How many kinds of fashion illustrations?

sample_brushesFrom my mail, Luciana writes:

I’m a fashion student from Argentina. For my final project I want to pick fashion illustration and the various forms of representation used in the fashion industry (fashion figures, technical flats, diagrams, instructions, etc.) And for you being a professional in the industry, and having experience working with different types clients, I wanted to ask you for any advice or reference material you think would be useful for my thesis.

Considering the increasing complexity in this industry, I thought this would be a good subject to pursue, akin to the 13 kinds of samples post I wrote previously. I have a lot of books and sources so I could probably write this well enough on my own but it would be more useful to hear from practitioners who do the various kinds of sketch development regularly -since I only do it under duress.

It would be helpful if you could:

  • Name the illustration type
  • List its utility, why it’s needed
  • When it’s needed (if at all, it could be optional)
  • A resource for it (book, website etc)
  • and last but not least, a link to a sample illustration.

Somewhat related, I found a link to a new add-on for Illustrator called 101 Illustrator stitch brushes. That link will take you to the shopping section to purchase it ($47) but I think this link is much better in terms of showing the level of detail of each brush (samples shown top right). Yeah I know a lot of you say it’s easy to make your own brushes but some of us struggle quite a bit. I first thought $47 was a little pricey but on second thought, it would save those of us who are Illustrator challenged, a lot of time. I haven’t purchased it yet so I can’t say either way, caveat lector.


  1. Theresa says:

    I can finish the rest of the homework later but here’s a basic list of the types of illustrations that I create for various customers. Some are added to PLM systems and/or manuals for reference and some are created for every new style. When it’s needed depends on the type of company and how complicated their product is (and even then it’s typically more about frequency and less about necessity).

    Fashion Figure
    Fashion Flat
    Technical Flat
    Technical Detail Drawings
    Stitch Types
    Seam Types
    Construction Details
    Point of Measure Diagrams
    Main Label, Care Label, and Hang Tag Placement
    Folding Instructions
    Packing MethodReport

  2. Russell says:

    I use a product from a company called My Practical Skills. They are a division of Designers Nexus. Here is their website:

    I have created thousands of sketches using their product and it is so easy. They have everything you need to do flat technical sketches.

    They also have tutorial programs that are very good.

    Hope this helps.Report

  3. Kathleen says:

    Russell: I see they have a competing product to the one I mentioned in my entry, theirs has 600+ brushes at almost half the cost. The downside is that stitch brushes is their weak point. Not many of the stitch brushes are typical of what you’d need for a tech pack. A lot of embroidery type patterns but very few that illustrate technical seam class specifications. There also aren’t any zippers… I will hold off and hope they add more. I do like their gathers tho, those are great.Report

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