is the design of kevin kennedy

Illustrating Senior Correspondent

When we’re not working on client projects, many of us at Signal Hill spend our time working on Senior Correspondent. My role there involves both maintaing the site itself, and also doing illustrations for some of our top authors.

After receiving a request to illustrate an upcoming article, I thought it would be interesting to break down some of the steps involved with my process.

Step 1: Read the Article

This may seem obvious, but it’s important. Often times the text of an article will evoke images or ideas in my mind as I read. I will also refer back to the article many times during my process in search of key words to help guide my explorations.

Step 2: Sketching

main(4)Here are several ideas I had right after reading the article. What I am looking for at this stage is an image that is both obvious and clever. The concept should be simple enough that even without reading the article, it is clear what is being depicted.

Step 3: Final Sketch

main(5)At this stage I am still refining my ideas and experimenting with different elements. This full sketch will get altered significantly in later stages, so I still try to explore as much as I can.

Step 4: Digital

main(6)I’ve scanned in my sketch, cleaned up a lot of the lines, and added some rough coloring.

Step 5: Finalizing

main(7)The final product can be seen at I have been tweaking colors and lines, adding textures, and generally trying to ensure that this image reads well on its own. At this point I will send the image to our publishing team to add to the relevant article. Once it is up, I will review the final product, and potentially make adjustments to ensure the image looks great both on the homepage and in a detail view.

That’s it! Thank you for joining me on this journey of illustrating for Senior Correspondent.