I was approached by a student (my little brother) at the Plattsburgh Aeronautical Institute to design an iron-on patch for that years graduating class. I want to take you all through my process, from start to finish for the design and illustration of the patch.


Step 1: I asked the client to draw for me what he had in his mind.



This is on the back of a bar coaster, just to give you an idea of how ideas are more often than not, transferred from the client to the designer. Napkins, coasters and post-it notes are a designers best friend when it comes to client relationships.

Step 2: Research

I then found a collection of images from a google image search to see what kinds of patches exist for aeronautical schools/businesses.

images-1 images



I began by re-drawing the shapes for the wrenches in Illustrator based on the coaster sketch and combined the way TYDOL presented the wings on their patch. The best part about symmetrical pieces is that, as a designer, you’re only responsible for 1/2 the image. Just duplicate, flip and connect the lines!

Photo on 6-4-12 at 11.00 PM



Step 4: Make the actual patch and add color

ALWAYS KEEP TRACK OF YOUR SWATCHES! Since this is going to be an embroidered piece, I kept track of the colors so the printers will know what kinds of thread to use.





Step 5: Make a 3 color version (black, white, 1 shade of grey)

This gives the client a cheaper option and will make the printer’s life a little easier. They’ll thank you for it!

Screen Shot 2013-11-15 at 2.59.57 PM

And that’s how it goes, for me anyway!

Sketch-research-sketch-design-color-black and white.

Enjoy the day!


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