About the Show

How to Draw a Startup is a podcast miniseries that explores why illustration blossomed in the tech industry, how illustrated brands are crafted, and where illustrators fit in creative teams.

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Step 1: Get in the door

A decade ago, the tech landscape looked a lot different. For our inaugural episode, we explore how one young startup's decision to put illustration at the heart of its brand and user experience changed everything.

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Step 2: Trust the process

Illustration isn’t child’s play, witchcraft, or snake oil. It’s the product of practical, proven processes. And alliteration. In episode two, we discover how illustrated styles leap from ideation to visualization.

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Step 3: Design, seal, deliver

There’s a big difference between a “style” and a “system.” One is fragile, the other is flexible. One is pretty, the other is proven. This week, we examine the end of the Putnam Process. How do you ensure the successful launch and legacy of an illustrated brand?

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Step 4: Humanize, don’t ostracize

When humanizing technology means illustrating humans (or even human-like characters), opportunities and risks abound. A tone-deaf approach could irritate, or worse, offend. This week, we learn how to represent people with an eye towards representation.

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Step 5: Stand out

Is the boom of illustration in tech all quantity, no variety? This week: the roots and risks of visual monoculture. Why do trends catch on and how do we rise above them to create truly unique voices?

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Step 6: Sweat the small stuff

Do you remember when you first discovered design? The balance of form and function? This week, hear how four young creatives—and the tech industry—came to embrace design and illustration.

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Step 7: Stay nimble

Change is nature, it’s inevitable. When it comes your way, do you resist or adapt? In our final chapter, we explore technology’s effects on illustration, art education, and creative careers.

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Meet the Guests

How to Draw a Startup features interviews with over a dozen illustrators, designers, creative directors, educators, and more.