When I design and look at an object, I simplify the object’s shape in my mind to their most basic forms – be it rectangles, ovals and lines. There is nothing worse than designing an object with all its complexities from the get-go. It’s always a good rule to always keep things simple.
For example a guitar can be simplified by creating 3 main components – the lower body, the upper body and the neck:
To shape the body, we could use either an oval or a rectangle to create the base shape.
In this example, I have used the rectangle to create the lower body. Then it’s a matter of adjusting the paths (clicking on each point and selecting ‘mirrored‘) to make it look like the lower part of a guitar:
To create the upper part of the guitar, I then copy the lower part, paste it and move the to the upper end of our guitar object – then selecting ‘Union’ to unite both shapes:
Now that we have the base of the guitar formed, it’s time to add a little bit of complexity by clicking on the paths of the upper body and curving the shape until we have it close to being identical to the guitar example (the ‘Fender Stratocaster‘ guitar):
Now the only thing missing of course, is the neck of the guitar.
Like before, all we need to do here is add a rectangle. We then select both objects (the base and the neck) and select union to unite the objects together:
Finally just to add some realism to the guitar, let’s finish of the neck and beat it into shape to make it look a little more realistic. There’s is nothing here that we haven’t covered; simply add another rectangle and shape the paths to suit our purpose:
And there we have it, the base guitar shape in 5 easy steps.
Building it out
Of course, you can customise this further to your heart’s content, like this:
The basic premise still stands when I design: I look to break up objects into smaller simpler components and use basic shapes where I can.
I look to always build from the ground up.
And for good measure, I created this design for the “Designing Repeat Patterns” from Skillshare:
And I am quite happy to endorse this course if you like designing repeating patterns – which you can print on clothing, bags, accessories, wallpaper, or practically anywhere you’d like!
Here’s the referral link.
And I am not associated to Kimi (Kimi Lewis the teacher) at all. I really just think her course is awesome.
And here’s the sketch file if you want to see how I’ve built it.
You can always download a free trial of Sketch to try it out, or buy it outright for $99 (a steal for what it can do). I personally use it a lot more than Illustrator or Photoshop purely for the simplicity and ease – but do try it out yourself if you get time.
About this post
Credit goes to Amy Hood for the colour palette in the final example above. The colour selection is a killer! Love your work Amy.
And of course, Hey Ho Let’s Go! is the catchcry taken from The Ramones “Blitzkrieg Bop“. I was listening to them one day in the gym when the idea hit.
Thank goodness for that.