February 18, 2012

Case Study: Exhibitor Magazine illustration

Here I outline the process I used from planning to completion of a two spread illustration I recently did for Exhibitor Magazine. The multi-part machine is a metaphor for the rebranding process Medtronic and their subsidiaries went through in regard to how they present themselves in the marketplace and trade shows. The illustration was particularly challenging in that there were several stages in the machine which all had to coordinate with each other in sequence and coincide with where they fell in the story. All while avoiding the magazine gutters, bleeds and tight-fitting text. Equal to the challenge was concepting what each segment of the machine should look like. Too much detail would take away from the symbolic nature of each stage of the process. Too little detail would make the illustration less interesting. The following is a glimpse of how I did it (click each image to get a closer look):

Finished illustration rendered in Photoshop

Exact drawing in Illustrator of all components done in grayscale (my method of working - no color until the composition is set)

Rough planning sketch drawn in pieces then scanned and composed together in Photoshop and placed in a layout. Each component of the machine was drawn separately several times until the right view was created. Then each was brought together in the layout and the pipeline that connects them was added last when all the components were set in the right place.