Archive for September, 2011
Recently completed the design work on a new set of logos for Bob’s Business.
Bob’s Business is an eLearning tool which offers a quirky, appealing way of helping employees understand the importance of information security.
For a subject matter as serious as Information Security, it’s quite refreshing that Bob’s Business uses funny, animated cartoons as the main vehicle for delivering their training exercises. This playfulness was something I aimed to carry on through their new identity.
Alongside their new logo, I have also redesigned their stationery and I’m currently in the process of designing their new, main website. Watch this space…
Ahh the Wacom drawing tablet. Day by day these fantastical looking gadgets are becoming a more common sight on graphic designers desks. No bull, but I think 99% of all graphic designers I know have ditched the mouse and are using a drawing tablet as their main weapon of choice. Watching a skilled designer fly round the screen using one of those pens is a sight to behold. Magical!!
But, try as I may, I just can’t get used to using a drawing tablet. The ‘not looking at my hand while drawing’ concept is just something my tiny brain can’t get to grips with. Fellow designer friends continually encourage me to persevere – “eventually it will happen and you’ll never look back” – but it just isn’t happening for me.
Therefore, if I want to bring my scribblings to life on the ‘puter, I’m left either using the good old mouse or going totally old skull and scanning in my drawings to Photoshop. Not that I have a problem with this. I actually get a lot of satisfaction from turning off the Mac, getting out the layout pad, pencil and ink pens and having a doodle. Many a logo or graphic image that I have produced for a client started out as a sketch that was scanned in to the Mac. I also genuinely feel that drawing freehand on paper encourages experimentation and rewards mistakes. As skilled as I am using the tools in Adobe Illustrator, some of my favourite pieces have started out as sketch that I have merely traced over or ‘coloured in’.
Which brings me on to the Wacom Inkling. A scanner and pen combo that transfers your biro drawings in to editable bitmap and/or vector artwork. How does it work? Well I’m not entirely sure. It appears the scanner (that you clip on to the edge of your regular drawing pad) works in conjunction with the pressure sensitive pen to record the pen’s position and degree of pressure on the paper – thus allowing it to differentiate between light shading for instance and heavy scribbling. The Inkling also has the ability to record ‘layers’ therefore allowing you to split elements of your drawings off for full editable control on the computer afterwards. As a friend on Twitter remarked the other week – “Surely it’s witchcraft?”
The scanner is able to save all your drawings until you are ready to upload to your computer. So, let’s say for instance you are sat in a Starbucks and the urge came over you to do some doodling in your Moleskin*. Just clip the scanner to the edge of your pad, sketch away and when you were back at you Mac, upload your efforts. Unfortunately, the Inkling can not rewind time (yet!), so you need to make the decision beforehand if you wanted to record this drawing or not. I suppose you would just get in to the habit that anytime you decided to doodle, you would automatically activate the Inkling. At present, I just doodle away and if something looks interesting and worth developing, I would scan it in. With the Inkling, you may find yourself ‘retracing’ over doodles.
I am really interested in purchasing one. As someone who doodles a lot, I can really see the potential in it. But ideally, I want to see one in action first before I stump up £150. I’ve already thrown £50 a Wacom Bamboo drawing tablet and that’s gathering dust on a shelf somewhere…
*I have never had the urge to do any drawings in my pad in a Starbucks… or any other ‘coffeeshop’ for that matter.