Graphic Design / Interactive Design / Fine & Applied Arts / Parkland College

Graphic Design Exercises
Illustrator: Mechanical Lines (Cars)


To explore historical styles. To learn Adobe Illustrator line drawing techniques.


Raymond Loewy is a visionary American industrial designer who designed some of the most stylish products manufactured in the 1930s, 40s and 50s. Often associated with the streamlined designs of the art deco era, Loewy created several "evolution charts" that tried to predict how certain products might look in the future.

In this exercise, we will take one of Loewy's charts and continue his evolutionary story into the future.


prepping for the exercise

  1. download starter files
  2. open "1957-chevy-belair.psd"; examine layers
  3. hide "car" layer; save; close
  4. launch Illustrator
  5. file > new "" (11x8.5 inches)
  6. file > place "LoewyCars.jpg"
  7. practice Adobe's navigation keyboard shortcuts (space; space+cmd; space+cmd+opt)
  8. new layer "type"
  9. draw horizontal rules (at least 3)
  10. add type: "1957", "2012", "2032", etc.
  11. window > character: Adobe Garamond Pro
  12. window > open type: figure=proportional oldstyle
  13. save

drawing the first car

  1. file > new "1957" (11x8.5 inches)
  2. file > place "1957-chevy-belair.psd" (as template)
  3. draw car with pen tool (stroke=1pt)
  4. copy and paste art into ""; scale/position

finishing the exercise

  1. download a reference photo for a 2012 car
  2. using tracing paper, draw over the car
  3. scan traced drawing and place into Illustrator
  4. re-draw the car with the pen tool
  5. design a futuristic car for 2032 and repeat the above
  6. print a b&w proof for critique
  7. revise the design based on feedback
  8. print a b&w proof for grading
  9. optional (extra credit): draw cars for additional years (i.e. 1965, 1975, 1985, etc)


  1. submit b&w proofs with your name on it for grading
  2. file graded proof in your Process Book for individual review
  3. publish a JPEG linked from your Process Page (no wider than 800px)

Last updated: 3/1/17 ■ Webmaster: Paul Young