Conceptual illustration

Conceptual illustration examples

Project goals

This goal of this project is for the students to produce an innovative, eye-catching, informative, and creative conceptual illustration for the front of a journal or book. The illustration will demonstrate scientific information of a conceptual nature e.g. metabolic or a physiological process in a readily understood form. By producing this conceptual illustration the students will gain computer skills in front cover design and digital art production. Skills in Adobe Indesign will be acquired through completion of this project. To develop the students computer skills, they will learn how to add cinematic effects to their artworks in Adobe After Effects and apply it to their artworks.

Project objectives

  • Provide real examples of conceptual illustrations on the front covers of journals or books that will guide the students through the analysis process of good and bad design. Students will discuss strengths and weakness in a round table discussion to gain a firm understanding on conceptual design.
  • Students will take part in a ‘think-tank’/brainstorming discussion on how to think conceptually and to start a conceptual illustration design. The is aid the students in thinking constructively about conceptual topic relating to medicine and present them in an illustrative way.
  • Provide the students coverage of the most effective techniques to use Adobe Indesign for putting the illustration together.
  • Show the students how to integrate their artwork from Adobe Photoshop, 3D programs with cinematic effects from After Effects.
  • Give the students the task of designing the front of a journal or book cover with their conceptual illustration.
  • Ask the learners to prepare design sketches of their conceptual illustration to show how they have thought about how to integrate the headlines and journal title.

Project Outcomes

  • The students will create a conceptual illustration which will form the front cover of a journal or book.
  • The students will be able to critique their own and others designs.
  • The students will be able to create an innovative illustrative solution to a conceptual title.
  • The students will be able to interpret scientific information into a conceptual illustration.
  • The students will have mastered design of a front cover integrating text and image.
  • The student will have acquired skills in Adobe Indesign, as well as Photoshop or Illustrator or a 3D program and After Effects.

Marking criteria. The marking criteria indicated here is a guide and grades are allocated in conjunction with the assessment criteria laid out under ‘Assessment Information – In-course Assessment Criteria’.

Criteria Levels of achievement
Illustrations/graphics impact and clarity. Including skill in chosen medium (Final image only and marked out of 10 points)

• Illustration creativity and imagination for intended
audience and final display
• Skill, style and neatness of artwork
• Effort given to the requirements of the project.
• Understanding and control of art materials /
technologies and techniques, singly and in
combination
• Understanding of elements, such as colour, line, texture, balance.
• Communication of topic

Fluent ability

9-10 points

Confident ability

7-8 points

Competent ability

5- 6 points

Basic ability

3- 4 points

Limited ability

1-2 points

Medical/scientific accuracy and exploration Final images/sketchbooks
etc. only and marked out of 5 points)

• Medical accuracy / scientific accuracy
• Artwork describes / conceptually describes the
medical/scientific subject
• Understanding of the topic in a wider context as demonstrated by studies and sketches.

Excellent anatomical / scientific accuracy

5 points

Extremely good anatomical / scientific accuracy with almost no errors

4 points

Very good anatomical / scientific accuracy with a few errors

3 points

Good anatomical / scientific accuracy with some errors

2 points

Major errors in the anatomy or science in the interactive program

1 point

Design presentation and
attractiveness
(Includes all images and marked out of 5 points)

• Presentation neatness
• Illustration use within the design
• Layout, call-outs and readability
• Rhythm, dominance, balance, colour and contrast in
the design
• Titles, headlines and hierarchy of accompanying text
• Text, typography, alignment and labelling design and
effort
• Spelling, grammar, widows, and orphans
• Audience consideration in language used.
• Colour palate
• Design consideration for where artwork will be
finally viewed and how it speaks to its audience

Excellent

5 points

Extremely good

4 points

Very Good

3 points

Good

2 points

Basic

1 point

Graphics originality
and exploratory
quality (Includes all
images/sketchbooks
etc. and marked out of 5 points)

•Creativity and originality of illustration
• Creation of final display
• Independent research and original concepts
• Understand stages of design
• Awareness and appreciation of the context and
purpose of illustration

Fluent ability

5 points

Confident ability

4 points

Competent ability

3 points

Basic ability

2 points

Limited ability

1 point

Level achieved from total points:
This project is marked on the four categories listed above. Once points are assigned to each category they are added up and a grade is given depending on the total points.
Distinction (20 – 25 points) Credit (19 – 15 points) High Pass (10 – 14 points Pass (5 – 9 points) Pass with Amends/ Referred for re-submission (1 – 4 points)

PDF of handout

yet to come

List of helpful resources for conceptual design

What to I need to bring to class?

  1. First step in initial seminars: An interactive student-lead discussion focusing on conceptual illustration will occur in the initial seminar. This will help focus your proposal, initial sketches, research material and mood-board
    1. Homework
      1. Form: Pencil drawings of the subject that will be described the title of your illustration. These can be further worked up in any medium of your choice, including digital 3D. This may have to be done after the exploration homework.
      2. Exploration: Produce a series/variety of studies/sketches that conceptualise the scientific article title that you aim to portray on the front of a science journal. Produce them separately or on one large mood-board digitally or printed. Scan and print the actual article and bring to the seminar.  Produce a short 150-500 word reflective report on how your project met the objectives and how you tackled layout.
      3. Medium development: Follow along with the online tutorial in Adobe After Effects, on how to add cinematography to your artworks.
      4. Coursework draft: Produce a draft illustration worked up from your ‘form’ and ‘exploration’ homework. Place artworks inside Indesign file and produce work-in-progress page design.
  2. Second step is the interim design presentation: You present your draft which shows a more developed design and is in response to the initial seminar. This should incorporate the comments into the design. supervisor and peer review of the design work-in-progress which provides formative feedback to produce your final version
    1. Homework
      1. Incorporate any feedback received on the ‘form’ and ‘exploratory homework into your final artworks. Prepare them for your portfolio. This work will not be marked independently at assessment, but will form part of the Anatomical/scientific accuracy or exploration, and graphic originality section of the marking criteria.
      2. Complete the conceptual illustration  based on feedback at the seminar and present again at the next seminar for final sign off.
  3. Final step is the final presentation: Before submitting to assessment you must have it checked by your supervisor at seminars or on a designated tutoring day via email and telephone. In assessment your work will be marked according to the marking criteria of that project. You will receive a detailed feedback form after assessment.

What do I need to bring to assessment?

You must bring:

  • The final conceptual illustration in the form of a front cover.
  • The original conceptual illustration in pencil.
  • Initial artworks which include sketches, research material and initial concept design.
  • A short 150-500 word reflective report on how your project met the objectives and how you tackled layout.

Details on all the Medical Artists' Education Trust projects can be found below