Ostrich Plane

Digital Design (Week 11)

7 years

This is an ongoing post for Digital Design, week 11. I will post my progress throughout the week with the required activities.

Weekly Tasks

  1. Work on Project 1 (Paper plane 2 and 3)
  2. Work on Project 2 (Splash page 2 and 3)

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it’s already week 11 and only two weeks of the class left (plus exam week). I have a busy few weeks ahead, in finishing both project 1 and project 2. I’m sure I can and will do it! ūüė¨

Project 1: Paper Plane 2 (Ostrich)

In week 8, I shared the work I had completed on the ostrich paper plane. I worked on collecting sketches, inspiration, looking at colour and recreating the design in Illustrator. I also noticed a number of problems that needed to be resolved.

Problems on the Ostrich Paper Plane. I was also unhappy with the colour choices I had made for the A3 layout.

Refinement (A4)

To ensure that all edges were placed correctly I checked the anchor points on the clipping masks. By zooming in I could see that a number of them had either extra points or had not been joining perfectly. I adjusted these and the result can be seen below.


Refinement (A3)

Next, I moved into the A3 sheet. Which includes the plane design as well as information and folding instructions. I decided to move the colours used to more use of yellow because I believe that it worked much better than the pink. I still included pink in subheadings.

Ooops! I have found a mistake on the front of the A3!

Much better!

Test Print

Ostrich Plane Ostrich Plane Ostrich Plane Ostrich Plane


I am now quite happy with how the design of this plane works. There are certainly some improvements that need to be made on my folding, to make sure I have the finished design as smooth and crisp as possible. As well as making sure the final print is in high quality.

Project 1: Paper Plane 3 (Kiwi)

My third plane in the flightless birds series features a kiwi bird. For this plane, I would like to use a lot of green colours, to add a mix to the blue and yellow and to the association of kiwi fruit.

Mindmapping, Ideas & Sketches

I made the two sketches below in week four when I was first considering the flightless bird theme. I wanted to quickly recreate the body and main shapes. In the second I used a template to plan a number of different placement ideas.

Rough Kiwi Sketches Kiwi Plane Prototypes

Starting this week I began with a simple mind map, with the kiwi bird in the centre. I looked at some general ideas and associations which helped to spark a number of ideas for the environmental aspect of the design. You can see my exploration of my ideas there in the second sketch below. Using mountains and trees, with a running stream. I also sketched the kiwi bird again and also explored leaves that could be used as an additional pattern on the flat front of the folded plane.

Kiwi Plane Kiwi Plane

I decided that I wanted to experiment with a number of placement ideas and used small folded planes to be able to quickly scribble a few ideas without having to use a lot of paper (I have almost filled up my bank pad!). This was actually a really good way to plan some ideas and run with the earlier idea I had of the mountains and stream.

Kiwi Plane Kiwi Plane Kiwi Plane Kiwi Plane Kiwi Plane

Kiwi Plane 

After creating the small version I decided to recreate that design in a larger A4 folded piece of paper. At the time it seemed like a good idea to colour it in… now I can see that it wasn’t the greatest idea, because of the colours bleeding through, it’s hard to define each aspect. ūüôĄ¬†Also, I don’t have a great range of markers at the moment, so the pallet used does not accurately represent those used in the completed design.¬†I guess it was a good test to see how it looked filled in…

Kiwi Plane  Kiwi Plane Kiwi Plane

Kiwi Plane Kiwi Plane

I recreated the prototype, this time just using black 0.4 and 0.6 fineliner.

Kiwi PlaneKiwi Plane Kiwi Plane Kiwi Plane

Visual Inspiration


Digital Recreation

Step 1: Placing Scan in Illustrator

I began by placing my scanned prototype into an A4 illustrator document (I did use one I had created for the previous plane, which included guides for reference).

Step 2: Using guides to create mask areas

After I placing the scan on the Illustrator document I used a guide I had previously created to keep the dimensions the same across all three planes. Using these guides I created the shapes that would later be transformed into clipping masks, to contain certain elements.

Step 3: Folded Back of Plane Design

In my previous two planes, I worked with creating and arranging design elements into each clipping masks. This was a challenge to try and keep everything symmetrical. Especially when I had a number of continuing elements. I decided this time that I needed to approach this in a much more logical way.

I began by creating the scene that I wanted to have on the back of the plane. After that, I turned the design on its side and duplicated it.


I used basic shapes and line transform tools to create the wavy effect. I created two custom patterns (for tree leaves and tree root bark) and applied these as layers over the tree (in clipping masks).

Next, I returned to the shapes I had created with the guide and used the shapes that were part of the back design to form into the folded position.

There were a few slight inconsistencies with alignment that were later resolved by making sure I used the original guide clipping mask.

I then moved the design I had created earlier under each section and made a clipping mask. I had to duplicate the design several times and create a clipping mask for each part.


I then rotated the shapes into their original positions for the folded flat design. Using the front and back page elements.

To ensure that I had the alignment of everything working correctly, I duplicated the group of layers and changed the settings to no fill and outline. I printed a copy of this and folded a test copy to fold.

I was actually quite happy with the way that all of the objects and items aligned. It was actually the best fitting design of the three planes. It was also the most detailed with many trees intersecting at join points.

Step 4: Centre of plane design

I created the centre design the same as I had done with the previous back of the plane. This time I did not create a test print because the centre does not intersect the same way as the folded back elements.

I used the same trees from the before and made them smaller and larger as the view changes. I created the river to look like that in the sketch. I think that it could have some improvement to make the curves more symmetrical and fit in with the rest of the design. I also created the mountains, giving a change in colour and clouds. In the water, I also added some lines to give the feeling of a flowing stream. I did not add the grass (in the sketch) because I felt like the trees were enough.

So far we have the following design.

Step 5: Kiwi Wings

I am not sure why I decided to leave the kiwi birds until the final stage. I guess I was a little hesitant about how they would look in the way I had them planned in the sketched prototype.

I began by placing the folded front scan and rotating the sketch of a kiwi bird.

I then used circles and lines to create the kiwi.

After this, I placed the kiwi in a clipping mask in the wing area. I duplicated the first and placed it on the opposite side.

Design so far:

Next, I created the leaf to be included on the wings around the kiwi birds. I viewed the sketch to make sure I could capture my design as closely as possible. I used lines, blending, zigzags and warp tools.

I made a number of different patterns with varying sizes and position and applied this as the duplicated background.

I still wasn’t happy with the way the pattern was placed in the design. I also felt the kiwi birds were kind of bland compared to the previous two planes.

I recreated the folded front of the plane to preview how the kiwis looked.

I made rearranged the placement of the kiwis and adjusted the scale.


Because I am changing the design of the front of the plane, I need to revise my prototype to make sure that I have an accurate example to follow.

Here we have the updated scan.

The design now looks like this:

Step 6: Background

The ‘background’ refers to the space that is not visible in the folded design. In the two other places, I have used elements within the design to create a subtle pattern. For this background, I would like to use the texture within the trees.

Step 7: Colours

Now that I have the general design I am happy with, I will look at the colours and decide on a suitable pallet to choose. Because the design is going to be used for print, I made sure I looked at the CMYK colour pallet.

The design now looks like this:

I noticed that there was a problem on the back page.

One side was not aligning to the edge of the artboard/page.

Updated design now looks like this:

Step 8: Test Print

To ensure that the colours are working on the design and review all the elements I created another test print.

Step 9: Folding Instructions

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