Elisabeth Irgens

Experimenting for NodeSchool

It took me 9 years, but it seems I have rediscovered some of the techniques I used and loved as a graphic design student. Tracing, photocopying, taking snapshots, making a mess.

When I went to graphic design school, most of our assignments wouldn’t let us use a computer. All of our sketches had to be handed in on paper that had not been printed – and I absolutely hated being forced to work with my hands like that.

I wanted to learn graphics software! That was the reason I wanted to study graphic design. I couldn’t draw, I didn’t want to draw, so I cheated. I would make everything digital first, print it out and then trace it to get my “handmade” results. The final work we handed in at school could mostly be created any way we wanted. Some of my favourite projects were the result of pictures I completely messed up, so they didn’t look like photos anymore. I could play around in Photoshop with stuff like that for hours and hours.

Sketches for the layout

I was asked to design something for the NodeSchool Norway Tour. The awesome brief I got was to “make it look like a poster for some band. Punk, rock, metal, something.” With no idea where I was heading, I spent a day in the office just experimenting. Trying different things to see if anything interesting came out of it.

Tracing the logo. Drawing a flag that did not get treated with much respect. Tracing lyrics and terminal commands. I looked up node in a dictionary and photocopied the page. Played around with a Dymo label maker. I found a old magazine lying around from a paper manufacturer and ripped it apart.

A mess on my desk NodeSchool logo and Norwegian flag lyrics Sketches for NodeSchool terminal commands


I should remember my old tricks and put them to use more often, because I had sooo much fun working on this.