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close this book Tools for teaching - A visual aids workshop, and instruction manual for health educators
close this folder Session 1. Introduction to the visual aids workshop
close this folder Handout 1.4.1 - Principles of communication design (Supplementary learning materials)
View the document Design considerations
View the document Some notes on drawing
View the document Technical tips
View the document Lettering guide

Technical tips


The advantage to working up your drawing on a piece of tracing or brown paper before transferring it to poster board is that it is easy to correct a mistake without having to redo the whole drawing.

1) Use your exacto knife to cut out the error. Be sure to place a piece of cardboard under the paper so that you won't cut the table.

2) Patch the hole from the back with another small piece of paper just slightly larger than the piece you removed.



You can easily change the size of a picture and make it either bigger or smaller.

1) Trace the image you want to enlarge or reduce.

2) Construct a grid of even squares over the traced picture.

3) Draw the same number of squares, only larger (or smaller) on another piece of tracing paper.

4) Copy the drawing carefully, square by square.

Enlarging an image



Once you have worked up your design/drawing on a piece of tracing or brown paper, it is a simple matter to transfer the image to a piece of poster board.

1) Turn the drawing over.

2) Using the side of the pencil point, rub lead all over the back of the picture.

3) Tape the picture, right side up, in position on the poster board.

4) With a sharp pointed pencil, carefully go over all the lines in the drawing. The graphite on the back of the picture works like carbon paper to reproduce the image on the poster board beneath.

5) Remove the picture pattern and ink the graphite lines that appear on the poster board.



Circles are almost impossible to draw freehand. If you don't have a compass, you can make one from a piece of stiff cardboard. Not only is it more reliable than the pencil-on-a-string method, but the "poor man's compass" is also reuseable.

1) Cut a strip of cardboard about 1" (3 cm.) wide and several inches long.

2) Make a pinhole in one end of the cardboard strip.

3) Use an exacto knife to cut small notches along one side of the cardboard strip. The distance from the pinhole to each notch is the radius of the circle which may be drawn using that notch.

4) Pin the cardboard strip in position to the paper on which you wish to draw a circle. Set the point of the pen or pencil into the appropriate notch and swing the strip around the pin.

5) The "poor man's compass" may also be used to cut a circle. Place the point of an exacto knife into the appropriate notch and swing the cardboard strip around the pin. Be sure to put another piece of cardboard under the paper or board that you are cutting. Do not cut the table underneath.

Drawing a circle



Ruling 10 equal columns in a space 10" wide is easy. Each column is exactly 1" wide. But how can you rule 10 equal columns when the available space is only 9" wide without getting involved in higher mathematics? There is an easy way.

1) Place the ruler at an angle over the available space.

• Position 0" on the left side of the available space.

• Tip the ruler until the 10" mark lines up with the right side.

2) Make a small pencil dot at each 1" mark.

3) Use a T-square and triangle to rule the vertical lines for the columns at each pencil mark.

4) To make horizontal columns, use the top and bottom of the available space as points of reference for positioning the ruler.

Constructing columns