Designing with Adobe Illustrator

In our meetings, our group decided that we’d split the animating workload evenly with each of us doing approximately 15 seconds each. I asked to do the introductory 15 seconds. To do this I had only Laura’s character which she had made in preparation. We would all need the model to insure our work would be uniform.

Emily Frontback of Emily

Here is the model of Emily that Laura designed in Illustrator through consultation with the group. We each had a copy of the project to use when we animated independently. We aimed for a sensible character with a large expressive face and features that would suggest her to be a young teenager. She needed to be taken seriously but be young and represent the most vulnerable users of the internet in society. Old enough to be active online, but young and naive of the risks.

shitty desk space
#1 Bedroom 

Here was a quick mock up of the room Emily would be occupying. It’s quite obvious that I’m less than stellar at using Adobe Illustrator but it was useful to have everyone on the same page about the rough design.

With Laura’s help we adjusted and refined the design and improved the colour scheme.

desk space
#2 Bedroom 

This was a far neater and more sorted model using the bones of the original. The colour scheme is far cleaner and makes Emily the center of attention with her bright red heavily contrasted against the blue/green surroundings.

Emily at Desk
Emily at the desk

It took far longer than I’d like to admit to seat Emily at the desk. The layer system is the same as Adobe Photoshop. However the controls are vastly different and more complex. We also had issues of page dimensions. As you can see the original sat within the green box. I had to change the canvas size and widen the background to compensate for this.


Here is my first frame in its completed form. The minimal movement was a symptom of my lack of ability with Adobe After Effects. This will be less obvious as I progress through the project. I wasn’t able to hear audio in the After Effects preview, so, thinking on my feet, I downloading VideoPad Video Editor and inserted my rendered footage to add the audio. I will attempt to recreate it in my own time at a later date. I have had several big ideas that were too late coming to be used and I’d love to try to animate them.


The emojis were tricky to design, but I felt they were really important. They are copies of the official Facebook angry face emojis which was very intentional. Facebook has spent huge resources on developing a brand which makes them and their designs immediately recognisable to most. In particular, millennials. In using this method, huge amounts of the work of conveying a message visually has been done for me.


Author: David Rothwell

I am a Graphic Communication student at Cardiff Metropolitan School of Art and Design If you like any of my work, have feedback (good or bad) or would like to get in touch, please do

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