How Hand-Drawn Illustration Can Bring An Adventure To Life
- Concept Development
- Design and Layout
- Artwork Development
- File Prep
The Retirement Home for Horses at Mill Creek Farm in Alachua, Florida commissioned Vortex Communications to create a trail map for visitors. This 335 acre non-profit farm is home to over 100 rescued and retired horses.
As part of the farm’s outreach program, families are invited to come visit the farm and hike along a series of trails that connect pastures, native woods and wetlands on the property.
As a way to engage visitors of all ages, the client wanted to have a fun lighthearted design that adults and children would enjoy using to explore the farm. Vortex agreed that a hand-drawn illustration would allow for a more fanciful rendition of the property.
Tom Weinkle, Creative Director at Vortex noted, “Digital 2-d or 3-d illustration can be very efficient but we wanted to give the map a “treasure map” feel. Doing an ink drawing was really the best way to deliver a solution that would achieve the client’s goals. The hand drawing process allowed for interpretation, and line quality that’s hard to achieve with a computer.”
From Drawing Table to Desktop
Vortex anticipated having to make changes and revisions along the way, so they created a series of rough sketches for approval and then moved to ink when the design was approved.
Weinkle noted, “Once the pencil was inked, we scanned it in house, and used Adobe Photoshop and Illustrator to add color and graphics”. He added…”We planned the color work carefully and created separate layers different objects and areas. Working with layers gave us the ability to quickly add textures and brush effects that blended perfectly with the ink drawing.”
Weinkle believes digital tools have their advantages, so it makes sense to use them where you can. Making changes to hue, value and texture and then creating variations for web, printing and display with the digital file was simple.”
Vortex supplied the horse farm with a high-resolution file they could print on demand to keep costs down and eliminate waste and a low-resolution version that can be emailed and posted on the non-profit’s website. All in all the project was a win for the farm, visitors, volunteers and the Miami- based web and graphic design firm.
Vortex has handled over 13,000 projects with a very high success rate for a variety of applications and business sectors. Their wealth of experience and strong vendor relationships helps the team make design decisions that are both creative and practical while avoiding the pitfalls of rush work. Weinkle added, “Clients come to us because they want it done right the first time.”