flow and encourages productivity, and they need furniture that can stand up to wear and tear. But, like any other client, they want a space that looks good. 

Your ability to sell an interior design depends on the client being able to buy in. Two-dimensional sketches and floor plans are great behind-the-scenes tools for planning the design and layout of a space, but they can fall flat in client presentations. Clients might have a hard time imagining how those black-and-white floor plans will translate to real life. 

3D illustrations remove the guesswork, giving clients a clear picture of what’s possible. Clients will be able to picture themselves walking in through the redesigned lobby, chatting with coworkers on the new couches or checking off the to-do list in their new offices. When you put a vision in a potential client’s head, you’re more likely to sell the interior design.

When it comes to competing for a project, 3D illustrations can give you the edge. No matter how talented your competitors, they’re not likely to get the job if their sketches and floor plans don’t make sense to the client. And if you ever need to make changes to the design - during the bidding process or after landing the job - there’s little hassle. Computer-generated illustrations are easier to redesign and revise than pencil and paper sketches. You can have colors or pieces of furniture swapped out, or have the layout changed entirely to provide your client with options. Or, you can purchase an interactive app that allows you to make those changes yourself. 

3D Illustrations vs. Photo-Quality Renderings

Photo-quality renderings serve many purposes. Architects and developers use them to market their designs and projects to potential buyers, local design boards and the public. Homebuyers use them to “see” the inside of their home before it is built, making sure every detail is as they want it. The images are designed to be pretty literal: What you see is what you get. 

There are instances when being that literal isn’t the right approach, and that’s often the case with interior design. A design that is too literal is the early stages of the process can scare clients, making them feel like they’re locked into every last detail. Images that more loose, artistic and illustrative - but still realistic enough to be relatable - convey to the client that the plan is still somewhat conceptual, and that it can be tweaked to match their taste and needs.