do it by hand, just say no to stock images (part 1)

Art that seems to be popping up everywhere looks hand-drawn. From CD covers to business cards to websites, the trend these days is to do it by hand for that rough sketched look. I encourage drawing  your own designs, scan them in and then trace them in illustrator rather than downloading stock graphics for your design.

Try a Wacom pad
If you want to make an investment then a wacom pad is the way to go. It has totally changed the way I design. It makes designing more personal than using the mouse to draw. For this poster I used a picture I took, traced over it in photoshop and brought it into illustrator for color. I still draw my own images and use the wacom to trace over (which alleviates the stress of the pen tool in illustrator).

Look to Websites for inspiration
Just using a touch of hand drawn elements on your website will really give it a more personal feel.

This is a university’s website. Pretty cool.

A portfolio website.

Pay attention to packaging

Mel sent me this link to Mountain Dew’s Green Label Art‘s website. This site is so cool. All of these bottles are covered in original art and wrapped around a mountain dew bottle. Incredible work. Mel bought 3 bottles in Target because she thought they were so cool she had to have them for herself.

I recently bought the album by “The Ugly Suit“. All of the artwork in the booklet is drawn in color pencil and uses collage effects. Coolest cover I’ve seen in a long time. Pick one up at M-Theory.

If you feel the need to use stock images, modify them at least. It’s always disappointing when you see a design that could be great and they are complied of completely stock images. Change them up a bit. Get creative. We know you have it in you 🙂


(mel and i will be positing more inspiration, so stay tuned. If you find anything you’d like us to post email us: and


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