Assignment 3: Sketchpad

Design Brief

Congratulations! Your generative logo design was so impressesive your client has come back to you with a new project. Now they would like to explore the potential for giving even more control to their customers by providing them with an interactive "sketchpad" that will allow customers to easily design complex and attractive designs. The printing firm has decided that they would most like see an interactive sketchpad for designing apparel (e.g., t-shirts, hoodies, shoes) but they have recently expanded into printing on skateboards as well as iPhone and iPad cases.

Processing.js makes it relatively simple to produce interactive applications to engage visitors to a web site in creative experiences. Your task for this assignment is to explore the potential for producing an interactive "sketchpad" that will allow users to easily create aesthetically pleasing images by applying generative drawing techniques. You should choose one or two of the following product categories and design a sketchpad with a particular style that is appropriate to specific users:

  • Men's T-shirts and Hoodies
  • Women's T-shirts and Hoodies
  • Kid's T-shirts and Hoodies
  • Skateboards
  • iPhone and iPad Cases

Develop a sketch that allows visitors to a web site to produce complex and visually appealing designs using a "sketchpad". The sketch should de designed with a specific product category and a particular type of user in mind. The sketch should provide a number of tools for users to experiment with. The design and implementation of the sketch should satisfy the following requirements:

Design Constraints

  1. the sketchpad should be no larger than 1920x1080
  2. the sketchpad should provide a number of different sketching tools to allow a customer to experiment with


The following may provide inspiration for this assignment but you should not limit your research to them:

On-Demand Printing Companies

Here are some examples of on-demand printing companies of the type that is the client for this design brief. You should explore these companies to find out what types of things you might want to implement in your sketchpad and what audiences you want to address:

  1. Zazzle is one of the biggest on-demand printing firms and offers a wide range of products that can be customised, lots of exmaples of prints on to apparel (of varying quality)

  2. Artsprojekt is a project by Zazzle that engages street artists to design clothing and other items, the designs are of high quality may provide some interesting inspiration

  3. Redbubble was started in Melbourne and has built a reputation as a more design-focussed brand than some of the other on-demand printers, well worth checking out

  4. Spreadshirt also has a reputation for slightly higher design quality in the shirts being offered because of the helpful community that it has built around its printing services

  5. Threadless works a little differently from the other on-demand printers here because it allows designers to upload designs that require more sophisticated printing processes than other companies can handle and then asks potential buyers to vote on which designs they would want to buy, only if enough potential orders are placed are the garments printed and placed on sale

Sketching Tools

Sketchpads have a long history in computer science (see the last link in this section) and there have been many interesting experiments with the ideas in this design brief. You should definitely start by exploring some of these links:

  • Harmony - Mr Doob's sketchpad provides some great examples of tools that you might want to try to build in Peep

  • Muro by DeviantArt - An online sketchpad with a wide range of painting tools.

  • Alchemy is an experimental sketching platform intended to be added to over time with new tools and people explore the potential for new ways of drawing with computers

  • MotionPhone - Scott Snibbe's animation drawing tool

  • Auto-Illustrator is an artwork by Adrian Ward that was created to raise questions about the creative control that users have when they use sophisticated software like those from Adobe, see also some of the videos of Auto-Illustrator available on-line to get a good sense of how it works

  • Sketchpad - The original Sketchpad by Ivan Sutherland, one of the pioneers of computer graphics and user interfaces being presented by Alan Kay one of the pioneers of computer programming

People (The Usual Suspects)


Assessment Standards

This Assignment is worth 50% of your mark in this subject.

You will be assessed on your ability to use the technical material cover so far in class, to produce an engaging design tool. Design tools that explore a interesting theme (whether computational or otherwise) will be judged highly. Submissions that clearly target a specific need in terms of product design or customer requirements will also be judged highly. PASS will be given to students who can show that they are able to produce an application with multiple drawing tools and satisfies the design requirements above. HIGH DISTINCTION will only be given to students who can demonstrate that they can produce an appropriate, interesting and engaging set of design tools.


The assignment submission will consist of a portfolio post or .ZIP file that includes:

  1. A sketch that shows the final version of the your sketchpad
  2. A description of your sketch, explaining the design concept together with references to inspirational material and any sketches that you developed during development - in particular you should make clear which product categories your sketchpad is designed for and what types of customers you think your tool will appeal to.

Submission of the assignment will be via Blackboard.


Please reffer to the UoS for your class. You can find this in the 'Outline' Tab.


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