There are times as a graphic designer when I need to let go of my design responsibilities and instead relax and feed my creative imagination. And gallivanting off to build fancy sandcastles on Bournemouth beach just won’t cut it.


So I turn to illustration. Now I’m not usually the sort of person who can just whip out a sketch book and start drawing pretty pictures (although I do do that from time to time, as you can see in my other article here).

My way of thinking is often too logical for that. Instead, I like to set myself a task. Something that requires visualisation. For example for my Mind Rocket experiment, I started by choosing a topic I loved, science. I’d then setting myself the challenge of illustrating something very mundane in a way that was somehow engaging. For example:

graph illustration design

Other times it would be even more simple. Like this typographic treatment:

typographic illustration of the word flood

The important thing was that there were no rules. I would allow myself to literally do whatever I liked. However, I found removing ALL rules was quite daunting. So I created my own rules.

When you create your own rules it’s a bit like making a design brief. I had a subject, science. I had a goal, to be engaging. Plus, I gave myself a desaturated colour palette, Adobe Garamond Pro as my chosen typeface and a simplified, minimal style of illustration. All of these aspects gave me a limited canvas in which to work.

And I loved it! In fact I’m still doing it now. Mind Rocket has given me a space in which I can explore any idea I care to discover, conjure or stumble across. I’ve now expanded the theme to encompass different subjects, not only science. Themes such as rebus’s, such as this one where you’re asking the audience to guess what the film is:

ghost illustration

I have no idea where Mind Rocket will take me but I will be sure to keep you posted.