From concept sketch to production art

By Juhan Sonin on 30 August 2012

The Design Axioms started as ideas and practices (in an 8 person design group), morphed into short, memorable phrases, drawn on to papyrus and rendered in presentation software, and spread (albeit to a very limited audience) via personal performance.

That doesn’t scale.

A wall of axioms is fantastic… for the local engineering and design tribes who “live” next to the wall.

It was time for a different publishing model. We decided to make it a card deck to spread the word. Dirk Knemeyer, Sarah Kaiser, and I began crafting descriptions and concepting graphic ideas to represent each axiom.

Here are a few early illustrations by Sarah.
Let Data Scream concept sketches

Prototype Like Crazy concept sketches


Once we picked a rough direction, the idea would move into higher fidelity illustrations.

Here are a few character sketches of Andrei and Luke:


For a very cool stop motion video (sans audio) of Sarah drawing and sketching, check this out:
[Note: for those of you using a browser that doesn't support embedded MP4s, here's the movie to download]:



Color came next…

… along with more detail.


And after several months of back and forth with the printer examining card and print quality, box designs, bleeds, and wear, tear, and surface prototyping, the final pixel perfect graphics were produced for printing.

Don't Design it if you Dont know how its going to be built

Now that we’ve gone through this process, the next round should take half as long (6 months total cycle versus 1 year).

Design Axioms, Illustration | 1 comment

One Response to “From concept sketch to production art”

  1. Joanne says:

    Really liked what you had to say in your post, Design Axioms » From concept sketch to production art, thanks for the good read!
    — Joanne

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