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Illustrated Barcodes with Steve Simpson

18th June 2021 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

steve simpson illustrated barcodes

Illustrated Barcodes with Steve Simpson

An introduction to creating illustrated barcodes using Adobe illustrator by Designer/Illustrator, Steve Simpson. Steve will show his work and give a talk about the rules and technicalities governing the readability of barcodes. Once you understand what is and isn’t possible, you will be given a task to create your own illustrated barcode inspired by one of Steve’s artworks. In a step by step process Steve will guide you through initial thumbnails sketches to final vector artwork. The class finishes will a show & tell and feedback from Steve.

The Course

Brief introduction/overview of teacher’s work as a designer and illustrator

Overview – the use of illustrated barcodes

Rules for creating illustrated barcodes

Fundamentals of a barcode    * How do barcode readers work

Rules and tips

Explaining the 2 types of illustrated barcode


Students will have been emailed 3 of the Artist’s packaging designs, they will pick one of the designs and this will be the inspiration for creating 2 illustrated barcodes

* Students pick the packaging design they will use as inspiration

* Students will spend 5 mins creating thumbnail pencil sketches of ideas for their barcodes

* Show and tell – Students select their best idea and present it to class – 3 mins each

Personal feedback from the teacher

Based on feedback, students create more detailed pencil sketches of 2 options

Feedback from Teacher



Students will have received a barcode .ai file and will use Adobe Illustrator to create their Illustrated barcode version

  • Using their sketches and the supplied designs, students will adapted the vector barcode artwork to complete their designs
  • The teacher will show a time-lapse video showing the creation of an illustrated barcode

Final Show & Tell –

Biography: Steve Simpson is an illustrative designer whose distinctive, award winning style has caught the attention of internationally recognised clients, such as Disney Pixar, Jameson, Adobe, The Wall Street Journal, Kellogg’s, and Modelo. Renowned for his hand lettered packaging design, whimsical characters, illustrated barcodes and children’s toy personalities, Steve’s characteristically playful inspiration has its roots in the Arts and Crafts movement of the nineteenth century, 1950’s advertising and folk art. Embracing the traditions of illustration and graphic design, his work has been appeared on everything from a one inch postage stamp to a 200ft screen in Times Square, Steve’s unique style continues to arouse intrigue and curiosity worldwide.

Since 2008 Steve has won over 50 awards for both packaging design and illustration, including Gold awards from the Association of Illustrators, The Illustration Guild of Ireland, the Institute of Designers in Ireland, and the Institute of Creative Advertising and Design. As well as a former awards judge for Adobe, 3×3 and the Hong Kong Society of Illustrators, Steve is a founding member of the Illustrators Guild of Ireland and OFFSKETCH, a day-long sketching event and sketch scrawl in Ireland.

A well-travelled artist, Steve has been a main stage speaker at OFFSET, OFFF, and ICON, and has delivered a series of talks and workshops at schools of design worldwide. In 2018, Steve was invited to sit as Artist-in-Residence at the National Gallery of Ireland.

Originally from Manchester, UK, Steve last lived in Ireland for 0ver 30 years


In order for us to continue to bring you subsidised content we will require you to fill out a profile sheet during booking – full completion of this sheet guarantees you a place on the training. Please complete a separate booking for each individual attending the training.

Please note our training courses are only available for people residing in the Republic of Ireland.

Please note that by booking this course you accept your name and email address will be forwarded to the training provider.



18th June 2021
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm


Online Training


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