As design templates, online layout apps and stock logo options digitally proliferate, it can be hard to source a brand design with authentic character. Yet the flexibility and ability to scale clean vector graphics is an undeniable advantage. One answer is to hand-draw graphics with vector-based digital tools.

This recent project for a Vancouver developer is a good example. To create identity and building graphics for this main street apartment building, the tools of choice were a Wacom tablet, Adobe Illustrator, and a human illustrator.

From hand writing the building name, to drawing a series of interlinked doodles, I created a visual set of themed vector art, and combined it with simple, transparent graphic shapes. All of which scaled beautifully for everything from signage to full-sized wall murals.

We used iconic Vancouver Main Street imagery references including fixie bikes, electric guitars and beer growlers, combined with literary quotes and simple wayfinding text. Digital selection gave us the ability to combine some of our favourite illustrations and letterforms, though we took care not to over-edit and make them too ‘perfect’.

After all, when AI takes over more and more creative work, the ‘beautiful human mistake’ may be the last bit of character we have left to express.

Thanks to our clients and designer Arno Apeldoorn of New Collider Creative for helping bring these doodles to life.


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