Welcome to the latest in our regular series of interviews with artists and designers from some of the UK's leading VFX, animation, advertising and branding companies – who've been using the Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Touch tablet display on a long-term trial.
All the participants are using the Cintiq devices on their professional projects – and telling us about their experiences.
This week we’re at the London base of SomeOne, the award-winning London based design practice that strategically launches, relaunches and protects brands worldwide.
According to executive creative director and founding partner of SomeOne, Simon Manchipp, brands these days are looking for a ‘hand-made feel’, one that relies less on computer-generated design.
“We’re taking away all the clinical aspects that Beziers do so well,” explains Simon.
And what is better to create that than a hands-on interactive device like the Wacom Cintiq 27QHD Touch tablet?
Simon obviously agrees. “SomeOne has been using the Cintiq on live projects to better connect with those audiences,” he says. “On a project that’s almost heraldic, the work has been all done by hand using perfectly refined lines. It’s been truly amazing for that.”
Designer Lucy Hutchinson has been at SomeOne for two years.
A graduate of the Graphic and Communications Design course at Leeds University, Lucy has been working a lot with charity Cancer Research UK.
She recently developed a sub-brand identity for Kids and Teens which uses a graphic language of doodles.
It’s an appeal to the youthful side of the company and will be used on social media and to promote more fundraising.
"The Cintiq has been absolutely amazing in the development of this brand identity,” enthuses Lucy. “You can use it like a sketchbook. It’s really free to get your ideas down and quickly visualise things. It’s super easy and speeds up the process."
Lucy is a particular fan of the responsiveness of the Cintiq pen.
This ultra-fine precision device offers 2048 levels of pressure sensitivity, tilt recognition and a comfortable ergonomic design.
A selection of interchangeable nibs provides a range of different feels and possibilities.
“You can program the pen to respond to the pressure of your hand, so is just like using a normal pen on a sketchbook,” explains Lucy. “It keeps the stroke live, so rather than having to sketch and scan and vectorise, then being stuck with that shape, you have a lot more flexibility."
"You can also change the stroke weights afterwards," she adds. "It’s been really useful."
Lucy was mainly working within Illustrator on the Cintiq, which supports all the applications that a designer will be used to.
It provides a deeper experience in fact, as when using the Cintiq 27QHD creative pen and touch display you can touch to pan, zoom, rotate and activate on-screen controls for a smoother and more instinctive workflow.
“I could just sketch away, developing the ideas for the doodles,” recalls Lucy. “But then I had the flexibility to change to different brushes. Altering the different stroke weights afterwards was really useful too.
“It meant we could create a suite of doodles, all aligned and all cohesive.”
Designer Max Longstaff was recruited five years ago for SomeOne, after meeting Simon Manchip at NewBlood, the D&AD showcase for new creative talent.
Max had studied graphic design at the arts institute in Bournemouth, and has been busy putting his skills to good use on lots of sports and travel brands.
Most recently Max worked on design work for Sovereign, a luxury travel company.
“There’s been a lot of illustrative stuff recently,” says Max. “Which instead of having to sketch, we’ve been able to get straight to working on using the Cintiq.”
“We’ve just been able to sketch ideas and go with it, instead of having to sketch then trace,” says Max.
Like Lucy, Max appreciates the professional grade creative pen and a highly responsive glass screen that’s finished to provide the friction of a natural pen-on-paper feel.
“Getting that illustrative style through instantly with the Cintiq has been quite a nice, natural fluid way of working,” he says. “Also with Cancer Research UK, it’s been helpful in refinement.”
With 4X more resolution than HDTV and a widescreen 16:9 display, the Cintiq 27QHD offers Max and his team true-to-life colour on a high-resolution display, affording them unparalleled clarity and colour sensitivity in creative areas like image editing.
“So working with a Photoshop visual, I’m able to go right into it and work with the image, adding highlights and details,” he explains.
“It’s intuitive; working how I used to work with a brush or a pencil has been really nice experience, and one I’ve never really had before.”
The greatest experimentation has been reserved for Illustrator. “The pressure sensitivity and natural fluidity of the Cintiq and pen has lent itself really nicely to creating the kind of stuff we want to create, says Max.
"Once you’ve got your brushes set up properly, then you’re away and using it quite instinctively."
The Cintiq 27QHD also impresses Max with its ergonomics.
Although a considerable size, the 27QHD is supported by sturdy integrated legs that can be folded or extended for optimal positioning.
The Cintiq Ergo stand, an optional extra, provides multiple possibilities designed to give designers like Max the natural feel of working freestyle and comfortably on an easel or drafting table.
“We’ve always used Wacom tablets in the studio, but there has been a restriction in size,” admits Max. “Suddenly we’ve got this in front of us and it’s great."
"We’ve got the full arm movement, we’ve got the full range of use. We’ve found ourselves moving it around, completely freely, as if you have a piece of paper in front of you.”