Even though it will always depend on the project, the next four steps can be understood as a general approach useful to follow:
1. Clear concepts.
Initially it is essential to know the goal that the illustration is seeking, as well as the support where it will be included. It can be a screen presentation, a website image, an article or poster figure, a journal cover, a video, etc.
Some technical aspects may be considered depending on the final support (specific size and colour requirements for a certain journal, etc).
We need to know in advance:
- Final support and position (to be printed or shown on screen, web or presentation format, DIN A4 or bigger print, etc.).
- Size and ratio (specific or free size, vertical or horizontal format, etc.).
- Number of colours (usually multi colours, but sometimes there are some colour restrictions: gray scale, black and white, two inks, etc.).
Lack of those important details could end up in additional work, involving longer times and much effort.
2. Preliminary sketch.
Once the concepts are clearly defined, we need a sketch of the idea that you have in mind. You should provide us a draft, but do not worry!
The required sketch could be a very simple design that will help us to start working. It is going to be used as a reference, so it has not to be perfect. That is an excellent way to get as many details as possible about the idea that you have in mind and, thus, to smoothly turn it into a real picture. Here there are some examples.
- Photographed or scanned free hand sketch. It can be a draw on a napkin, a scheme painted with colour pencils, etc.
- A computer sketch performed using any software: PowerPoint, Word, Paint, etc. It would be very helpful if you could provide a sketch of the idea that you have in mind prepared using any software that you “master”.
- A “collage” sketch. You can paste different images, add your drawings, cut where necessary, etc. Then you can provide us a photograph or a scanned image. This can be a useful alternative.
The provided sketch should be clean and clear and very close to the idea that you have in mind. If so, our work will proceed smoothly, finishing in time and providing highly satisfactory results.
Additional changes at the final stages of the process will be time-consuming, involving problems that could be avoided. A simple sketch will minimise those shortcomings.
3. Supporting Images.
We need supporting images. It is always very helpful to have reference images. Sometimes the work involves concepts that are abstract or difficult to understand. Therefore, it will be easier to figure out the concepts involved and to turn it into a clear and informative image, if we get from you as many details as possible how many more clues will be easier to grasp the concept and translate it into an image understandable clarifying.
To find supporting images is easy. You can always search on internet. Probably you will find schemes directly related or linkable to your idea. Moreover, it is quite likely that you already have images related to the same topic.
Supporting images are essential to clearly and easily define ideas from the very beginning.
It is well-known that an image is worth more than a thousand words”.
4. Explanatory text.
Of course we need some written details about what you would like to capture in an image. It is actually the key point of the process.
Written words are essential as tangible ideas that we can check at every time, reminding us even “minimal” details. Who can better than you materialise your ideas as words on a paper?
It should not be a complicate, extensive or too technical text. It must be a checklist, to ensure that not a single detail is forgotten.
You can include anything that you really think that is important at both, technical and visual, levels.
We believe that providing all those details at the beginning will end up in the desired results. Our experience has taught us that this is the best process leading to a perfect understating between a designer and a scientist…