When most people communicate their ideas, they rely upon the complexity of verbal language. For the designer, however, the “second language” of drawing-both on paper and on the computer-provides one of their most powerful tools. The ability to confidently think out loud through doodles, thumbnails, drawings, sketches, and renderings provides one of the fundamental skill sets of generating original, powerful design work, and the persuasive power of sketching in front of a client can be transformative. This course provides the training and support to help build fluency in two-dimensional design expression, while treating that fluency as an extension of the designer’s vision and point of view.
Through the cultivation of many drawing techniques (both on paper and on electronic drawing tablets), this course will help designers get their ideas across quickly and effectively. It will encourage a strong connection between head and hand, helping students to “think out loud” in live, two-dimensional space. The course will cover fundamentals such as thumbnailing, perspective, visual hierarchy, cross-sections, large-scale drawing, visualization, symmetry, scale, line, light and shadow, and context. The curriculum will be tailored to individual competencies, where more highly skilled students will take on more ambitious explorations. All students will become confident, effective, and consistent in communicating their ideas two-dimensionally.
This is a studio class with brief demonstrations and tutorials to introduce new techniques and strategies, and ample in-class time to become familiar and comfortable with the techniques. There will be a lot of one-on-one work with the instructor, focusing on individual competencies and challenges. Exercises will happen individually and in groups, helping to cultivate personal style and collective support.
Students in this course will come away with a set of tools to:
- Learn to communicate two-dimensionally with speed, power, and confidence
- Become exceptionally comfortable with paper-based drawing tools
- Become familiar with tablet-based drawing on Wacom Cintiq devices using Alias SketchBook Pro
- Develop a fluency for effective, persuasive visual communication
- Learn fundamental visual principles through real life examples
- Apply their skills to any and all design challenges throughout the curriculum and their careers
Drawing for Designers, by Alan Pipes
Sketching: Drawing Techniques for Product Designers, Koos Eissen
The Back of the Napkin: Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures, Dan Roam
Universal Principles of Design: 125 Ways to Enhance Usability, Influence Perception, Increase Appeal, Make Better Design Decisions, and Teach through Design, William Lidwell, Kritina Holden, and Jill Butler