A Review of Differences and Similarities in the Drawing Practices of Graphic and Textile Designers

Pamela Schenk

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

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In 2010, the opportunity to work closely with textile designers and educators led to a significant addition to the author’s long-term research programme conducted since the mid-1980s into the role of drawing for design. This program was initially concentrated on graphic design but, in the later phases of the research additional design disciplines were incorporated into the study. In a targeted piece of research that included the use of an especially designed e-questionnaire, interviews and focussed discussion and critique of working drawings with textile designers, educators and students, the role of drawing in textile design was investigated in sufficient depth to facilitate comparative analysis with the findings for graphic design previously established. The new work was initially presented at the IASDR11 Conference and the full paper was published in the proceedings. Textile designers described a greater dependency on drawing than graphic designers, with the visual awareness needed to draw from observation and the visual literacy needed to copy and interpret archive material being deemed essential. While, for both professions, many similarities were indicated in the use of drawing in the design process, textile designers also need the drawing ability to create both decorative qualities and detailed technical specifications for production, and a greater reliance on traditional and paper-based drawing methods was identified. Different attitudes towards the relative merits of copying through drawing verses the digital repurposing of archival material are expressed by designers of both kinds. Uses and types of drawing are identified that had not been previously investigated and the similarities and differences of the two disciplines, particularly with the regard to the significance of drawing to designers, were highlighted. While many graphic designers still draw for certain aspects of the design process, textile designers continue to rely on drawing for much of their work.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of IASDR2011, 4th World Conference on Design Research
Subtitle of host publicationOctober 31 - November 4, 2011. TUDelft, 2011.
EditorsNorbert Roozenburg, Lin-Lin Chen, Pieter Jan Stappers
Number of pages1
Publication statusPublished - 3 Nov 2011
EventInternational Association of Societies of Design Research - Leyden , Netherlands
Duration: 16 Nov 201119 Nov 2011


ConferenceInternational Association of Societies of Design Research
Abbreviated titleIASDR11


  • Drawing
  • Graphic Design
  • Textile Design


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