Arts Centre Market logo applied to large Kraft paper shopping bag

Illustration and graphic design, made well in Christchurch New Zealand, effectively connects our international clientele with global customer markets

The Arts Centre Market logo. Brands for New Zealand companies, Christchurch, New Zealand.

To illustrate the logo for weekend The Arts Centre Market, the local artisan craft market located in the “Market Square” of the Christchurch Arts Centre, I used a custom pencil to draw inside and outside of selections to create the hard-edged graduated tones of a Charcoal pencil illustration style.

Whether it is part of a graphic design project for a client in Christchurch New Zealand with a local market—or with customers in Australia, the USA, Europe and Asia. Good illustrative design and infographics will always communicate clearly across language and cultural barriers.

The purpose of illustration is to make clear or to decorate an advertisement, brochure, logo, website or other textual story. Illustration continues to very often be the best way of providing visual communication or representation of something concrete described in the text or an abstract idea, function or process. Furthermore illustration will always guarantee that the client’s visual communication—whether logo, brochure, teeshirt trademark or website—is a unique brand expression.

“I am an “Illustrative Designer” I care about making beautiful things that are useful.”

Runny Honey symbol and type logo, product name and positioning statement “It’s bee-licious”. A stylized line illustration of a woman apiarist set amongst a beehive, clover and bees pours Runny Honey from a jug into a honey jar. The "S" curve of the poured honey is echoed in the ascenders of the incised handlettering of the company name. Trademark and packaging label for a range of honey, and other bee products, for apiarist training and consultancy. Brands for New Zealand companies.

Pen-and-ink illustration has been around in various forms for a long time, I illustrated the Runny Honey symbol to a highly finished standard first in pencil and marker on paper then scanned it into Adobe Freehand as a tracing layer and then finished it using the “Freehand” variable width, pressure sensitive pen tool. The custom logotype was precisely drawn as vectors in Freehand also.

My illustration skills and experience spans expressive and scientific images of wildlife and flora, diagrams of abstract processes, and technical illustration to give information on how to operate or use something as well as decorative maps and cartographic diagrams. From decorative and expressive to photorealistic representational works, my digital illustration techniques range across vector illustration and “natural media” including;

  • airbrush
  • charcoal and pencil drawing,
  • collage
  • watercolor,
  • pen & ink illustration,
  • oil painting, gouache, acrylics, and
  • woodcuts or linocuts.
Pen and ink drawing trademark for The Maruia Society’s new range of recycled writing paper products.

Pen and ink drawing trademark for The Maruia Society’s new range of recycled writing paper products.

Illustration beats explanation

Convair CV580 Cabin Safety Instructions Card, vector infographic, arming the escape chute, opening the door.

Illustration provides an overall impression of what an object is or does, how a process flows or functions, or it maps or charts information with the aim of immediately engaging the viewer’s interest and understanding, and being memorable.

There is a growing interest today in original artwork used as illustrations in advertising, brochures, logos, magazines, posters, teeshirts, etc. In the world of visual art, rubbing up against fine art, illustration has have sometimes been considered less important, and in the communication arts and graphic design field, many thought it would be superseded by photography. In fact the term “illustrative designer” that I use to describe myself is sometimes used as a negative attribute.

West-Stone Aggregates symbol over type logo. The symbol, a silhouette of a dark blue, stylized, edgy cut-line trio of slumped aggregate heaps, implies both a "W" letter form and is a scale model of the peaks of the Southern Alps. The dark blue symbol rests on top of the the all-capital WestStone name. The word West is blue, butted up to Stone in dark grey. Brands for New Zealand companies, Greymouth, New Zealand. My illustration workflow always begins with thumbnail sketches or more fully developed illustrations or renderings in pencil or marker which I then use as a “tracing layer” in order to develop in illustration programmes such as Freehand, Illustrator, Photoshop and Painter using my Wacom® tablet as a rendering interface, which, because it is pressure sensitive has the ability to record gestures in a way congruent with “natural media” techniques. The result is artwork that breaks free of the generic, robotic grid that much contemporary digital the result is digital illustration that feels as singular, humanist and hand made as illustration rendered using natural media.

Technical illustration

Ethos Woodfires ‘warm your world’ point of sale retail display collateral. A custom cut log laser etched with the Ethos brand acts as a display rack for the Ethos ‘best’ product catalogues on the shop floor.Digital illustration is well suited to visually communicating information of technical subjects and processes. Vector illustrations of components rendered as technical drawings or diagrams are often a more effective way of succinctly conveying core information to customers and end users.

Plough_Floating_section-diagram2My technical illustration workflow always begins with thumbnail sketches or sets of reference photographs which are traced over and developed in the aforementioned illustration programmes using the Stylus and Tablet rather the mouse. The need for very precise and detailed imaging and ongoing updates to products and processes makes digital illustration the ideal work method for these subjects.

“What I feel fortunate about is that I’m still astonished, that things still amaze me. And I think that that’s the great benefit of being in the arts, where the possibility for learning never disappears, where you basically have to admit you never learn it.”
—Milton Glaser

Waitui Whiskey packaging gift carton draft

©magentadot brands

1988–2002 Surface Active, 2002–2004 Tattoo, 2004–2009 Pionair Adventure Travel, 2009–Present MagentaDot Brands, Consumer products, Digital illustration, Illustration, Logos and symbols, Manufacturing, Packaging, Retail, Typography

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