O'Reilly logo

Drawing for Graphic Design by Timothy Samara

Stay ahead with the world's most comprehensive technology and business learning platform.

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required

110
/
111
Selected
Posters/
Identity
programs/
Typeface
design/
Editoral/
Environmental
graphics/
Animation/
Signage/
Website
experience/
Packaging
Drawing
/ for Graphic
Design
Processes
Cas
/e
stu-
–d
ies
Following are five project case studies
that demonstrate the use of drawing as
a design process that, while following
some expected similarities, are as unique
to the designers and as to the projects
themselves. These projects present a
diversity of application for comparison,
from posters and editorial, illustrative
work to the development of logos, anima-
tions, and online website experiences.
Each is shown in its entirety, from initial
research to concept development through
successive stages of reiteration, refine-
ment, and final solution.
112
/
113
A
Typical examples of Islamic decoration
Photographs ©Thomas Samara
B
The designer’s base construction grid of diagonals and horizontals underpins the symbol
and typographic components of the logo.
Visual
Identity
and
Applica-
tions for
a Cultural
Festival
Bizu Design
São Paulo / Brazil
Graphic designer Ana Starling, with the
support of colleagues in the studio BIZU,
was asked to develop an identity for the
South American Festival of Arabic Culture
in 2010—the festival’s inaugural year.
With an eye toward creating a brand that
could be implemented immediately and
updated in subsequent years, Starling
framed the problem as a search for a
language that could be easily updated,
as well as one that could be flexible for
the tremendous number of applications
the festival would require. Furthermore,
the diversity of Arabic culture neces-
sitated a unifying, non-culturally specific
visual style.
Starling immersed herself in the culture
by studying photographs of people, art,
and architecture. Almost immediately
(and luckily, given a short deadline), she
was struck by a consistent aspect of
Arabic alphabetical ornament: repeating
hexagonal and triangular axes
/
A
/
.
Starling distilled this geometry into a
grid of diagonals and horizontals,
providing an essential building block—
a triangular module—that she could
reconfigure endlessly.
Upon defining this atomic element, she
set about using it to build the festival’s
primary logo
/
B
/
. By filling in the trian-
gular modules, she explored a variety
of patterns that were contemporary, but
clearly rooted in the tradition of Arabic
imagery. Numerous sketches resulted in
a basic logo form that exhibits line/dot
contrast in a lively, rotational, and inter-
locking movement. The festival’s name
was aligned to mark along a diagonal grid
line to integrate it with the mark’s domi-
nant visual structure
/
B
/
. Attempting to
build a logic of flexibility into the identity
from the ground up, Starling determined
that the base mark could itself be varied:
first, by reorganizing its internal parts
/
C
/
;
and second, by allowing its elements to
be colored in different ways. From among
the collection of images she had studied,
Starling extracted an extensive palette
/
D
/
of 70 hues typical of the desert
environment, architecture, textiles, and
artwork (a selection is shown).
Drawing
/ for Graphic
Design
Processes
Selected
Case Studies:
Visual
Identity for
a Cultural
Festival
A brief series of further tests revealed
the diagonal drawing grid’s potential
to generate compositions of elements
whose mass and linearity could radically
vary—all while remaining indisputably
related to each other
/
E,F,G
/
. With the
deadline approaching, Starling and
associates from BIZU set about applying
the new language to the festival’s myriad
promotional and collateral materials
/
H
/
.
E
The designer briefly experimented with
color and compositional possibilities based on
the underlying grid, color palette, and the
logo’s modularity.
H
A fine arts print, made for sale, experiments with
transparency and overprinting.
F
A study with type to test compositional ideas
in relation to the diagonal grid
C
The modular language allows for a
logo that can be reconfigured without
confusing its identity.
D
An extensive palette of colors was
extracted after researching photographs
of Arabic art, textiles, architecture, and
street scenes.
G
Repeating and overlapping the logo side-by-side,
demonstrates continued recognizability even though
the logo is no longer explicitly present.
114
/
115
Early print applications produced for the
first festival hint at the identity’s poten-
tial to be endlessly refreshed in coming
years. While an intuitive expression of
the triangular grid module as a mosaic
pattern dominates
/
A
/
, radical changes
in its scale—creating planar forms—
introduces great variety in that syntax
alone
/
C
/
; it further gives rise to linear,
ribbon-like structures
/
B, C
/
that offer
added contrast.
Throughout the applications, color—
anchored by a deep, historical brown—
traverses a range of vibrant and subdued
green, turquoise, and blue; taupe, violet,
and pink; and oranges, ruddy reds, and
mustard-yellows.
A
One of several posters designed to announce the festival
B
These two flyers demonstrate the pattern-based language and a new
linear option created by linking strips of triangles with color.
C
The already seemingly endless options for reconfiguring the modular
element to create new scale, line/mass, and rhythmic ideas become even
more pronounced in this limited selection of festival program covers
(upper right) and one of the endpapers (above).

With Safari, you learn the way you learn best. Get unlimited access to videos, live online training, learning paths, books, interactive tutorials, and more.

Start Free Trial

No credit card required