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 PCB Design, a Graphic Artist's Handicraft by Skilled Designers

Hand taped artwork begins with a layout of the board...

The equipment needed to begin is as follows:


Drafting table or board

Light table

Mylar Grid

a pin align system

7 mil Mylar sheets

2 mil Mylar 'Die matte'


Die cut crepe tape in various sizes

an x-acto knife and blades or a surgical scalpel

colored pencils

Drawing templates

5mm HB lead and a mechanical pencil



After the schematic diagram has been drawn and checked the designer will want to prepare 'paper dolls' of the physical components to be laid out on the board.

The method we used involved getting the data sheet on the component to be drawn and transferring the image of the chip or discrete component to 2 mil die matte material because it was thin and translucent and easily cut from the roll... and less expensive.


Most Designers purchased a set of templates that had guides for your pencil to quickly sketch in the pad pattern and component body without having to do precision drafting...

After drawing the placement of the parts... coding the power and ground pins was next... then sheets of Die-mat were used to draw the traces... with colored pencils...  dry transfer lettering


After the layout was finished... the Designer began taping... Bishop Graphics, ChartpaK and Brady were the main suppliers of die cut precision tapes for artworks...








Here are some of my old pictures from OAK SYSTEMS back in the 1970's/1980's... Some of the great folks I worked with there...

Lynn Barton, Wren Higgins...


Jerry Disparti


Emmett Briner


Susan Quinn, Jerry Disparti in the background


Another 'hung design'.... Larry Knight


I forget... Linda or Lynn? someone??? e-mail me with her name...


Heidi Messersmith, and... I forget ... Tom? someone e-mail his name to me...

Larry Knight





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