Friday, 28 November 2014

WBL: Hallmark Character Design Brief - Inspiration

To try and develop some variation in my stylistic work, I've had a browse on Illustration Mundo at some character design artists. Here are my favourites;


Chris Edser

Damian O'Donohue

Justo Cascante

Wissem Eid

And seeing as I'm a bit Jim Field mad at the moment

I think things just feel a bit stagnant at the moment and this brief calls for a return to basic shapes and exaggerated proportions to produce unique characters. 

Thursday, 27 November 2014

WBL: Competition and Commission Posters

Over the summer holiday we were tasked with entering the National Student Survey design competition. The survey, ran by Ipsos MORI, is a higher and further education survey undertaken by final year students. It gathers information on the quality of courses and publishes that information for prospective students.

I worked on this over the first half of this term, too.  The brief required for the inclusion of specific headings, text and logo placement. As well as bright and bold visuals, intended to be informative and persuasive.

The brief also called for an awareness and consideration of the development of other forms of advertising and uses of the main graphic image.

My final poster design submission. The two typefaces were developed from previous commission work, but cleaned up and tweaked slightly. A return to typeface generation after a fair few months meant that they aren't perfect, but work OK.  I wanted to demonstrate the audience of the survey in the graphic, as well as emphasise the message of the tagline. I went for the brain (the vessel of opinions) shining like a chest-full of treasure. Perhaps this would have been communicated more clearly if I had used yellow, but I wanted to maintain a colour scheme from previous posters which echoes the surveys logo, as well as that of Ipsos MORI. I also just wanted to bring a bit of fun to what is quite a mundane, though beneficial task. 

A rough design for a web banner. I also proposed how this might be animated.

A rough wallpaper design, to be used on computers at institutions which take part in the survey. 

More recently, over the last week or so, I've worked on another poster.
A commission from the University of Nottingham Christian Union, to produce a poster for a Christmas themed pub quiz. They supplied the event title and critical information, but the design of the poster was left down to me. Free work, of course. My girlfriend studies at Nottingham and mentioned my availability. Quite handy for them, as the University doesn't have any design courses to call upon! 

Festive colour schemes and themed fonts. A bit of experimental play really. I'm not sure whether or not I had worked out a decent composition, but I was trying to finish the project quite quickly. 
Just a quirky illustration highlighting the quiz and the inclusion of a free mince pie. Some stylistic elements inspired by Jim Field. 

Saturday, 8 November 2014

IP: Advertising Charity Poster

For our second half of Illustration Practices we had a choice of several charity campaign related briefs in which we had to produce an A3 poster. I decided to go for shelterbox's  socks 4 syria campaign. I chose this over the others as it sounded like I could have some fun experimenting with a simple concept. I had intended on painting loads of wacky socks in watercolour, but my focus wavered a bit towards amending my editorials from the first half of the module and working on personal projects. 

I began by considering the contextual elements of the campaign, the syrian war and iconography of Syria. But decided that these elements would detract from the fun and simple idea of the fundraising event - wearing silly socks and donating a small sum of money ( A mufty day with a specific purpose, basically.) 

Moving on, I created a list of several written ideas, and then sketched them out. By annotating my work I explore the strengths and weakness of the ideas and their visual effectiveness. 

I also make a few initial considerations in to how to implement type into the design.

I explore my favourite concepts a bit further and have a play with colour before taking my ideas into photoshop.

Research which helps me to develop my concept and provides stylistic influences. Initially I looked at the official campaign posters. And try to find professional responses to similar briefs. This lead me to find Jenny Bowers, who had produced a christmas card for Shelterbox. I couldn't source a decent image of it, but her work above is coincidently appropriate.  

Jenny is part of a group of artists known as the Peepshow Collective, which I checked out in hope of finding some examples of limited colour palette or silhouette-like work. I came across Spencer Wilson; whose sharp, limited-colour images suited the kind of response I aimed to produce.

With a limited colour palette in mind, I headed over to NoBrow and spied upon Matthew the Horse. With similar techniques to Spencer Wilson, it was the use of free floating lines to give definition that I liked about this image. 

When I'm out and about some place where there are a few galleries, or somebody mentions a particular artist, I make memos on my phone. Lo Cole was once such artist and I have no idea where I got his name from. Regardless, his work was appropriate to my research and I loved the simple textural element to this design and consider implementing textures into my own.

Starting off as 'socks in the spotlight,' I wanted to simply convey the idea of the event whilst tying in iconography of the charity and Syria. A minimalist representation of one of the shelterboxes, with text sat in place of the logo. I decided against implementing a comic-book style 'ZAP' jagged-edge box, as I didn't want it to conflict with the shapes of the socks. 

Displaying a menagerie of socks I decided to structure them in the shape of a sock. Though visually interesting, the concept was not as strong.  I had intended to produce a pattern of different socks and implement that into my other concept, but ran out of time to explore combining elements of the two. 

Through feedback in a group tutorial, I decided to progress with the first concept. As well as making visual amendments, my focus turned towards developing the typography.  Deciding a bold, hand-written font would best compliment the simple design of the poster, I sketched out a few ideas. 

These were then drawn out in photoshop, exploring several colour possibilities. 

Originally drawn on black, I looked at how they would work on a green background to make my decision. 


The final design. With knowledge that we could use shades of the colour palette, I replaced the white lines. The layout of the font changed too, condensing it all within the box, leaving the white space above the socks uninterrupted. I also paid attention to the text reflecting the shape of the central section of the box. I also brought in some simple pencil texture elements to evoke a sense of material and provide further contrast between the box and socks.