How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus | FREE tutorial for complete beginners

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus… ( updated 2024 )

To those who have never drawn anything on a computer, it can feel overwhelming to know where to start.

Before investing my time and money in using a professional Wacom tablet, I first started out with a basic roller ball computer mouse and MS Paint. Yes, it was that long ago!

This method of drawing on a computer with a Wacom tablet predates how I learned how to draw commercially on a computer. Before attending design college and building a design career.

When drawing on a computer, the mouse is the first obvious tool to use. As you invest your energy and education into drawing on a computer, you will want to seek out better hardware and software to support your digital drawing journey.

The mouse should be your first step, but don’t stop there!

This post is a great introduction if you are considering using a tablet to draw on your computer.

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus - Title graphics - picture of purple vector Wacom tablet overlaid onto dark background

Drawing with a tablet | overview – why use one?

One of the best ways to draw on a computer is by using a Stylus & Graphics Tablet in conjunction with a powerful art creation program. Using a tablet will afford you a greater degree of artistic freedom and finesse once you have become accustomed to the nuances and sensations of using one. However, This is also assuming that you can draw to a certain degree in the first place.

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus- Blue ball raster graphics
How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet – blue vexel ball example

How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet – Quickfire answer

In terms of how to use a stylus and tablet ( or ‘drawing tablet’ ) from a technical standpoint, it is typically a case of plugging your tablet into your computer, downloading and installing the latest drivers and software, and then calibrating your drawing tablet.

Once this core set-up is completed, you can then set about installing drawing in programs such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.

The technical setup is not that complicated when comes to how to work with a drawing tablet.

How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet with regards to technique.

Treat the tablet as you would a sketchpad and pencil. Apply light strokes and heavy strokes, bold strokes, and small strokes. Get used to the pressure and sensitivity of your tablet. Learn to ‘feel’ the tablet ( cringe ). And give it time.

The video below is me drawing a blue ball using a Wacom Tablet and Photoshop.

*If you have applications installed on your computer.

This is a hyper-lapse of myself creating the blue ball above – ‘vexel’ a combination of Vexel and Pixel.

For more information on how to create digital artwork on the computer, read on!

“you will need to practice, practice and then more practice.”

Wacom tablet and stylus example
Tablet & Stylus – Wacom
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How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet | Managing expectations

Not wanting to lead any readers or budding designers astray, I feel one of the first things I should touch upon when learning how to draw on a computer with a drawing tablet such as a Wacom, is managing expectations.

Although knowing the technicalities of how to draw with a stylus and drawing a tablet on a computer sounds like a golden bullet. The technicalities are only the first part of the journey when it comes to drawing on a computer.

The real knack for making your own artwork comes with practice – not the tools. A piece of high-tech equipment won’t provide you with the soulless magic results like an AI generator.

That is not how it works if you want to create your ‘own’ artwork.

To get your digital artwork or design to the place you want it, you will need to practice, practice, and then more practice.

If however, you are of an arty-illustrator vein. Then ignore what I have said above. You may take to drawing or designing on a computer like a duck to water if you are already a proficient artist or illustrator! Let your flair flourish and shine!

Here are a few examples of what I have illustrated ( drawn ) on a computer with my Wacom Tablet. Followed by some simple steps.

What I have drawn ( illustrated) with a Wacom Tablet on a computer

Character illustrations I have created with my Wacom tablet
Characters illustrated for a board game.
Board artwork illustartion - How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet
Illustration of a stylus
Drawn a wacom - illustartion of stylues base / well

Step ‘0’ ) How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet – Be able to draw

As a pre-step, I can’t assume too much.

You will need to make sure you can draw to a certain degree with a pencil or pen before you can expect to draw on a computer with Wacom or a digital tablet. No matter what hardware you own.

If you want to create your own artwork away from AI art generators, you will need to be able to draw to some degree.

The technology and hardware, will not magic your hand and eye into creating what you want.

Even if you can only sketch, this will be a huge advantage when drawing with a stylus on a computer. This is a pre-step warning!

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Step 1 ) The required equipment to draw on a computer

To draw on a computer with a tablet … you will need to own the required equipment. Or borrow. This should be a given. I have used the following bits of equipment in the past ( aside from a mouse ):

  • Wacom Bamboo and pen – a more entry-level drawing tablet at the time ( now legacy)
  • Or a Wacom Intuos Pro & Pen ( medium ), this is what I’m using at the moment.
  • * Or a Cintiq ( I’m jealous )
  • A working keyboard
  • A computer that is compatible with a tablet
  • An operating system that is compatible with your drawing tablet
  • *Your computer will also need to be able to run both the drivers, the tablet, and the software
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Step 2 ) Understanding the type of digital art you want to create ( not genre )

When considering how to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet, you may wish to consider the type of artwork you want to create.

This can steer the type of software required to draw on your computer. I have attached an example here.

Vector Art and raster art example - How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet

style examples, Photoshop Vs Illustrator

You will notice the different styles above I have created using certain software with my drawing tablet. You can create certain types of finishes in varying programs.

Vector Illustration ( left blue ball )

Imagine drawing with cut-out shapes, knives, sprays and pieces and pieces. With the types of programs that allow you to draw and create vector artwork, you can create a range of slick illustrations.

With vector artwork, the appearance can appear clean and tidy. You can also scale the work up and down without loss of quality. Vector artwork lends itself well to commercial logos, large format graphics, icons, and UI’s.

Here is an example of some of my other vector artwork.

Token vector illustartions for board games - drawn in Adobe Illustrator

Bitmap based artwork – Raster ( right blue ball above )

You may notice the ball on the right has a more painterly feel ( refer to the illustration above). For this more textured appearance, I digitally painted this in Photoshop. Some may find this approach more akin to drawing or painting using traditional methods.

Bitmap format or digital painting in particular lends itself well to a more painterly, textured, or grainy appearance. If you have painted in acrylics for example, you may prefer this approach. But it doesn’t always lend itself so well to all circumstances in print.

Blue ball painted in Adobe Photoshop

Is creating digital art easy?

Yes and no, getting started with creating digital art can be very easy and low cost. Getting to a stage where you could call yourself a professional artist takes time and years of practice. The best way of getting started with creating digital art is by downloading graphics software and practicing to improve your digital drawing techniques.

I wish I could find my very first digital drawing, it was created on a Windows 3.2 in the era of the awesome floppy disk – you can read a bit about me here.

This is perhaps a topic I would like to dive into again in another post.

Digital art can be accessible with the right tools and equipment. Working with the Wacom Tablet for example can streamline the process further.

Step 3 ) What digital art software should ‘I’ use?

There are so many to pick from, but for the sake of just creating something you can call ‘digital art’, as a hobbyist begin with something you may already have, MS Paint In Windows.

Gimp Icon
Gimp Logo

There are other art programs out there that are also free such as Gimp and Krita. I have personally never used Krita but the results on the website show what it is capable of and it has also been given a recommendation from a reputable digital art magazine IFX. This magazine is dedicated to creating fantasy, digital, and traditional artwork.

Advanced digital artwork software ( what I use )

As both a designer and digital artist, I use 2 main programs to create my art and design work, these programs being: Abobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop.

Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator often gives a very clean-cut appearance that you may see in books, posters, lifestyle magazines etc – this is called ‘vector art’.

Adobe Photoshop

Adobe Photoshop is a versatile piece of software that behaves like a drawing and painting tool and offers an intuitive workflow.

It should be noted that these programs can both be tricky to master and you may be more drawn to one than the other. You can get a free trial or purchase a subscription to use the software by going to Adobe Creative Cloud.

If you are just starting out on your journey to becoming a digital artist or illustrator, I would test a free program first.

Use the images above as a reference if you are just starting out or if this is part of a hobby. For me, it works like so.

Simple differences in what type of artwork Photoshop or Adobe Illustrator creates.

  • Clean cut, modern vector artwork = Adobe Illustrator
  • Grainly, textures, and painterly = Adobe Photoshop

How to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet | Deciding on software

As a budding digital artist, designer, or illustrator you will want to consider how you want to draw with a Wacom Tablet. What sort of outcomes are you looking to achieve?

If you are unsure and just trying your hand at creating digital art on a computer, you may want to consider the selection like so.

Adobe Illustrator may suit you more if you want to become a designer or a clean-cut vector artist. The way a vector drawing behaves inside a program is quite different from a raster art program such as Photoshop.

Adobe Photoshop is great If you want to work as a traditionally styled illustrator, digital painter, game artist etc.

There are thousands of examples of digital artists on social media with websites and professional blogs.

Here are some examples here of my vector artwork.

This person here is a terrific vector artist and designer – Vicky Doodles

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Step 4 ) Grab Your stylus, and your Wacom Tablet and start drawing

Assuming that you have now decided on the type of artwork you want to experiment with, now is the time to start using the equipment.

To continue with an overview of how to draw on the computer with a stylus & tablet. Make sure you have plugged in and installed your tablet correctly.

If you have started with Adobe Illustrator as your application of choice. I would recommend starting the tool that is in tune with the Wacom Tablet, eg the brush or pencil. My first port of call would either be the Pencil or the Brush tool.

Start making small strokes with the stylus on your Wacom and see how the stroke behaves.

Or if you prefer, start working with some of the most basic shapes first and move these around your artboard as you would with a mouse.

Short overview of how to draw with a tablet in Adobe Illustrator

  • 1 ) Firstly you will want to start up Adobe Illustrator.
  • 2 ) Create a new document of your choosing. You can start with A4 for the sake of experimentation.
  • 3 ) Select the brush tool “B” and start making some marks and feel how the tablet responds to you and Adobe Illustrator. You can always undo it if you make a mess.
  • 4 ) If you prefer, you can also try to create an image with shapes first if you are familiar with working with vector graphics.

Illustrations – working in Adobe Illustrator and making marks.

Short overview of how to draw with a tablet in Adobe Illustrator - demonstration
(M) for rectangle tool in Adobe Illustrator

If you read on, I have also created some short exercises to play with – for free! Hopefully, these will get the juices and familiarity working when using your Wacom Tablet.

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus - method fro drawing in adobe illustrator

Short overview of how to draw with a tablet in Adobe Photoshop

If you have decided you would prefer to create artwork in Photoshop on your computer then this is the paragraph for you.

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus - using adobe photoshop for practice
  1. ) Goes without saying, but open up Adobe Photoshop – and create a new document.
  2. ) Select a brush tool and start painting/ drawing onto your blank document. Remember, this is only to get used to using your Wacom Tablet and Stylus. I used black.
  3. ) Press ‘F5’ to open your “brush settings”, select a tip you like and tick “transfer”.
  4. ) Now start painting and building a feel for your Wacom tablet. Another tip, play around with the opacity to help build your brush strokes on top of one another.

When learning how to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus, the snappy overview above will hopefully get you started. But, I have also created some exercises for you in the next step, to really give yourself some time when drawing with a Wacom Tablet.

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5 ) How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus | Exercises

To further develop and play with your Wacom tablet. I invite to to take part in these exercises I have created for you for free. The illustrations below should guide you on what you need to do when drawing on a computer with your Wacom.

Exercise for drawing in Adobe Illustrator with your Wacom & Stylus

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus - Exercises and practice, adobe illustrator
When practicing drawing with a Wacom Tablet, it may be easy to save and download the reference exercise above. If you want to use this for learning feel free to take it and save it to your computer. Although it cannot be used for commercial purposes. Feel free to credit and link back to this page – How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus

Exercise for drawing in Adobe Photoshop with your Wacom & Stylus

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus | exercise, drawing in photoshop

How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus | Concludes Steps

That concludes the step and general over of how to draw on the computer with a Wacom tablet & stylus. By all means, feel free to revisit the steps and stages above. Or if you feel this was a lot to remember, why not save this page as a favourite or bookmark. ( thanks )

But hey, I am not yet finished, I have also noted some key differences when drawing on a computer.

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Wacom & stylus vs drawing with a mouse

Very old computer mouse for drawing on a computer!
If you are actually drawing on a computer with these legendary relics… Kudos to you. Image Source – Wikpedia

If you are still wavering as to whether you want to draw with a Wacom. I have gone into a little bit of additional depth. A bonus section that is a supplement to the ‘how-to’.

A computer mouse in action

This example shows the end result of some digital artwork created using a mouse in Photoshop. It’s a bit trickier to use although it’s not bad for straight lines!

Drawing with a mouse! Visual example
Drawing with a mouse! (An Apple Smart Mouse)

I would advise moving on from a computer mouse at some stage if you are thinking of getting serious with drawing on a computer, be it for graphic design, illustration, or your own sanity.

If you are thinking of spending many hours drawing and creating digital artwork, using a different input will save on potential wrist aches.

The day I plugged in a Wacom graphics tablet, was the day I changed the way I created digital artwork on a computer. Using a drawing or graphics tablet can make the experience of creating artwork on a computer much more organic.

A Wacom & stylus in action

Below is an example of me sketching something in Photoshop using a stylus + tablet. It’s a quicker, smoother, and much more human way of creating a drawing.

Drawing with Stylus and Tablet example
Drawing with Stylus and Tablet. Handles, curves and waves, and is much easier to flow with

After using a Wacom Tablet for a few years now, I would struggle to return to drawing with a mouse. Outside the less control, the amount of RSI I used to get from drawing with a mouse, would be enough to put some off the profession.

Give a drawing tablet a try. I love them.

Summary | How to draw on the computer with a Wacom Tablet & Stylus

And that should conclude the basic overview in steps of how to draw on the computer with a Wacom tablet & stylus. As an overview, here is what we can do.

  1. Buy a stylus and drawing tablet of your choice.
  2. Install the hardware on your computer.
  3. Check the drivers are up to date – calibrate the software to your computer
  4. Download a graphics program such as Photoshop or one of free applications mentioned previously.
  5. Open the software.
  6. Start creating digital art!

Aside from the technicalities of the hardware, the real skill comes from lots of practice. Make sure to follow the short tutorial/exercises above to get you started with drawing your Wacom tablet.

Credits – All the best with your digital art journey and creating digital awesomeness on your computer

Thank you for reading, hopefully, this post has given you some insight into how to create digital artwork with a Wacom Tablet and an idea of tools you can use to draw on a computer.

If you would like any professional assistance please feel free to contact me on my website.

You may be also interested in reading this :
Handling black in print
Creating artwork for game
Reducing Banding in Photoshop
How to reduce banding on Photoshop
Editing text on your playing cards in Indesign

Case study | graphic design and making a game
Home » Design Tutorials

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign! This short tutorial shows you how to make some quick and easy edits to the text in your card artwork in Indesign. This post also covers some general text frame editing.

Editing your playing cards should not be difficult if you know how, and have the right tools.

It should be noted that this article focuses purely on the card editing stages, and not the whole card creation process.

This is a general help article to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign. You don’t need to be an Indesign guru or know your way around data merge to follow this.

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss

In addition to editing text frames in your cards, this post will also help if you cannot edit text in Indesign.

This tutorial is ideal for those that just want to jump and edit the text quickly and hit save. It’s short and sweet, quick and dirty – no fuss. Or however else you want to describe quick text edits for game cards. The same applies to editing text too.

Troubleshooting tips are at the end of this article if you are having difficulties selecting the text box for example.

Common Question | Ways of editing the card text in Adobe Indesign

It is quite common for me to hear “how do I edit text on the cards” after I have created the initial prototype for a client.

With the card artwork, it is often in my client’s interest to know how to edit the text themselves or assign somebody else to edit the text. This is especially true in the late stages of production or mass production for various reasons.

One being, I’m not a copywriter profession!

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How to edit text in Indesign on your card artwork – put simply

In order to edit the text easily, open the document in Indesign ( if you’ve not done so already). Select the card face you want to edit, ( use the pages panel ) and change the text. You will then need to save your work or export it if you are intending on sending the work to print.

That is the simplified and short answer to editing the game card text in Indesign.

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss

I cannot edit text in Indesign!

If you are finding that you cannot edit text in Indesign or you cannot edit the text on the cards. A few of the reasons could be either the text frame is locked, the layer is locked, or you need to override the master page template.

You can read more on editing your text frames in Indesign at the bottom of this post.

6 Steps to editing text in your card artwork In Adobe Indesign

1 ) Open up Indesign

Assuming that you already have Adobe Indesign installed, in order to edit the text you will need to have Adobe Indesign open.

If you don’t already have Adobe Indesign, you can download it. ( make sure to download from Adobe – DO NOT BUY OR DOWNLOAD from an unknown source )

Make sure that you have permission to install the software and that your computer has the technical requirements to run Adobe Indesign.

*Friendly Disclaimer | Adobe Indesign is not run or owned by myself. Indesign is part of the Adobe Creative Suite. I cannot take any responsibility for any loss or damage incurred should you download any 3rd party software or Adobe Indesign. Please take precautions!

Please check all the requirements from their official website before downloading. ( Adobe Creative Suite ) And make sure that you download the software from a safe source. Do not use any unauthorized 3rd party platforms when downloading InDesign. ( also based on past experience )

2 ) Open up the card artwork

You can either ‘Open’ the artwork from the ‘File’ drop-down menu in Indesign ( File, Open – Select artwork ) or you can open the artwork by ‘dragging and dropping’ the artwork onto the application icon from your desktop.

Or if you have your recent items window on view when you start up Indesign, open your document this way.

Tip – Don’t overwrite your original card artwork!

As a tip, I would strongly advise that you create 2 versions of your artwork and leave the original intact. If you edit the text, change something and save over the original artwork ( ruin it by accident ) you won’t have a way of back-stepping from this mistake.

Create another version! And avoid editing the original version. A piece of advice from past experience.

3 ) Navigating the card artwork for your game

Theoretically, you now have your card document open in Adobe Indesign. It will look something like this.

If you have used a template or a file such as the one shown in this article, then you should be able to scroll up and down through the cards. As you scroll up and down, you should see the back and front of your cards.

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss

Or, as an alternative way of finding the card you need, go to window > pages. If this tool panel is not already open.

How to open and close Window/pages panel ( Adobe )

4 ) Select the card you wish to edit

You can either scroll up and down to go through the cards, which is okay for smaller decks, but not as efficient if you have a larger deck. Or if you have your ‘pages’ window open, you can double-click on these to jump to the card you want to edit. This is a faster and more effective method of navigating through your cards.

( Handy tip! Did you know you can see which page you are on at in the bottom of InDesign interface when you are editing the card you want to edit? The illustration above has a close-up of ’19’ to show this. )

5 ) Find the text box ( interacting with an Indesign text frame )

Assuming that you have now selected the card you wish to edit. Go to the text box ( as shown below ) click on it, and edit your text!

Tools you should only need!

If something has gone awry, here are some simple steps to follow.

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss
  1. ) Make sure that you have the ‘selection tool’ active.
  2. ) Go to the box or area you wish to edit.
  3. ) Double-click the text box.
  4. ) Find the word or sentence you wish to edit.

If you are having trouble being able to edit the text or some of the text, this bit of troubleshooting may help. Cannot edit text in indesign – help!

6 ) After you have edited the text

Now that you know how to edit one text box and all has gone smoothly, you can edit any basic text box in these card files.

Once you are happy with your work and your edits just make sure to save your work. You can save your work by going to file ‘Save’ or ‘Save As’. Or by pressing CTRL+S ( Apple + S ).

7 Bonus Step ) Exporting your file for print

It should be noted that this process is a bit more nuanced and may require more experience and skill in saving your work correctly. It can be easy for somebody inexperienced ( or with experience! ) to run into difficulties when setting files up for print.

Remember, when doing this that you are shouldering the responsibility for all the print production for your cards. If you would like somebody to share the burden feel free to get in touch or read more here. Card game design.

  • ‘Export’ your file as a PDF’
  • Remember to Select all pages if you wish to save/export all pages for print.
  • Double-check that the images are above 300 DPI when exporting ( otherwise you will get a low-res file )
  • Check that it is in CMYK
  • Hit ‘Export’ and select a location

This is a simplified version of how to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign. The added end step also instructs how to save your work and export it for print.

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Troubleshooting Game Card Editing in Indesign – cannot edit text in indesign!

When looking at how to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign, sometimes it is not as straightforward. There can be issues such as locked layers, master pages being selected, or even limitations with hardware.

Here are some troubleshooting steps for editing the text on your cards.

How to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign – No fuss

Why can’t I select the text box? I can’t edit my text frame!

This could be down to a couple of reasons as to why you can’t edit the text box in your file. Here are some of the potentially straightforward and obscure reasons as to why you may not be able to edit your text :-

You don’t have enough ram/processing power on your computer

If your computer is struggling to run Indesign properly, an odd quirk that can show up is an inability to edit or select text boxes.

Possible solutions:

1 ) Turn off other programs such as Outlook, Your Web Browser, and other non-essential applications to see if this loosens up some grunt for Indesign. Remember to only close nonessential programs

2 ) Change the view to low-res draft mode. This can also make InDesign less taxing on your computer.

3 ) If you have tried all of the above. With a minimal amount of applications still running to allow more resources to go to indesign, close Indesign and re-open it to see if this does the trick.

The object is accidentally locked

There could be a couple of reasons as to why you can’t edit the text in your Indesign document. And, fortunately, the fix for this can be as simple as unlocking your text frame to get it working again.

Here are a couple of ways to check if you have a locked object. Unlocking text frame solutions in Indesign:

– The Object has been manually locked! This is a simple case of unlocking the object. To make sure the object isn’t locked go to > top menu > and check the drop-down for the Object – Unlock all on spread. Here is an image showing the menu option.

( Here is some more accurate information from Adobe on where to find this exactly – unlocking objects )

– Your text frame is on a locked layer. Alternatively, your text frame could be on a ‘Locked Layer’. On your ‘layers tab’ in the interface window, check to make sure the editable text layer ‘is not locked’. ( With a padlock on )

You want it ‘unlocked’ – you may also need to open the ‘layers’ window open.

– You are editing the wrong layer. If you cannot edit your text, it can be as easy as having the wrong layer selected. And, having the layer you want edit locked. Make sure you have your correct layer selected and that you are unlocking the correct layer!

You are trying to edit a master template

Another potential reason that you may not be able to edit the text is that you are trying edit from A, or the Master Page. A way to check is to:-

  • Select the card ( page )
  • Right click
  • And “Override Master Page Properties”

*Just remember not to override and edit the Actual Master template. This may otherwise change the text or design on ‘all of the cards’ or pages. ( remember what I said about keeping a backup? Always, keep a back up file!)

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Thank you for reading and editing the text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign

That is a share of my experience on how to both easily edit the text on any card artwork or card artwork template for your board game. And, how to edit the text in Indesign – when you cannot edit text in Indesign.

Hopefully, this post has saved some time, money, and headache. Feel free to share this post if you feel it is helpful.

If you would like help in designing a card game or creating some illustrations for your game please get in touch.

Freelance Card Design

Final bit of advice on how to edit text on your card artwork in Adobe Indesign

My final bit of advice on editing your text on your card artwork would be to hire a professional if you are doing this as a DIY thing for your business. Or at least find somebody that knows their way around Adobe Indesign, how to save it etc.

Although I appreciate that budgets can’t always make this a viable option it is still potentially the better option.

Getting somebody that is experienced can save headaches later on.

Other helpful design posts

External Websites Around Creating games

Freelance Design services for cards games – Copyright Jimmsdesign.co.uk

User Interface Design & Website Revamp | Community Centre

This is an example of a User Interface and website revamp project for a large community centre based in King’s Cross London.

My role in the project involved brainstorming ideas, drawing the new content and banners, considering the user experience and seeking ways in which to make the website design more user friendly, functional and useful for users of the Living Centre.

The brief

After a couple of conversations and a Zoom call with the team at the Living Centre, I was commissioned to design and revamp the website to ‘look less boring’, represent the institution and add some more practical functionality.

I took this a step further. Although digital design is a faucet of my skills like many designers of 2020’s. I wanted to add more than just a simple “yes man” approach to this project. With my commercial experience and creative direction skills. I didn’t want to just say ‘bam’ take their money and go. There is a website and leave. I wanted this website to work not only as part of the brand but as a website and tool for their business.

Without barraging my client saying ‘do this better, because I think so.’ I wanted to know what needed to work. What questions do customers ask – I wanted to do my homework.

Website Design Question Questions

Some of these questions would have been:-

HOW can I help?

  • WHY?
  • What do people tend to ask?
  • What are they looking for?
  • Who is the website for?

  • What did they want the website to do?
  • How do they earn money?

These were the starting blocks, and – it should be noted that these were not all of the questions and rounds of discussions.

The home page needed a lot of TLC

After communicating and carrying out research, I had both inspiration and the key criteria in order to create a new look and feel for the website.

I started exploring the ideas with the homepage first.

Website Design - Home page

The home page, as is the case with most websites, was one of the busiest pages in regards to content and information. The Living Centre’s page was loaded with information but in no particular order and without many calls to action either. I tried to turn the home page into a lobby with well-labelled doors and opportunities to funnel users into either making contact or leading to a making money lead enquiry.

I tried my best to capitalize on this page while trying to keep it to the client’s brief. Very accessible, on-brand, interesting, informative and structured. Some of these changes and updates would appear subtle to the outside reader. But many, even the smallest changes were generally very deliberate and considered.

When recreating this page, I tried to break it down into structured manageable and relevant chunks for the web user.

Website Design experiments

Design The Hire Page

This page actually was a follow-up project after I have revamped the core look of the website and rebuilt it with Divi. Their website and this page had a lot of untapped value.

Upon spotting the hire section needed some more content and juice, and I got to it.

Full length of page

This page covered both coming up with additional UI designs ( although the guides were now already set due to the first project ) and creating more content too.

Website Design mock up
Website Design mock ups

Some examples of this are illustrating a top-down view of a floorplan for all the rooms to hire, prices, 3D drawings / oblique drawings of the areas, bolder use of area photography amount other various things.

I tried to make this page a silent ‘Hire Space!’ salesman for the Living Centre.

Illustrations
The illustration I created was used on the website

Experimentation & Design

The brief from Living Centre was nothing quite like what I have worked on before. Creating websites and UI’s, I have worked on plenty of these. Creating plan drawings and landing pages. I have worked on these too. But having all these combined into one single project was an interesting challenge.

Below are some samples of the design, such as the banners and some f the early works in progress.

Website Design bits

Website Design | Putting the website together

The website was already made using WordPress and Divi. After working on the design stage for the project I was also commissioned put it all together based on my visuals.

Being an existing licence holder of Divi it was not too much of a stretch for me to build these new pages and add the content I had illustrated and designed. I worked in a non-destructive way for the home page. Behind the scenes, I created a ‘master template’ which I switched with the existing home page when it was ready to go!

Testimonial From the Living Centre

“We worked with Jimm to redesign our website. The brief was simple to bring our website, which was static, had little character and was boring  alive, fun and informative. We were not disappointed with the outcome.

From start to finish, my interaction with Jimm was professional, stress-free and I had complete trust in his ability to deliver. Jimm took the time to listen to what I wanted but also brought his own ideas, experience and creativity so that the end design was more rounded. He understood that I needed to see things in a visual context and have some flexibility to ‘play’ around with a few ideas. The challenge was we had to do all this via zoom but Jimm made it very easy; being patient when I had technical difficulties making the whole process enjoyable, stress-free and highly personal. “


– The Living Centre

Other Website & Graphic Design based posts

External Links & Services

Freelance Website Design
Creative Direction
Vector Illustrations
Content & Blog Design

Website design by jimmsdesign

How much does it cost to ‘design’ a board game? ( Non manufacture )

This post has been put together to offer guidance on how much it will cost to mockup/prototype / “graphic design” a board or card game.

Answering “how much does it cost to design a board game” is a very broad question that I will endeavour to break down and answer in smaller bite-sized steps.

There are many factors that can influence the ‘design’ ( graphic design look and feel ) stage of the game.

How much does it cost to 'design' a board game?

It should be noted that the combined cost of prototyping and designing a game is not a small undertaking.

Jump to case examples

“It depends on what is required to bring your board game to life! That will be what determines the budget.”

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How much will it cost to have your board game ‘designed’? ( Graphic design )

It is difficult to answer without knowing the scope and size of a project.

For the services that I can offer, and it should be noted prices and tariffs are worked out on a case-by-case basis. This is a rough example of pricing.

– Projects scales can range between £5200 – £1200 spread out over the course of 4 or 5 months. This is a rough number and total budgets can influence the size and how a project is broken down.

If when you refer to ‘how much does it cost to design a board game?’ you are also referring to making and manufacture, this can push the budget well into to around the £10,000 mark. If not more.

It should be noted that I don’t manufacture games. But I do work with prototype makers.

Typically speaking if you are looking for a graphic designer to work on a large board game from scratch – depending on the designer skills, knowledge, and services you may be looking around the £5000+.

But this all depends on what is to be done. Written below are circumstances that will influence the cost of designing a board game.

Boardgame design prices

It should also be noted that these numbers are not formal quotations. They are a rough price guide on what to expect when undertaking to design a board game prototype.

You can read more about my board game design services for further information.

Factors that will influence the cost

The pricing mentioned above that a game ‘may’ cost £5200 to design is a simplification of what it is that affects the cost and ultimately the outcome of creating a board game prototype.

Factors that will influence the cost of the game:-

  • Has the look and the feel for the game already been established?
  • Is this a design from scratch?
  • Have you already created a very rough paper mock-up?
  • Has the content already been written?
  • Are there many different cards and desks?
  • Is there a rule book? Or is it just a sheet?
  • Does your board game come with a board and box or is a small card box?
  • Do you have a logo?
  • Are there characters in the board game?
  • Does the game require some interesting typography?
  • Will the game require illustrations or cover artwork?

Using some of the questions above may now give you an idea of how games can become costly to design by professional designers & artists.

Some cover illustrators alone can charge £1000’s for their services and that’s before using the graphic designer to put all the artwork together and create the visual look and feel of cards and boxes.

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Developing the look and feel for your game

One of the main areas that I personally cover is the early design and concept design for the game’s look and feel. The concept and Creative Direction to be precise. This important and early stage if you have aspirations of making a retail-ready game.

This stage can require less attention if you making a game for private use. This design and development stage can occupy 70% of the project. And when you spread this across numerous components, cards, pages of a rule book it quickly becomes evident where the budget can be spent.

Vector character design for your game

A board game design project can encompass multiple disciplines into one. And character design and vector illustration are just one of those disciplines. Character design alone is a field in itself, that requires planning, research, and drawing to make the best characters possible for your board game.

My services cover both the early sketch and concept art to fully copyrighted and licensed game-ready character artwork!

You can read more on my character vector illustration services for more details.

Is it a card game or a board game?

Creating the visual look and feel for a card game vs creating a top and bottom box board game can have a large influence on design cost. More often than not, designing 2 or 3 decks of cards can be a smaller budget project than say designing a full board game with cards, rule books, leaflets, tokens, etc.

*It should be noted, if you have 1000’s or cards with 10 different faces, that may expand the “board game budget”. That’s a lot of cards!

Card size illustration scale

Rulesheet vs Rulebook | How this can quietly affect the board game budget

I have come to find that a ‘rulesheet’ for a board game can often evolve into becoming a booklet.

And, designing a single A5 page compared to designing a small booklet for a board game requires more time, more focus, more work, and… typically – more editing and tweaking.

Why does this stage often expand to what was initially discussed?

When in the very early stages of the game project, a client may have written a rough set of rules to play from. This set of rules are often a basic first draft and is often ‘just enough to work with.

As they playtest their game, read and re-read their draft and have it proofread professionally, they find more space and time is required for the rules.

The rules are improved basically. ( Written rules often require the most editing throughout a project. )

It then becomes necessary to fit all of the text into a booklet, as a single a5 sheet of paper isn’t enough anymore to fit all of the text on.

In other words, the rules expand into something else because it has been given more time and attention.

Last minute changes – this can affect the cost to design your board game

The more content – specifically information and components is laid out from the outset, the easier it is to gauge a budget time for a project. If all of the information stays the same throughout the whole project, the more likely the budget will stay closer to the original estimate.

But, I will let you in on a little secret, information, components, and game plans rarely stay the same. More so for larger projects.

As a board project evolves and improvements move from the original seed of an idea. The more budget and resource and time is given to a project. Some board game projects aren’t small!

Rail Game Example
Example of a past project

How much do designers and artists charge for a board game?

Each artist, and designer is different. And ‘ design a board game’ eg create all the visuals for a game is a very broad area. It really does depend on some factors such as how many images or pieces of artwork there is to create.

As a very rough idea on how much do designers or artists charge to create the visuals for a board game. These can be influencing factors.

  • Who will retain the copyright
  • Experience, knowledge and skill of designer or artist
  • How big – in terms of time, the project is
  • And generally how much content is there to create
  • Their geography
  • The designers or artist studio overheads ( expenses )

Written example typical project sizes ( budgets )

More often than not, when I see a board game assignment come through, they are of a larger scale. And larger scale projects require larger budgets for time.

This is not to say that I won’t work on a smaller game. It is often the case that I am involved in the game as a whole, but I am happy to work in varying capacities on a project.

Working on a board game with clients from concept to prototype is an exciting prospect that I love to dive into. I have more information on my Creative Direction and board game services than I have mentioned previously.

*It should be noted, that if you are a start-up thinking of embarking on creating a full board game with lots of components and cards – It is not a small project undertake. Especially if this is a game you have aspirations to take to the retail market.

Below is a rough table of how a project and budget ‘might’ work but each project is treated case by case scenario. If you would like to get a more accurate estimate, please get in touch.

**I am not a manufacturer, I am not able to itemise a lot of the design and journey into a checklist. Creating a retail-worthy game is rarely that straightforward – sorry!

How much does it cost to ‘design’ a board game? Potential cases

My personal commercial experience and skills are covered in the paragraphs written below. It essentially outlines some of my own skills when working on a board game project for a client to create a board game prototype or a core look and feel for the early game.

Initial Concept

Creating the core concept look and feel for a board game or card game. This is one of my main areas of focus. This covers the early ideas and the Creative Direction. Once some of the initial concepts have been established, this will move the project to the next step!

Adding a touch of character design to your board game

Using a trusty pencil and paper and Adobe Illustrator I can draw characters for your game. This is another service that is covered ‘under board game’ design. You can read more on vector illustration services to see how I may be able to help.

Creating the artwork for the box

Creating the box, which would technically come under ‘packaging’ often becomes the main part of a project. Especially if you want to sell your game!

Creating visuals for the inner literature

For example cards, rules, tokens, 2D miniatures. These can be a subject in themselves that require a lot of time and attention. Or if there is not too much inside the game box, not much at all!

Here are some examples of casess / scenerios that may give you more of the idea of project size and scope that will influence the cost and outcome.

Example of budgets and scope. This is not an itemised list but it will hopefully I’ve an idea of some past cases for budgets for a board game and projects.

Budget case table for design project (1) ( Small card game )

As an example. A card game as such with the items listed above would be a smaller budget than say a board game with a large box.
Case 1Project BriefBudget / SizeOther Information
Design a few characters4 or 6 charactersPotentially smaller budgetCovers earlier sketches and vectors
Put together box artwork +Look and feel already put together by anotherMedium budget to create a retail ready ‘prototype’ boxSome content already supplied, design a nice box for the game
Create the look and feel for the gameCreate the whole look and feel for the gameLargest part of project an important step in part of the design journeyImportant also if you want a uniformly designed and styled game
Create an illustrationCreate vector cover artDepending on illustration complexity* – medium to large part of budgetAn eye catching illustration for the box cover or cover design
Create a single leaflet for the rules1 a5 page of textOften smaller end f budget and time requiredMight be a simple plain page with some text
A written example of potential project format

The table above should give you an idea of how some of the time may be allocated on a smaller card game project. But this can be varied. It all depends on the complexity of the game and what is really involved in bring all these individuals elements together!

Below is another case table for board game budgets. Both of these tables are hypothetical but are based on past experience.

Budget case table for design project (2) ( Medium-sized board game )

Something of the scale would be more expensive to create.
Case 2Project BriefBudget / SizeOther Information
Design 10 characters10 + characters
plus lots of ideas
Potentially larger budgetCovers earlier sketches and vectors
Put together box artwork +Establish a look and feel for the box – from scratchMedium budget to create a retail ready ‘prototype’ boxA board game vs a card game will be more expensive
Create the look and feel for the gameCreate the whole look and feel for the gameLargest part of project but an important step in part of the design journeyImportant also if you want a uniformly designed and styled game
Create 3 or 4 illustrationsCreate multiple vector illustrationsDepending on illustration complexity* 3 or 4 = much larger time allocationCreating illustrations can take a while to complete
Create an 8 page booklet1x 8 page bookletMore content is needed for 8 faces for a rule book. Nice cover graphic, diagrams, more text / editing / tweaking
A written example of potential project format

Hopefully, this second case scenario gives you an example and difference between the two levels of budget and my involvement. Typically, the more I need to create – the larger the budget and along with polishing and editing all of the design and illustration content.

Case 1 is a smaller budget because it is a smaller project that requires less. Case 2 is a bigger project that requires more.

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The creative the journey | the ‘real thing’ that is billed

* It should be noted, that the items in the board game are not strictly the reason for the budget being smaller or larger. But, that being said, the more elements there are to your game. Eg cards that need artwork, box covers, etc the more likely it is that the budget will be more expensive.

It’s a longer road!

I myself cannot, and do not charge for the items themselves. For my design services, I charge for the journey and the money is the fuel to get the project where it needs to be. The items, just help to offer markers and waypoints for the project.

It depends on what is required to bring your board game to life! That will be what determines the budget.

Read more about my design services – link takes you design services page.

How much does it cost to ‘design’ a board game?

The conclusive answer of how much does it cost to design a board game, is sadly – it depends. It depends on the size of the project and what is really involved in creating the board and how much there is to design,

Many board game design projects can sit around the £4000 – £5000 mark but each budget is unique to each game brief.

Keep in mind that if you need a designer and illustrator for a game that you will also need to factor in manufacturing and potentially marketing your game.

* This s not an official estimate, for an official estimate please get in touch. Rates can also change!

How much does it cost to make a board game for Kickstarter?

Considering all of the above to design to create a photo-ready prototype you may be looking at the following figure.

( Game design budget ) + Prototype Manufacture £100 – £300 + Plus shipping ad set up (£40 ) approximately.

This should give you a photo-ready prototype for a Kickstarter campaign.

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Other helpful posts around How much does it cost to ‘design’ a board game?

Design Services ( Main website )

Helpful Information board Game Information website

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How much does it cost to ‘design’ a board game for personal use?

If you are thinking of creating a board game for personal use, the more of the game you can create yourself, the lower the budget you will need to design the game. This method won’t strictly make it a retail-ready game by going down the do-it-yourself route, but you never know!

Some people want to create a board game just to figure it out and get into the industry and for that, I commend you. You may find this article helpful – how to draw on a computer starter steps.

To answer how much does it cost to design a board game for personal use, or for yourself. It depends on how far you wish to take it.

If you want to get pen and paper and create a white paper box. This can be perfect for a prototype and playtest model. Or you can try to learn some digital drawing skills.

Or you may also be interested in reading some of the information on creating a fan game first before jumping in with both feet.

Retail Kiosk Example | Real-life examples & Ideas for a retail kiosk

This post has been created to showcase a retail kiosk example that was used in Bluewater shopping centre.

Designing or building a retail kiosk can be a challenge.

I have written a helpful post on “how to design a retail kiosk in steps“. This post is to show a visual close up of what was involved in creating a kiosk in one of the larger shopping centres in the South East of England.

And, to show you some other examples of what a kiosk is.

A good question to ask yourself? What is a retail kiosk or kiosk store, and what are they for is answered directly below.

What is a kiosk?

A kiosk, or a retail kiosk, is a freestanding booth, installation, or cabin that is typically positioned in areas of high footfall.

You will often find retail kiosks positioned in:-

  • Shopping centres
  • Malls
  • Near areas of busy public transport such as train and bus stations
  • Tourist attractions
  • Festivals
  • Sports events

A kiosk (or retail kiosk) is a low-cost way of establishing a market presence and selling products to customers.

Retail kiosks are often used to sell consumer goods such as; food, beverages, accessories, merchandise, and help shoppers and tourists.

From a design and build perspective, kiosks are (typically) easier to build and remove opposed to shops.

Kiosks can be manned by one or two people.

A kiosk can be anything from a portable shack or shed – to a fiberglass cabin. Or something more bespoke and novelty, depending on budget and requirements.

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Retail Kiosk Examples

There many examples of retail kiosks out there including the one I co-designed here in this post (further down).

Below is a written list of kiosk examples you may find.

  • Icecream booths are often seen at beaches and seaside areas.
  • Burger shacks are kiosks you can see in a variety of places (market places).
  • Information kiosks are often self-service units used to help to find your way around.
  • Health and beauty kiosks are often seen in the main walkways of shopping malls.
  • Tourist information kiosks will either be a self-service or typically have an assistant operating from within. You will often find these near entrances and lobby areas.
  • Electronics, Smartphone accessory kiosks tend to operate in medium-sized malls. These booths will often sell cases and offer repairs.
  • General consumer goods kiosk. There is often a range of kiosks that will sell anything from belt-buckles to cookies.

Example drawings of kiosks (ideas)

Below is a range of kiosk examples and ideas to give you some guidance and inspiration.

retail kiosk example idea

Booth Kiosk or prefabricated type!

retail kiosk example horseshoe

An interesting shape for good access and visibility of products.

interactive kiosk idea / sketch

Robot Kiosk!

Bread bin kiosk idea

A gigantic bread bin as an example of eccentric kiosk design.

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Photographic Examples Of Kiosks

A mood board of kiosk photographs to show you what a kiosk can be. And, potentially give some ideas with the literal examples!

retail kiosk example (examples photographic)
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What is a kiosk store?

What is a kiosk store? A kiosk store is a kiosk or booth that concentrates on selling to consumers in a retail environment.

If you want to sell products from a booth or freestanding shack, these would be considered as “kiosk stores”. Also known as kiosk shops or derivatives of.

A kiosk store can be mass-made and modular by design, or it can bespoke. It all depends on what is required for space and how you want to create your kiosk. Budget, brand, and products will also affect your kiosk store.

The difference between a “kiosk” and a “kiosk store” is its intent. The kiosk store will aim to sell a product.

Is a retail kiosk profitable?

Whether a kiosk is profitable comes down to the kiosk design, the products, and where the kiosk is positioned? It can also depend on the mall.

Smaller shopping centres such as the ones found at services tend to have lower of footfall. This is due to the fact they have shops aimed toward for convenience instead of dedicated retail shopping.

Large shopping centres such as the ones in Westfields in London are likely to have a much larger footfall. It is to check whether an area for your kiosk will be profitable.

Yes, a retail kiosk can be profitable. You must sell products customers want to buy. You should also look for ways to reduce your overheads and spending to make a profit from your Kiosk.

From a design perspective, using premade or prefabricated elements for the kiosk or booth will lower the cost and potentially increase profit margins.

Bricks and mortar stores and the ailing high-street

I would like to be truthful here and mention that retail, in recent years has had a rough time economically. A kiosk instead of a shop can be a great way of testing a product. If the booth and product is a success. You can then consider creating shop installation – if your kiosk is profitable.

I believe some businesses are harder to emulate online, such as services, things you can smell and taste for example.

And having human interaction!

You can read more on how to design kiosk in steps.

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Project Bluewater Kiosk | A retail kiosk example

Designing a kiosk takes planning and thought. You will need to consider the floor space, how to store products. What will go where? Positioning…

“This theme offered a lot for creative freedom with cogs, gears, machines etc – it was easy to turn these into functioning assets.”

The design below used all of the methodologies mentioned throughout this post.

Example of a kiosk in Bluewater

The kiosk was designed to be eye-catching and fun! We wanted to pull the users in from the main walkways and look at the products.

retail kiosk example illustration visualization and mock up.

The illustration was used as an early look and feel for the kiosk. An idea for design intent. “proof of concept”. the proof of concept would have been shown to the landlords for early approval.

retail kiosk example copyright Satzuma
retail kiosk example
thanks team!
retail kiosk example
Product close up
Creating kiosk textures in Photoshop

Branded wooden fascias.

kiosk signage
Shelf for kiosk design | retail kiosk example

The idea of the Kiosk design

The kiosk design above was built upon a previous design that was as themed in the branding and marketing – The Gadget Factory.

The Gadget Factory was a brand story and backdrop that that was created to frame and style certain product ranges.

This theme offered a lot for creative freedom with cogs, gears, machines etc – it was easy to turn these into functioning assets. Neither was It was a stretch to transfer the concept to the kiosk.

These installations turned a few heads at shows. So, we wondered if this would translate to a kiosk?

We tweaked the design a little bit from a factory as this was a theme we’d used for a couple of years.

What would have been attached to the factory?

Warehouse and cargo.

So we really suped-up the whole import-export idea to the next level. I used the brand styling onto the boxes and theme.

You can look the gadget factory story / project in detail here

Example of the form and function of the Kiosk

The form and function of the kiosk was an important step for the kiosk design process. When designing some of the rough plans in with the look and feel, I considered how it would actually work and sell the products.

For example, how would a customer interact? How would the product be stored overnight? Where it was placed.

And generally, how would the kiosk be built!

We needed an idea, even if the main building wasn’t left to me (us).

These were all important steps in the Kiosk design. And hence, this is why the cargo wooden boxes tied in. They were modular, easy to stack, looked intentional. And could be painted easily.

And blended with the theme!

If you would like help with your kiosk design, you can read more on my services here | Kiosk design and visualization.

Conclusive Answer – what is a kiosk? Retail kiosk example

A kiosk is a freestanding booth, cabin or shack that is temporarily built, positioned, or installed. Kiosks are often found in walkways of shopping malls and retail centres. You will often find a kiosk in national parks, markets, and tourist spots too.

A retail kiosk is a great way of promoting a brand or selling a product without having to spend a fortune. You can also source ready-made kiosks which are often made from fibre glass.

retail kiosk example

Where to get retail kiosk example ideas?

The kiosk displayed above is an example of a retail outlet I co-designed. You can refer to the illustration for ideas kiosk examples. Another good place to find examples of kiosks is Pinterest.

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What is a “kiosk store?” ( In Detail )

Still confused as to what a kiosk store actually is? It’s not a shop or not quite a stall.

What is a kiosk store? A Kiosk is a booth, cabin or shack or outlet in which you can serve or help customers.

A kiosk store is a pop-up or temporary stand in which you can sell products or merchandise. Kiosks are not permanent fixtures although they can be integrated with the environment.

The merits of the kiosk store are that you can sell a range of products and merchandise. You can test the market before committing to a permanent shop or longer lease.

You may get a kiosk that has a lease for 3 months 6 months or a year. It comes down to how much pay the landlord for a lease on your store.

Being flexible and not fixed to a long term contract is another potential advantage to a kiosk store or shop.

Getting started on creating a pop-up kiosk store

Below is a shortlist of helpful tips to get you started on your first pop kiosk store! These are especially helpful if you are new to creating your own kiosk and are in the early stages of starting up your brand.

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Thank you for taking the time to look at the retail kiosk example

The retail kiosk example that I worked on, was created by myself and my past colleagues. My main role in kiosk creation was the design stage.

This particular kiosk design came after a few years of designing stands and installations. Many of these designs were used at international tradeshows for gifting and electronics.

My primary roles in this kiosk design were:

  • Conceptualisation and visualization in Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator
  • Ideas generation
  • Drawing – in Photoshop – the look and feel for the kiosk
  • Model making for some of the displays
  • Designing signage
  • Designing marketing collateral to promote products at the kiosk
  • Liaising with retail and kiosk manufacturers.

I hope that this post has helped to answer what a retail kiosk is. What an example of a kiosk is ( Bluewater project ). And a couple of sketchy ideas for kiosk and booth designs.

Helpful tips for kiosk design, ideas, and creating a product

Posts for budding designers
Board game project – take a look!
Freelance Commercial Services (external website)

Jimmsdesign – retail kiosk example (examples) and kiosk ideas! “what is a retail kiosk!”