Learning Activity Week03 – Sketching Techniques

This weeks learning activity has been reading Chapter one «Research and Concept» of Graphic design school and Logo Design Workbook: A Hands‑On Guide to Creating Logos. We’ve been asked to do a sketching tutorial in Illustrator as well.

Creatives in any field should always carry a form of logging device, and for visual creativity, a sketchbook is vital. Ideas come from all parts of life and activities; therefore an open and curious mind is necessary and should be trained to be as flexible and active as possible. Ideas come from any field and at surprising moments.

When starting a new project, making a page of words, a flow of consciousness, associated with the task given, should fill the page. Beginning with the company’s name etc. in the middle and writing words coming to mind around it can be beneficial. Later we need to structure these words and ideas into an orderly plan.

Sketching should be similarly a flow of consciousness at this early stage. Let the ideas flow across the page as thumbnails. Thumbnails are small and efficient. They allow for the concept to be tested without spending too much time on it. It also lets you put lots of ideas down next to each other.

Research the product you are working on and make small notes and sketches alongside. Moodboards and pages with images can be made in sketchbooks and scrapbooks, but also on Pinterest. Add these things to your drawings to advance the ideas.

Only when a concept is approved and ready for the final render do we use tools like Illustrator. Making sketches of random ideas, in for example Illustrator, is time-consuming. Illustrator also lacks the organic nature of pencil on paper, hindering your creativity at the early stages.

When the design is ready, take the illustration into Illustrator, using it as a guide in the background. The tools available to you here will help make the lines and design smooth and lovely. To work as quickly as possible, name your layers and groups in an orderly manner, learn your short cut keys, and preferably use a tablet.

To show my ability to communicate concepts and ideas via sketches, I use my Week01 Learning Activity. We were asked to show our interpretation of the learning site Moodle in a drawing using a pencil and paper. The LA can be found here.

I first did my research, getting to know Moodle. I discovered it had forums where lecturers and students ask questions, get and give advice, and find information. Here we find assignments, and lots of links to learning facilities.

Next, I started thinking of ideas like the Moodle being a machine you fed elements and out popped a design. It felt unclear and cluttered. I also entertained the idea of Moodle being the orientation sport with the site elements being posts one would have to complete, but this too felt as if it didn’t communicate properly.

I then thought of a drawing containing elements like knowledge, people working together, iconic art, and design for learning from tools to help us create and mixing it all, making great design. And this is Moodle. In the gallery, I show the thought process in drawings.

Now, taking the drawn image into Illustrator, I can start applying what I’ve learned from the tutorial, like having the drawing as a background guide, using smart guides to align lines and objects, grouping and naming, using different tools to create shapes fast and so on.

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