Wednesday, February 6, 2013

New Decagon Illustrations!


I was asked recently by one of the many good people over at Decagon Devices, Inc. to draft up a few concepts for an upcoming newsletter, the title of which is "Tools and Tips for Measuring the Full Soil Moisture Release Curve."  That seems pretty complex, right?  But after a brief explanation, the concepts involved didn't seem all that intimidating.  That seems to be one Decagon's major strengths (along with creating a host of great products): They're able to explain processes, concepts and theories that seem extremely complex in a way that makes them accessible (even to illustrators).

In a way, this is how I think of my job as well.  More often than not, I'm asked to take a complex idea and distill it into a visual that accurately represents that idea.  It's a process that involves design, imagination, a lot of thought, a lot of mistakes and a good deal of editing.  In the end, that process is usually in service of communication.  The illustration is a means of telling a story, communicating an idea or explaining a process.

So, tangent aside, I was also asked to create some visuals that depicted the relationship between soils, water, and plants.  I usually like to draft up multiple concepts that are completely different from each other (at least during the first round).  These are them:

Sometimes there's an option/avenue/direction that's staring right at me and I never see it.  Like when I'm at the grocery store and ask a clerk where some product is and I'm standing directly in front of it.  It's a little embarrassing, but c'est la vie.  On that first concept, I figured having that much white space would be a deal breaker (I'm probably more fond of white space than I should be).  On the second concept, the shape of the art made placing some of the other elements a bit awkward.

You've probably already figured out where this is going, but I was clueless.  Decagon saw the concepts and asked me to combine the first two concepts to make this:

I thought it was a nice solution.  I'm super satisfied with the way this turned out, but the assist credit goes to the peeps at Decagon.

Ok, I'm very tired.



Anonymous said...


I chuckled when I saw this. As much as we'd like to take the credit, it's your genius that allows us to do what we need to do.

Sorry for stalking you on here, I just subscribed to your RSS feed as I like to see your illustrations. Thanks,


Noah Kroese said...

Ken: At the very least, this one was a team effort. And it's always a pleasure to be part of the team.