Nedbank recently commissioned Resoborg to design and illustrate a poster for their “Savvy” bank account product. I wanted to show you the process of how I work from beginning to end so that you can see how an idea is formed from a rough sketch to completion. There is usually a few rounds of discussion over email or telephone before the final is complete and sometimes the illustration can evolve when its done digitally.

The first step is reading through the brief and its important at this stage to not skim over or miss any important requirements before lifting a pencil or wacom pen. This project however was a dream project and I was told to create my own interpretation of Nedbank’s term “make your savvy life happen” for students. If you live in South Africa there is a good chance you have seen this successful (see video below) Nedbank TVC about Eugene and his savvy life.

I presented two ideas that I thought could work. For me as a student I always thought about travelling so I had the idea of referencing origami and a student with a backpack throwing a plane into the sky. This sketch was a metaphor for building or making your dream happen and the relationship with Nedbanks service to making it happen. At this stage I’d like to say that this is when things can get tricky as an open brief sometimes leaves too much for interpretation as a creative. More restrictions bring more freedom for me.

The second idea demanded a bit more research as the client wanted a more “hipster” feel to the character. Sorry hip who? (Hipster is not a word I can relate to ha ha). I looked at fashion trends and worked on a more subtle approach to the brief. The idea of icons is something that appealed to me as everyone is using their mobiles today – especially the younger generation. So the idea of creating these “objects of desire” that a student would wish for is what emerged in the sketch in a mobile graphic style. A more subtle approach of a student walking through life with these icons as the backdrop felt like a good solution.


Success! Client approved the second idea and it was good to go. I don’t usually start vectoring unless I have sign off from client and its at this stage that the client must agree that they happy with the idea. I don’t change the sketch that much when on computer and I don’t allow for completely new sketches once this sketch is approved. Its important to negotiate how you work with a client as you could end up with dozens of reverts in the digital creation stage. I make sure that the client is aware of this and that they have to be happy with the direction of the rough sketch before going to vector.

I always work with the sketch underneath my illustration on its own layer at about 10% opacity. This allows me to turn it on and off while I work. I use a wacom tablet to create the outlines and usually work with a limited colour palette. I also have created my own set of wacom brushes that speeds up the process when creating the character.


At the final stage I worked with the Nedbank colour scheme as you can see on the left but after feedback I was allowed to submit a more vibrant option that you can see on the right.

Wesley van Eeden