Tag Archives: illustration

Underwriter Laboratories and the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition

The world renowned Underwriter Laboratories (UL) of product safety testing and standards fame, contracted Randal Birkey to create an illustration out of an old historical print depicting a scene from the Chicago Fire. It was to be reproduced in a company publication having to do with fire safety.

In this unusual project, Randal Birkey was provided a faded copy of a historic illustration that was unusable for reproduction. He was asked to enhance it and turn it into a new and reproducible illustration. The image depicts a fire fighting team at the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition in Chicago.

Randal scanned a copy of the original damaged print, then used Fractal Painter software on a Macintosh computer with a Wacom tablet, to “retouch” adding color, texture and contrast to the image.

Underwriter Laboratories Chicago Fire Scene

Deep Tunnel Project Entrance Rendering

Randal Birkey was contracted by an architect to prepare a rendering of a proposed entrance structure design near a Chicago “Deep Tunnel Project” location. Randal went on site and took reference photos. He then inserted the architect’s entrance design–based upon scale design drawings–into the scene and rendered it in a line and watercolor style.

Deep Tunnel Project Entrance Design

Deep Tunnel Project Entrance Design

Nuclear Reactor Cutaway Illustration

Randal Birkey was contracted by Boston Edison, a Massachusetts utility company, to complete a series of technical illustrations for a public relations brochure. This image is a nuclear reactor core, with the sides shown cutaway to reveal the rods inside.

The illustration was done using Fractal Painter software on a Macintosh computer, and a Wacom tablet.

Nuclear Reactor Cutaway

Nuclear Reactor Cutaway

Da Vinci's "Vitruvian Man" Adapted Illustration

“Vitruvian man, a figure study by Leonardo da Vinci (c. 1509) illustrating the proportional canon laid down by the Classical Roman architect Vitruvius; in the Academy of Fine Arts, Venice.” — Encyclopaedia Britannica

This is Randal Birkey’s simplified and adapted illustrated version of Leonardo Da Vinci’s “Vitruvian Man” for use on a potential logo design and health related website interface.

Vitruvian Man

Mita Copier Technical Product Illustration

Chicago is a very commercial, product-driven town when it comes to advertising and design work. Randal did this product illustration in Adobe Illustrator for an ad featuring a Mita copier. This technical line art style lends itself well to newspaper and magazine advertising reproduction, popular in the 1980’s.

Mita Copier

Mita Copier

John Franke House Illustration – Ft. Wayne, Indiana

John Franke House - Ft. Wayne, IN

John Franke House - Ft. Wayne, IN

Francis Barry Byrne designed this home in the Prairie School style of architectural design for John B. Franke of Ft. Wayne, Indiana. Randal did this line illustration of the home based upon a visit to the site in the early 1980’s.

Conceptual Globe Line Illustration Series

A business parable was written by a client of Randal Birkey’s in the 1980’s. Randal sketched a series of globes in various circumstances to visually illustrate the story. The story and illustrations were used in a brochure promoting the client’s design firm and their capabilities in helping their customers with change.

Conceptual Globe Illustrations