Thing apart one of Simon's vector drawings




11th November 2019


Lessons In Vector Graphics




Simon's been to a local Secondary School:


It can be tough getting your head around vectors, especially if you're starting with pretty much zero knowledge. I started using graphics for the simplest of tasks, creating very basic shapes for logos and doing my utmost to create cartoon characters (something I can recall also doing with some CAD software during my work experience 30 years ago!). Getting on for ancient history now as since then I've two and a half decades of vector graphics experience. 


One of the best things about having some experience in something is being able to share it with others. So yesterday I spent the morning with a group of Year 10 Creative iMedia students to help them get there heads around it. As part of their course they're tasked with a creative element for which they can use vectors, if they want to. However, without any vector knowledge it can be tricky to put something meaningful together, so I was there to give them an introduction.


I took examples of large format, comples vector drawings, cartoon characters, book illustrations and logos, all created in Adobe Illustrator over the years for a diverse number of clients. The great thing about vectors is that you can pull them apart, so I was able to take some of the illustrations and break them down into layers and show how they'd been constructed. 


The second half of the morning was set aside for the students to have a go themselves by creating a logo, so I spent time showing them how some of the key tools worked and how I might approach such a thing. With five minutes of the first half to go I got them to challenge me to make a simple logo, so the suggestion was Andrew's Toilet Rolls. With a quick bit of text manipulation, a limited colour palette and some simple use of intersecting shapes I did it with time to spare – perhaps not something I'd be happy to show a client, but for the purposes of the exercise, it did the trick.


The second half flew by as I darted between machines reminding the students how I'd done this or that, or helping the more creative students overcome hurdles for more ambitious ideas. By the end, they all had something that was far beyond their technical abilities an hour before, and sets them up nicely for when the subject comes up for real in a fortnight's time.


If you think I can help you with a practical demonstration like this, or about anything else I do, please do get in touch.

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