Drawing for Design


I had to attend a day or highly informative and enriching meetings last week. As ever, I make sure that I’ve got some paper and a pen and get down to some serious design personal developmental work – drawing! If you look in the projects section, there are some images of a box I made to house a series of sample books of various binding methods. All of the planning for this – even the dimensions – was completed during the meetings. (I was also fully active during the meetings – I can multi task you know!)


This time though, I took my book book, the book I draw out all my booky type ideas. Hand made of course -I couldn’t use anything else now. I filled about six pages with various elevations, panels, isometrics and varions on the basic design, some of which I will come back to when I’ve had a bit more practice:


Anyway, I was flicking through the book and thought about how my drawings had influenced the practical making of the componant panels and the subsequent coverings. The box too around three hours to make in total from start to finish. As most of the calculations had been done, it was only necessary to check them, which became easier as each panel confirmed the dimensions correctly – all but one, but I was only 2mm out on the front drop down flap, which was easily put right.

That would have added an hour or so onto the production time, but knowing how I work, I would have been making things as I went along, and making mistakes too, having to re-calculate , re-measure and re-cut too. Add the frustration factor to this (you know what I mean – when you know you have messed up, you are so determined to get it right next time that you overlook simple details and make stupid mistakes. I know that you know what I mean!) Double the time then.

The tricky part is the covering. I had no templates or guides to work from, only my very limited experience in box making (only two so far!) and plenty of cover paper. The drawings were constantly referred to throughout, helping me to visualise where the panels would cover and how the trim the overlaps. I messed up twice here, the first time in cutting the triangulr inserts for the inside of the lid. As I was using the patterned side of the paper I should have reversed the measurements, but instead I cutt two pieces at the same time, so one was patterned, the other plain. The second error was in assembly, where I had not pasted in a reinforcing strip of scrim to the drop-down flap , which I only noticed as I was gluing down the cover paper  over the joint. A quick and gentle lift, a swift insertion (oo-er!) of the scrim, and replace. No harm done.

The drawings were  a guide obviously, but also a goal. They were accurate enough to convice me that this was achievable and allowed me the opportunity to think around the assembly and coverings much more ‘knowingly’ than if I was working on the hoof.

I like drawing. I’ll keep it up and keep you posted…


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