Graphic Design-Technical Illustration

I’ve been busy in my 3rd semester of Graphic Design and thought I’d share some of my Technical Illustration projects. I believe this is where I’ll be able to apply what I’ve learned as a draftsman/Auto-CAD detailer. The first project is a isometric view of a bracket, which we created from a 3 sided drawing; top, front and right side views.


The turn down radius really threw some of the other students off and if I hadn’t learned drafting I wouldn’t have seen how it should go. I’d had to get so much help from the other students that it was nice to be able to give some help back.

Our next project was to take this isometric and create a Patent drawing. I decided to use my motorcycle as being what this machined bracket was for. Keep in mind this is not really a motorcycle part, just creating a poster. Also, keep in mind I’m not trying to infringe on any copyrights of Harley Davidson, this was just for a school project. I found a free blueprint background download and used a photograph of my 2007 Harley Davidson Street Bob. I then opened in Illustrator CS6 to add my isometric and text. After trying to create the effect I wanted and was unsuccessful I Google on you-tube and found a tutorial on creating this effect. How to create a Blueprint effect in Photoshop CS6 by Altustek was awesome and easy. Thanks Altustek!


Next we had to do a exploded view in oblique, either 45 degree or 30 degree. I enjoyed learning gradients and applying to create the effect I wanted.

GPeppers-Exploded View3

The threads on the inside of the nut proved to be harder than the threads of the bolt. I also had trouble with creating a lock washer so, with suggestion from awesome husband, substituted with a flat washer. I still want to learn how to create a lock washer, using Illustrator and not just “eyeballing”.

Next post I’ll share some of my projects from my Digital Photography class (favorite class so far).


Typography Typeface Portraits

Fun with font could have been the title of this post. My latest creations are two typeface portraits; one of Amy Winehouse and a self portrait. These are for my Typography class and were supposed to be done in Adobe Illustrator, black only, on a 10″ x 7″ art board. We had to pick a famous person and do a self portrait.

To start this project I began by searching for tutorials in YouTube on doing typeface portraits. Only one tutorial showed up in Illustrator, the rest were done in Photoshop. Since I’m learning both programs, and I thought the Photoshop creations had the effects I wanted, that’s what I went with for Amy Winehouse’s portrait. I used two fonts; Cooper Std Black for the shadows and Corbel Regular for the mid-tones. Learning the clipping paths took a few try’s, but finally managed it. I used the lyrics to her song Rehab, from the album Back to Black. I think it came out nice, just not in Illustrator.


For my self portrait, which I knew had to be done in Illustrator, I tried using the same principles that I used in Photoshop. Frist I picked out three fonts; Cooper Std Black for shadows, Constantia Regular for mid-tones, and Corbel Regular for highlights. Created an layer with a rectangle filled with each font of the correct size, 7″ x 10′. I did adjust a few effects for each font, kerning and tracking, to get the right shade. Then so I could edit, I changed the font to outlines. Using the lasso tool I began deleting what I didn’t want and leaving what I did. This sounds easy but you have to think backwards. Instead of selecting the dark areas for the shadows layer, you have to pick everything else. I’m learning how to use negative space and I think this was a good exercise for that.



I used Amy Winehouse’s song lyrics for the words because I already had them ready to use. I think the Photoshop effects look more professional, but hopefully the Illustrator portrait will get a passing grade. I really don’t want to do it over.

Learning more Graphic Design

Here’s another project I had to do…
Editorial Illustration Project

Client: Major national magazine publisher

Task: Create an editorial illustration for an article in a magazine

Size: 8″ x 10″ total page area. Will have to factor in text and title elements.

(start with PhotoShop file provided on the server)

Choose an article of your choice from one of the following magazines:

1. Road & Track

Requirements: Needs to be more than just a photo or collage of photos. All PhotoShop tools, filters, image adjustments, vector capabilities, 3D stuff, and fonts are available for this project.



There were multiple magazines to choose from but I picked Road & Track because of the convenience; copy in bathroom and my husbands restoration projects provided plenty of photos.

The article I picked was by Peter Egan, Side Glances: Cars of Occasion, August 1, 2013, print. It was a very enjoyable article expressing the need of more than one vehicle  in todays world, and more importantly the need of cars (or trucks) for certain occasions. Egan discusses everything from trucks to convertibles to jeeps.

I collected photos of my favorite projects Mac (husband) has restored; ’63 split window, ’63 Impala 409 SS, and ’69 Corvette roadster. I then found my favorite photos of my vehicles: BMW Z3 Roadster and my current ride, 2006 Jeep TJ. I had this grand idea of using them all because, well, basically they fit the article. I ran into problems managing the text in Photoshop. I wanted the text to be in 3 columns and going around some of the cars. Not that easy in Photoshop if you’ve never tried it. Remember I’m learning the program and trying to learn how to design. I finally figured out how to create a shape and have the text follow it.

I decided to use the ’63 split window corvette mainly because of the quality of photo, plus it’s very iconic and recognizable.  If I were a guy (that was into cars) flipping through Road & Track and saw a ’63 split window I’d stop and see if it was worth reading. So, I clipped the car from the background, then went to the filters to see what I could make happen. The “poster edges” under the Artistic  Filter gave the car some cool effects I thought.

I then created the road & mountains using vector shapes. Using the eye dropper tool I pulled some color out of the car to help pull it together. I decided that the tail lights needed some help so I painted them a bright color to appear being on. I really liked how that came out.

Any critiques or comments will be greatly appreciated. Or any comments on how to use Photoshop to accomplish effects more efficiently would really be appreciated. Such as, is there a way to get vector shapes to “lock” together other than zooming in and eye balling?



Learning Graphic Design-Continued

One of my latest projects in my Typography class was to create a typeface using any animal, using the letters that spell the word of the animal. I chose “Squirrel”, not really sure why but it seemed a good idea at the time. Next I chose a font that I thought was shaped most like a squirrel. (Use your imagination) I picked the font Cooper Std. Then using Adobe Illustrator, I created outlines of the letters and printed it out so I could sketch the animals inside the letters. The s, q and l were the most challenging.


After I made my sketch of squirrels and scanned it in as a jpeg file, then saved it as a psd file (Photoshop). I then opened the file up in Adobe Illustrator and let the fun begin. I have struggled using the pen tool but decided that was what I needed to trace my letters. So, I searched on YouTube and found a couple of really helpful tutorials on using the pen tool and layers which is very important. After a couple of hours of struggling I finally started getting the hang of it. The one thing that I couldn’t figure out is how to cut the inside shape out to create the “e”. I did a quick fix of creating a shape and filling it with white, but that isn’t the correct way. Below is my squirrel font.

GPeppers-Typography Design-Finish

I’m not really satisfied with my “S” or the “q” but the rest of the letters look pretty good. If I have time I’ll work on those before Monday, when I have to turn it in.


Learning Graphic Design-Part I

In my new adventure called college, I’m learning Graphic Design. After having many years in mechanical design & detailing using AutoCAD I thought the transition would take little effort. Let me say that I was wrong, no really, wrong big time. Learning new software, Adobe Photoshop & Illustrator on the fly as they say, has not been easy. You can get to the same destination but you take different roads. AutoCAD (because I know it) was like taking the interstate highway, fast, efficient, easy. Adobe (because I don’t know it) is like taking a back road pig trail. Difficult & time consuming.

For example; in AutoCAD, to create a artboard or page area I would draw a circle, mark the center & use tangent points. In Adobe Illustrator apparently drawing a circle is doable, but trying to use it for reference is not doable.  The handles & grips are different, and editing is stressful. I’m not saying one program is better than the other, just different. It’s hard to forget what you’ve done for 20 years & learn something new, but it can be done. But it takes the effort.

The Larger the Island of Knowledge, the longer the Shoreline of Wonder.        Ralph W. Sockman

Below are 2 Typography projects we had to do. These were design to go in a Library, painted on the wall in a reading area. I’m sharing these because they are the first things that I’ve had to do in my 1st semester of college. Lets hope that by the end of 2 years, I’ll be a lot better.

GPeppers-Project Library Quote-1B-Final-3

GPeppers-Project Library Quote-2C-Final-2