From Paper to Computer Screen
Updated: Apr 17
When you think of a graphic designer, do you think they are automatically good at drawing? The biggest misconception that people have about graphic designers is that we can all draw. I mean, I asked my grandad what he thinks my job entails and he said “I don’t know, drawing?” *insert grimace face emoji here* *and also imagine his voice in an Eastern European accent* BUT I have been blessed with the skill of being able to draw pretty well and lucky me, I get to incorporate my skill into some of our client work.
I remember the first glimpse of being really good at drawing dated back to a Blockbuster drawing competition (yes, the prehistoric video store). I was 6-years-old and I entered a Disney Goofy movie drawing competition and actually won a free movie on a videotape! Awesome am I right?.... Right? (please tell me I’m cool). Decades later, I never thought I could turn my skill into an asset for my career.
Ever since I started working for JSDesigns, I have been fortunate to be able to incorporate my skill and love for drawing for a couple of cool projects. So, how do I get to incorporate drawing into some client work? Here are some cool examples I’ve done in the last year for JSDesigns that all involve drawing, but their outcomes were different types of design styles:
Ron Swanson Quote
For this Ron Swanson quote, I first roughly draw out what the arrangement of the elements will look in the design (left photo). Since Ron Swanson loves eggs and bacon, I tried to figure out how the quote typography would fit in food. After I finish arranging the design, I start drawing out each element such as the egg, bacon etc. on separate pieces of paper and scan them in. I then digitize them in Illustrator using the image trace tool and clean up the lines wherever necessary. Lastly, I lay some finishing touches such as shading and color to achieve the look I want. Don’t get me wrong, I screw up a lot. I wish I took a picture of the pile of scrunched up paper next to my desk when I couldn’t draw a bloody egg (ugh).
However, I’ve had times when I would draw something and kept the "rough" drawing style in the final design and instead relied on my shading technique instead of the use of a program and color.
Lennox Game of Thrones HVAC Chair
This design is was part of one of our concept phases for Lennox's 2019 Winter Promo. For this concept, I was aiming to make the popular GoT chair out of HVAC parts with one of Lennox’s HVAC systems as the base. The style of this concept allowed me to keep the sketch “rough.” I enjoyed this project a lot because I particularly like shading and keeping my drawings simple. Of course, I didn’t think “oh yes, I know exactly how an HVAC spring looks,” I reference a lot of my designs on google image searches so I get the look right.
However, I’ve had times when I would draw something and I would digitally edit it to make it become a completely different drawing style, such as the Lennox HVAC Superhero concept.
Lennox HVAC Superhero
This was another concept I got to be a part of for a Lennox in-store promotion. The concept was that even superheroes had possession of a Mini MAGLITE. I drew out a generic Super Hero on a big piece of paper and scanned it in. I retraced the picture in Illustrator and then I let the edits from my co-workers begin! I was told he was too muscly (whatever Jeff) and he needed to hold the torch in his hand. All of this was done by first drawing the changes on a piece of paper and then scanning it in and making it digital. The finishing touches were then done by researching the particular comic book look I wanted to achieve and viola! HVAC man was ready to be mocked up into an ad.
Sometimes I say YOLO
Although I feel the most confident by drawing it first, scanning it, and then digitizing it, I also like it wing it to see how it turns out. I just go right into illustrator and see what I can come up with the absence of a plan. Check out these two pieces I did for our social media:
I feel pretty lucky I get to help my team with some design work through drawing. I can’t wait to see what I will be drawing next!