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Drawing for Graphic Design by Timothy Samara

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103
In a professional practice, so dramatically
influenced by digital and photographic
media, using drawing as an approach is
challenging in many respects. There is,
of course, an often-perceived disconnect
between imagery that is generated by
hand, with its characteristic roughness
and gestural spontaneity, and what
is slick, hard-edged, or photographic.
Overcoming this disconnect is simply
done by attuning the form language of
the drawing to best correspond to that of
other pictorial material, while considering
the two simultaneously for how they will
interact when juxtaposed. Corollary to
this perception is another, that a drawn
image must remain separate from digital
and photographic forms as a kind of
sacred element that can not influence,
or be influenced by, the latter. Once a
drawn image is brought into a digital
environment—and further, given that
drawing may be accomplished digitally
and photographically—it affords a
designer new opportunities for investiga-
tion and refinement, in which digital tools
may be used to alter the original work, or
the drawing hybridized with photographic
elements as a totality.
From Pencil
to Mouse and
Beyond:
Integrating
Drawing
with Other
Image-
Making and
Production
A
Brochure Cover / Paone Design Associates United States
Drawing
/ for Graphic
Design
Processes
From Pencil
to Mouse—
and Beyond
In this cover for a brochure promoting a
university program focused on regional
planning
/
A
/
, approaches that originated
in research and sketching were translated
into other media. The designer explored
visual languages derived from mapping
elements—topographic contours, spatial
grids, and graph data associated with
surveying—first in sketch form and then
as vector elements
/
B, D
/
. A reductive
translation of a river
/
E
/
, local to the
university, was drawn in a software
program. Population density images were
simplified and re-envisioned as vector
dots. A photograph of snow
/
C
/
, on the
other hand—which imparted seasonality
as well as a dual interpretation as a
landscape—was used as a photograph;
its textural contours and gestural rhythm
clearly embody qualities seen in the
designer’s sketches, almost acting as a
drawing as-is, but the designer enhanced
it with an overlayed charcoal tracing.
Together, these components—because
of their identity as drawn images, but
evolved through the respective media of
their execution—integrate seamlessly in
the realized cover.
Another, more practical concern is how
to translate effectively a drawing digi-
tally and to manipulate it with regard to
production, specifically in print. Different
methods yield not only varying degrees
of finesse for desirable reproduction and
an impact on file size, but also limitations
and possibilities for layout, coloration,
and printing techniques. Some methods
are more appropriate for retaining fine
detail and authenticity; others for keeping
file size small, or when the designer
intends to use it in a particular way.
The nature of the drawing itself directs
the designer toward best practices
with regard to production, as its form
language and composition do with regard
to conceptual and visual unity in the final,
designed expression.
C
A photograph of snow with
grain enhanced and a charcoal
tracing overlayed
D
Translations of mapping syntax drawn with
vector-based tools in a software program
E
Vector-drawn translation of
a local river
B
Hand-drawn studies of visual languages derived from a study of
geographical and survey maps at small scale, both in graphite and
colored pencil

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