I just finished a fun illustration project for Play It Fit, a pilates company based in Northern California. The client wanted flashcards of different routines for elementary school students. The client first sent me a PowerPoint with a sketch of text and drawing ideas. When working with a designer it’s nice to give the designer quick sketches to layout ideas. It doesn’t have to be fancy.


I got a scrappy old notebook and sketched some characters I wanted to use for the pilates routines. The sketches can be really rough and I don’t sketch in a sketchbook or any one place. I usually just sketch on scraps of paper lying around.

After sketching, I took pictures of my sketches on my phone and imported them into Illustrator. I use the sketches as the basis for my vector illustrations. I always like to start with hand drawn sketches instead of starting directly on the computer–especially since I was trying to get the human form somewhat believable.

I then started to manipulate the vector illustrations, but I found that I really could not skip the sketching step. So I put on my gym shorts and t-shirt and started sketching myself doing the pilates poses. Here are some of my quick sketches.

After listening to tons of WTF podcasts and illustrating away in Illustrator, I had all my little cards in a row. Next, I planned my layout for the page for the cards. The cards were being printed 2-sided and to make it easier for the client to print on an inkjet printer or at FedEx I set up the cards so that there is a .25 inch margin around the paper. I recommend setting up margins if you cannot print full bleed. I printed a sample on my inkjet printer and realized that I had to switch the order of the cards so they matched up when printed. This may seem obvious, but it’s always good to print things before sending files to a client. Here are the final cards.