The Construction Series
Duration: Nov 2009 – Present
Client: Architette Studios
Role: Illustration Designer
Mediums: Pencil, Ink, Procreate, Adobe Illustrator
During my days as a junior designer, I created a birthday card for my project manager. It illustrated the architectural construction and demolition of a cupcake.
When I gave it to her, she laughed, and exclaimed “You should sell these!” That was the beginning of the Construction Series. Almost 150 designs later, it is one of my best-selling lines.
My research begins with uncovering the bits and pieces of any ordinary object or item. I utilize a wide range of places for information such as Google, Wikipedia, product websites, historical writings, and my personal experiences.
I hand draw the appropriate plans, elevations and/or sections of the item, and assemble my notes around each one digitally. I began with hand sketches for the older designs, but once introduced to the iPad Pro and Apple Pencil, I went digital with this phase.
The Construction Series is a view of the world through the lens of an architect or engineer’s profession, with a whimsical combination of detail and humor. These blueprint designs have been top sellers for years as the testimonials and reviews in my shop can attest to. I am proud to say they have been featured on the Food Network, Etsy’s Featured Seller Spotlight, magazines, and they are a company favorite during the holidays. I am excited to keep it going with new designs in the future.
There is not one definition for what classifies an illustration as being “good”, but there are some general elements in design that can make something pleasing to the eye. Over the years of illustrating and notating these blueprints as described in this case study, I have learned about alignments, hierarchies, proximity, balance, white space, and color. My experience in learning the balance between all of these elements has taught me to look beyond the physical line work and into how they are perceived as an overall cohesive design.
If there were a book to describe how I breakdown an everyday object for the Construction Series, “The Design of Everyday Things” by Don Norman might be the one. As a UI UX enthusiast, I can appreciate the desire to make an object or experience as simple, yet pleasant as possible. Bringing this rule into my designs, it becomes natural to notate the objects in a clear and effortless way, yet still convey complexity.