Graphic Translation

“The process of graphic translation produces drawings of instant recognition and startling visual interest. Graphic translation is as much art as it is design, and focuses on the creation of an image with the visual means of abstraction, reduction, and interpretation with point, line, plane, shade, and shadow.” – Kimberly Elam

I recently entered college to study Graphic Design and one of my first projects was to turn a shaded object into an abstract design. I chose a metallic robot and found it quite fun to translate my drawing into something that looked like an icon (on Adobe Illustrator :)) . The main purpose of the project was to focus on shape and shadow and learn the relationships between different parts of an object. Here is how it turned out:

Since it was so much fun, I decided to ask my older students to do the same with tracing paper and a sharpie only. I think it worked out quite well. I chose relatively simple objects so that they would have enough time to complete the drawings in one class.

I also gave them a Graphic Translation Handout . It explains the steps required in this project, including using lines, shapes, dots and patterns to produce the final design. 

Duration: 1 – 1.5 hours

– Shading Pencils
– Sharpie Markers – Fine, Thick
– Tracing Paper