Design Matters: Ideas that Jump Off the Page
by George R. Walker
The kite leapt into the wind and I frantically uncoiled string that burned and chafed my hands and fingers. The thin wooden crossbeams bent almost to the breaking point again and again as the wind buffeted the kite, until finally it soared to a height where the breezes were perfect. Up in that zone of sweet steady air, just a twitch on the line made the kite dance and dive. I lost track of time until finally the light failed – and with it one perfect day from my boyhood.
Design can be a lot like flying a kite. All sorts of things can make it go haywire: too much wind; not enough wind; broken string; trees and power lines. Yet when you slip into that creative zone, it can be one of the most satisfying parts of the craft.
There are no magic formulas or equations that can make your ideas fly, but there are some techniques that can help. Among them is to learn to render your designs in an isometric drawing.
The isometric drawing is unique because it helps your eye visualize an idea in space. While not a true perspective image that connects lines back to a distant focal point, it still helps to form a valuable image to push your design forward to completion. The beauty of an isometric view is that it also keeps proportions intact from earlier two-dimensional front or side view drawings, and helps you cross an important bridge where you can judge whether the design is unified.