Climb On | Vector Paths

Climbing Sticker Set

My objective of this project was to create a unified sticker set of rock climbing illustrations. I wanted to have some what of an “earthy” and outdoor feel so I went with a blue and green color scheme. This helped me unify my three stickers as a set.

Sketching is always an important part of the design process. When I started this project, I actually started thinking I was going to do a camping theme. You can see from my sketches that it was after I had began brainstorming my ideas that I started drawing different rock climbing gear.


Once I had a pretty good idea of what I wanted to create in Illustrator I started building my shapes in Adobe Illustrator. The shoe wasn’t too difficult to get the basics shapes, but I had a really difficult time with the rope. Because it is a knot, if I adjust any shape, it needed to be adjusted to line up with all of the other shapes that are part of the same rope. The rope of my draft may look pretty simple but it actually took a really long time.

My carabiner idea actually started with just using one carabiner as a letter in a word such as “rock” or “dare”. After I made one, I really liked it and wanted to add another one. This is when I chose to make it into two words and do “rock on.”


After receiving some helpful critique, I learned that the white space in between my ropes wasn’t helping my design and I needed to go back and “tighten” the rope up. Once again, this was a long process, because it requires changing everything. I also decided to abandon my word idea completely and just stick with using my two carabiners as a quick draw.

Something that really needed improvement as far as the unity among my stickers was that they needed to have equal amounts of detail. Looking at my draft, the carabiners are pretty detailed, and the shoes and rope are flat. You can see in the picture below that my carabiners had texture, highlights, and shadows while the other stickers had none.

I decided to add a slight gradient to my shoe, and also a netting texture on the tongue of the shoe to help it have a little more detail. The next major challenge of this project was getting the rope to have texture.

Below I will explain that process:

I first had to start with a simple texture that resembled the ropes that I was using for reference. After that I needed to warp it into a cylinder type form so that it would give the illusion of wrapping around the rope. It took a little while for me to figure out, but it worked.

After that I tried using that to make clipping masks over the sections of rope, but it still wasn’t looking right.

That is when I decided to make a brush out of what I had just created.On step three you can see that I could select my new brush and draw the bends, and it looked more like a rope!

I then traced that brush over the shapes that I had already created and then masked those together.

After adding a 1/4″ offset around them, they were ready to be printed!

Here are my final stickers.

I was able to meet my initial objective by using design principles such as color, detail, and texture to create a set of matching rock climbing stickers.

Megan Graham

Megan Graham

Visit my website at Megan Graham Photo Design
The more I have learned throughout my visual communication degree, the more passionate I have become about the creative design process. I love the challenge and variety in this field.

My interest in this field sparked back in 2010 when I decided to start a small business doing photo sessions for families in my hometown. As time went by I gained more experience, invested in more equipment, and explored more opportunities. It has been exciting to expand my passion of photography to design over the past several years.

I am currently a senior at BYU-Idaho and am finishing my last semester while living in Lubbock, Texas with my husband.
Megan Graham

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