Assignment 2: Thumbnail Sketches

The big decision that needed to be made in this stage was the phrase to be illustrated.  I considered what a designer reading Varoom might be obsessed with. I made a word association chart as a class activity but ultimately my final idea came from elsewhere.


There is one thing all designers are simultaneously obsessed with and enraged by: Kerning. When I suggested this topic to my professor, it produced a series of visceral reactions from her, and that’s when I knew I had to do it. Done correctly, I think all if not most designers who pick up a copy of the magazine will find it humorous and relatable. But I have to do it perfectly or all will be for naught!

I compared the two phrases, “KERNING!!” and “KERN ME”

I like the idea of “KERNING!!” because it reminds me of the horror posters in my mood board. It’s very dramatic and if it is illustrated in a horror style, it will appear daunting and intimidating. Plus I just really like horror.

But I want to appeal to as many designers as possible, and I think “KERN ME” is more innately humorous. I would illustrate this phrase in a clean style instead of a horror style, which lends itself better to dimensioning.

I ultimately went with “KERN ME.”

I experimented with a few different orientations and grid types. If this were an actual engineering drawing, it would be done on an isometric grid and the grid removed later. I will play with turning the grid on and off in the final piece. I took these ideas to the pencil composition stage.

One Reply to “Assignment 2: Thumbnail Sketches”

  1. Hi Audrey! 🙂

    I really like how your theme revolves around something that you’re familiar with and have the passion to do further explorations on ( Your major + Obsession with Kerning + Bringing in the previous assignment), alongside with your user persona! It really enhances the overall theme and mood evoked! 🙂

    With reference to your Thumbnail sketches, I am stoked to see that you are creating your illustration in 3D form! That is really cool cause Depth would really enhance your illustration! 🙂

    I would like to suggest additional motifs into your illustrations, rather than to just have the typography in there, so as  to further emphasize the theme and backstory of your editorial illustration. Perhaps some CAD icons, or even a miniature model that forms up the words’ KERN ME’? 😀


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