Drawing for design Vjeko Sager



Sketchbooks & notebooks
It is recommended you keep a sketchbook as a place to store your ideas and concepts. I will check the progress of your sketchbook and any out-of-class work you store in them.
Pencils, hard and soft lead
Pens, blue or black
Sharpie markers in a variety of sizes, making sure that you have an ultra fine tip pen included
Various weight & texture paper
Colored pencils
A 9x12 or larger drawing pad
A pad of tracing paper
Erasers; kneaded rubber, "Pink Pearl", artgum...choose your favorite
A folder or binder to store handouts and drawings
A ruler, metal is preferred
A roll of masking or drafting tape
Exacto knife and blades
Charcoal, vine or willow charcoal
Black ink (i.e. India ink- not waterproof)
Bamboo brush
A can of spray fixative to protect your pencil drawings. (Hair spray is a traditional substitute.Test first on a sample drawing)

It is a wise to acquire a protective container or map to carry large pads and drawings.

Design Process

The first is the training of your mind, brain and body to better perform drawing. Second, is the identification of communication objectives and problem solving to achieve those objectives. Third, is employing both the analytical and intuitive thought processes in the generation of concepts.
When creating thumbnail sketches use the following Techniques for Creative Thinking:
1 Write a listing of “visuals” associated with the product or service
2 Write a listing of “words” which describe the feeling of the product or service
3 Change the focal point
4 Try Symmetry vs. Asymmetry
5 Try taking one good idea and doing several variations on it
6 Try visual analogies
7 Try using a “what if”
8 Try using “type” as the main graphic element
9 Reverse a visual or color of an image
10 Use an unusual visual or a visual unrelated to the product/service
11 Bring 2 different things, images, or objects together to make a new one
12 Change the scale of things.
13 Emphasize the size of something or compare the size to make a point
14 Used a strange point of view. An unusual or unexpected angle.
15 Compare things. (Man to a mouse, Luck of another)
16 Borrow from language
17 Look to nature (use shapes, feelings, textures, etc.)

Design PHASES or steps

The Problem: Carefully define the problem you are trying to solve.
• Design Brief and Specifications: Clearly state what you want to accomplish.
• Investigation/Research: Find information that will help you.
• Development of Possible Solutions: Create a number of plausible alternative solutions to consider.
• Choosing the Best Solution: Select the alternative that best fits what you want to accomplish.
• Development: Determine and plan in detail how you will construct a prototype of your solution.
• Making the Prototype: Build or create a working model of your solution.
• Testing: Determine through appropriate testing if your solution works.
• Evaluation: Assess the design process you used, the effectiveness of your solution, and propose possible improvements.

Design presentations ideas + concepts
In writing: Concept design written report, illustrations, photos and screen-shots. At least 2 pages. Be sure to briefly summarize the distinguishing characteristics of your target/audience. Please provide 2 copies. with cover sheet showing name(s), and date.
For the project, you should have a sketch, mock up, storyboards, wireframes, or whatever you believe documents how you want the site to connect with your audience.
Show: your proposed information architecture(s). For the display, you must have a sketch (thumbnails, brainstorm).
Think: How much information makes sense to display and what sort (c) is there a need for animation or interactivity?
Grading: on the thoroughness of the report, the quality of care given to the concept design, and the overall creativity shown.

presentation tips

A summary of your target audience. How your proposal is reaching and solving the problem between client and audience? What communication strategies are you using? This should be no more than 20% of your presentation.
Skills: techniques, professional aspect (paper quality), visible intentions (size, impact)
Multimedia: Since we want to really understand what you are proposing, take us through your thought processes via different media (text, prints, digital, video, etc).
Essence: Capture the audience. Be concise, effective and professional. Avoid unrelated and long talks/descriptions.
Grading: on the execution of the work, the quality of care given to the resources/materials, and the overall professional quality shown.
Feedback: Students will be asked to provide you with feedback based on the presentation and the written concept report, so remember that you are talking to the PUBLIC. All must clearly understand your idea.

Sketchbooks + research tips
Name-title your sketchbooks
Keep the Journal of Design Research


Design tips

Drawing + sketching resources

Design Addict website

Traditional paper sketchbooks
Drumcroon is Wigan's Centre for Art Education. The section on sketchbooks is a motivating and comprehensive introduction to the potential, range of practice, different formats and the value of keeping a sketchbook for pupils.
University of Florida
One of the links from Drumcroon is to the pages on the University of Florida's art education website that look at how to get started keeping a sketchbook with examples of artists' books and instructions on how to make your own.
Dan Eldon
Particularly engaging is the site of a young Californian photojournalist and war correspondent, Dan Eldon, who was killed in Mogadishu in 1993. From the age of 15 he kept notebooks. These are reproduced on his website as interactive facsimile pages and will give students another fascinating introduction to keeping a personal journal or sketchbook.


Tracey is the Contemporary Drawing Research website of Loughborough University School of Art and Design, which promotes drawing as a way of collecting information, working out ideas or solving problems and 'as a form of "visual thinking"'. The site has an online collection of sketchbooks and visual notebooks that will stimulate and inspire pupils, students and other artists alike. There is also an interesting gallery of 'found drawings' (which they define as possible 'by-products of other processes, organic forms or discarded materials - images arising by accident rather than from any conscious process.') that range from vapour trails to stains on a pavement and cake crumbs. Contributions are invited.


Please follow the link to Carnegie Mellon University researchers on physical and virtual worlds that push the current boundaries of computing environments for design Mark D. Gross and Ellen Yi-Luen Do - thank you kindly for the permission to use your inspiring articles for education purposes.

Link to PDF articles: http://code.arc.cmu.edu

R E C O M M E N D E D + R E A D I N G

The following books are not required, but you may wish to consume/acquire them to enhance your conceptual skills and/or technical abilities in design.
Art As Experience, by John Dewey
(June 1980) Perigee; ISBN: 0399500251
Ways of Seeing, by John Berger Reprint edition (January 1995) Viking Pr; ISBN: 0140135154
Art and Fear, by David Bayles & Ted Orland
(March 1994) Capra Pr; ISBN: 0884963799

MORE LINKS + BOOKMARKS (cut & paste)


Send me EMAIL click here

COURSE description
Drawing is the most essential design tool. Drawing facilitates in developing your ideas and in communicating your design concept with clients and other design professionals. You will learn how to use drawing throughout the design and production process for generating, analyzing and representing forms, recording observations, exploring and communicating ideas and expressing you creativity at an introductory level. Basic methods for indicating form, material, motion, space and light will be investigated through a variety of drawing media.

INSTRUCTORS message: In this course you will learn how to handle drawing materials, concepts and methods and apply the knowledge to create assignments which express your design interests. Every student will generate different project(s) and you will learn from sharing numerous design/drawing examples.

Course Learning Outcomes
Demonstrate familiarity with basic drawing tools, materials and methods
• Develop a basic knowledge of drawing theory, principles and concepts
• Demonstrate a basic to intermediate level of drawing ability
• Be able to translate both observations and ideas into 2-dimensional work
• Develop the ability to make yourself understood through sketches
• Demonstrate self expression and concept development in your work
• Discuss drawing as a means of visual communication of ideas
• Develop a basic knowledge of colour theory, principles and concepts


Course Method of Presentation
• Introduce basic drawing principles and concepts through in-class lectures, discussions, slide or visual presentations and practical demonstrations
• Develop technical and conceptual skills through in-class studio projects, exercises and homework assignments
• Encourage group discussion and evaluation skills with individual and group critiques
• Allow students hands-on practice with tools and practical feedback to their work
• Present information regarding magazines, web sites, books and other
reference material to further students knowledge

List of basic drawing materials
Please bring drawing pad, newsprint, set of pencils & natural charcoal to the first class.

• Cartridge or Newsprint Pad: 18 x 24”, 50 sheets
• All Purpose Drawing Paper pad 17” x 24”, at least 80 lb, 25 – 50 sheets
• Various Pencils: HB, B, 2B, 4B, 6B, 8B
• Pencil Sharpener or Knife
• Various Erasers
• Compressed Chalk (sticks): Black, White, Grey
• Natural Charcoal: Willow (25 medium sticks)
• Conte Crayons: Black, White, Sanguine
• Fibre Tipped Drawing Pen
• India ink, mapping and drawing pen and penholder

• Watercolor brush (various sizes & shapes)
• Bulldog Clips
• Pushpins
• Scissors
• Masking tape
• Glue Stick
• Drawing/sketching journal (1 pocket-size, 1 regular size sketchbook)
• Tracing Paper
• Ruler and compass
• Set of water-based color pencils (12) or set of (12) soft pastels

Review & comparisons of drawing papers here
Course Content and Schedule of Instruction


Session 1

INSPIRATION- materials, sketching & composition

This class explores perceptive & observation skills in using to communicate the world around us via drawing. You'll get an orientation to your art materials, learning how to set up a drawing space and work with dry media. In the exercise, you'll practice creating different kinds of lines with pencil and charcoal and sharpen your observation skills through gesture drawings

INTRO: short history of drawing for design

MATERIALS: pencils, pens, erasers, markers, inks, drawing equipment, pepers and boards

Class TOPICS: rapid visualization, sketching, brainstorming ideas, thumbnailing

ASSIGNMENT : Look at the world around you and harves fresh ideas. Sketch 5 design proposals (one per day). Use various sketching techniques to devlop your ideas & bring to the next class.

LINKS on sketching: Moleskine journals online http://www.moleskinerie.com/ Artists sketchbooks online here

Ellen Lupton- New Design Basics


Session 2

FORM FOLLOWS LIGHT - Tone, Value, Texture and Colour

Separating light and dark or shadow areas will help to create the illusion of depth and volume. In this lesson, you'll examine how lighting conditions such location, direction, and angle of light can combine to affect the level of contrast and drama in your drawings. You'll learn how to look for the shadow edge and cast shadow in your still life subjects. In the exercise, you'll create value scales and still life value study drawings of your own.

Class TOPICS: form & structure, tone, volume, shading techniques, drawing texture

MATERIALS: charcoal, crayons & ink (pen & brush) on various drawing papers, colored pencils, soft pastels, felt pens on various papers

ASSIGNMENT : draw a sketch of a still life and use it to make a poster (select objects carefully to convey the meaning and/or tell the story)

LINKS: Tone in pencil and charcoal here Poster making tips here


Session 3

BEYOND the GRID - Pictorial Space & Composition

Understanding of form defines how the elements of the composition can be viewed as fundamental geometrical shapes and objects. You'll also examine the principles & techniques of spatial projections to help integrate these ideas into your work along with techniques for using space, depth, and composition.

Class TOPICS: composition elements, spatial representations, plane.

MATERIALS: Fibre pens, color pencils (or pastels), ink wash, tracing paper, drawing pad.

ASSIGNMENT : use a perspective rendering of a city/scape focusing on atmosphere, to create a short cinematic storyboard (consisting of 6 frames)

LINKS: Perspective drawing lessons here Storyboarding tips & examples here


Session 4

Figure drawing for DESIGN (illustration, stylization)

Human figure as design subject (life drawing form the model): In this class you will approach the human figure form ergonomic perspective. You will study individual body parts and various abstraction methods in order to apply the understanding of human body in design.

Class TOPICS: human body as inspiration for design.

MATERIALS: mixed media on variety of papers

ASSIGNMENT : make a study/drawing using human body as inspiration. Illustrate a story...or make a poster.

Figure drawing here tutorial online figure in 3D

Various drawing techniques & exampleshere


Session 5


This lesson introduces basic color theory and techniques for design drawing (such as pencils, felts, color inks and pastel), exploring hue, value, temperature, and harmony. You will learn to mix and blend colors for realistic shades. In the exercise, you will use colored chalk/soft pastels to learn basic color mixing and consequently expand your skills by combining variety of color media and techniques.

Class TOPICS: RGB, CYMK, RBY and other colour theories for designers

ASSIGNMENT : make your own colour theory. Design a visual identity PACKAGE using your colour scheme.


Session 6

Figure drawing for DESIGN - ergonomics

Human figure as design subject (life drawing form the model): In this class you will approach the human figure form ergonomic perspective. You will study particular body parts and various abstraction methods in order to apply the understanding of human body in design.

Class TOPICS: ergonomic principles, devices and

ASSIGNMENT : make/design an ergonomic device

LINKS: Ergonomics: blog here


Session 7

CONCEPT DESIGN - mixed drawing media

In this session you will apply all your skills and knowledge to prepare the final project & presentation. You will use variety of drawing media and techniques, include a "hybrid" approach to design drawing (computer, collage, etc.). You will be given one-to-one feedback & critique, mimicking the design process with the client.

Class TOPICS: working with the client, design process, a hybrid approach to drawing, drawing as communication, portfolio (web, print)

MATERIALS : hybrid techniques, mixed drawing materials on various surfaces, collage, laptop

ASSIGNMENT : make a final design concept/proposal and prepare your final presentation & drawing portfolio


Session 8

FINAL presentations + PORTFOLIO viewing (web or print)

FInal critique, including questions & answers


ATTENDANCE MANDATORY EXCEPT WITH PRIOR PERMISSION OR MEDICAL NOTE. 85% of classes must be attended to pass (This means you can miss a max 2 classes).

Suggested Reading
Perspective! For Comic Book Artists, David Chelsea
Print Magazine
How Magazine
Ad Busters Magazine
Step-by-Step Magazine
Applied Arts Magazine
Communication Arts Magazine
Graphic Arts Guild, Handbook of Pricing and Ethical Guidelines (available online at www.gag.org)
“The Ultimate Portfolio”, Martha Metzdorf, North Light Books
Mendelowitz “A Guide to Drawing” 5th Edition

Ideation is the process of creating ideas. Within the realm of product development, it often refers to the creative component of the design process, in which solutions are put forward, built upon, and used to spawn new solutions.
Ideation can involve many different techniques, and different people find more success with some techniques than with others. Typical methods of ideation include brainstorming, sketching, problem dissection and analysis, sketch modeling, and experimentation.
Brainsketch or Brainsketching
Brainsketching is a group creative method that uses sketching and drawing to generate a large breadth and quantity of ideas. An offshoot of brainstorming, a brainsketch exercise involves each person in the group sketching or doodling a concept solution to a particular problem. After a time, each person passes his or her sketch to the next person who then continues to build and grow the idea. After a while, all ideas are pulled together for evaluation and discussion.
Brainstorm or Brainstorming
Brainstorming is a classic creative technique that can be employed in group settings. The goal of a brainstorm exercise is to generate a large quantity of ideas and solutions in a relatively short period of time.
Brainstorming should be a blue-sky, non-critical exercise that encourages uninhibited thought. Thus, even ideas that seem bad or silly should be shared during brainstorming. Following the session, Reverse Brainstorming is used to critique ideas and narrow the field of viable solutions.
Concept Development
Concept Development is the process of generating ideas and problem solutions, building on those ideas, merging ideas, and evolving ideas into more robust solutions.
Concept Generation
Concept Generation is the process of creating concepts of solutions to problems. Within the realm of product development, concept generation usually refers to the element of concept development specifically associated with creating new product ideas.
Creative Session
A creative session is a meeting specifically for the purpose of exploring new creative territory within a chosen subject matter. Typically, a creative session will include many activities such as brainstorming, problem analysis and dissection, brainsketching, and reverse brainstorming.

Ergonomics is the science of creating products, spaces, and experiences to fit the natural tendencies of the user, rather than forcing the user to conform to the created product, space or experience.
Ergonomics is often a critical component to successful product design. A consumer will often perceive a more comfortable product as having more value. Ergonomically appropriate products can help to build brand loyalty.
Focus Group
Focus groups are a common tool used for market research. A focus group usually consists of a small group of people within the target market of the concept being tested. A facilitator guides the group through discussion or interaction with the concept. These events can be very valuable because of the outside opinions they provide, and because of the ability to use the session to evaluate the group's emotional responses to the products or experiences being tested. .
Focus groups can be used to compare a variety of concepts prior to production, for getting insight into the color scheme preferences of the target market, and for answering any number of other questions involving the target market's response.
Form Follows Function
First coined by the American architect, Louis Sullivan, at the end of the nineteenth century, the phrase "form follows function" has become a mantra for many product designers. The basic meaning of the phrase is that the appearance, shape, and method of use of the object (the form) should naturally be derived from the intended purpose (function) of the object. Thus, a chair should look like, work like, and feel like something a person is to sit in.
Photo Realistic Rendering
A photo-realistic-rendering is a computer generated flatwork illustration of an object or scene. These renderings simulate lighting, materials, and environmental effects to create the illusion of reality.
Often, it is necessary to present product concepts in a realistic way before production has occurred. Ray-traced photo-realistic renderings give designers the opportunity to simulate reality even for early concepts
Aesthetics is a philosophical concept which deals with the notion of beauty. Since beauty is 'in the eye of the beholder', it is not possible to quantify aesthetics. An object, song, or experience that one individual finds aesthetically pleasing, may be totally offensive to another individual. This is among the reasons why our society has so many different options in products, cuisine, music, and other sensory experiences.

Product aesthetics is a more specific subset of aesthetics. Products are often referred to as having specific aesthetic characteristics, such as a futuristic aesthetic, a feminine aesthetic, etc. Product design seeks (among other things) to match an appropriate aesthetic with the target consumer.
Design is the act of creating a plan for something. Within the realm of product development, design is the process of converting a product need into plans for a manufacture-ready product. Design in this sense can be subdivided into a number of other fields including primarily industrial design and design engineering. Additional sub-categories include package design, interface design, design for manufacture, ergonomic design, and numerous other specialties.
For a product to be successful, the design of that product usually should include industrial design (which focuses on the user aspects of the product including form, aesthetics, consumer appeal, ergonomics, etc.) and design engineering (which focuses on the function and manufacturability aspects of the product).

Product Illustration
Product illustrations are two-dimensional 'flatwork' representations of products. Typically, they show a product's outward appearance and basic functionality. A product illustration can take many forms, including everything from simple sketches to sophisticated computer-generated renderings.
Product Rendering
A product rendering is a flatwork illustration of a product. Renderings typically have more depth than sketches, and include light, shadow and color effects. A designer can create renderings physically with paper and art tools, or digitally using a variety of software.
Often, it is necessary to present product concepts in a realistic way before production has occurred. Ray-traced photo-realistic renderings give designers the opportunity to simulate reality even for early concepts.
Product Semantics
Product semantics is a field of thought based on the idea that a product's form should readily communicate the function of the product. Thus, a product with good product semantics would typically not require the user to read a manual before beginning use.
To observe the principles of product semantics, a handle should look like, and feel like something that is to be turned, a knob should be something to be twisted, and a button should obviously be pushable.
Product semantics has also been extended in some cases to include the application of personality attributes to products. For instance, the Volkswagon Beetle is a ‘happy product’.