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Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Jazz poster - thats the way to do it!

 I came across this Illustration blog article based on the creation of a jazz poster. I know I've already done a similar exercise but I thought it might be of use to future students.  Its really interesting how the artist, Christopher has shown his method of working, from his initial brief, to his conception and ideas, right through to the finished article. It all looks so simple now, but I guess thats the beauty of a great job.
About the author
Christopher King (aka Wing’s Art ) is an Illustrator & Graphic Designer based in Somerset, UK, specialising in hand-drawn & digital artwork for posters, flyers, books, toys and advertising clients.

I love working on gig posters. I don’t get to do them often enough. Luckily for me Pat West of the blues band,  The Steady Rollin’ Revue called me up earlier this week needing a little something for their upcoming show at The Gipsy Hill Tavern, in London on 22nd April.
Here’s a quick making of;
After a quick telephone conversation with Pat about the band and their sound which has a British Blues Boom feel (think Peter Green’s Fleetwood Mac, John Mayall & The Blues Breakers, Cream) he emailed me a few visual influences and a couple of their tracks to listen to. I later drew up a quick rough showing the basic layout I had in mind which was quickly approved.
The guitar in my original rough was drawn straight from memory so I wanted to make sure the guitar in the final poster was appropriate to the band’s sound. Pat’s guitar turned out to be a Sunburst Gibson 335 which after grabbing a few photos from Pat was used in the final design.
Taking influence from show flyers of the late 60s, I knew this should have a traditional screen-printed look that called for a simplistic use of colour and detail. I opted for a two colour treatment with the guitar shape made up from the negative space created by the two side stripes, with a few essential guitar details to seal the deal.
An illustration of the guest vocalist Bruce “Mississippi” Johnson was a must too, so after receiving a promo shot I set to work on his portrait, hand drawn in good old brush, pen and ink.
Once this was finished, it was scanned in, brought into Photoshop and cleaned up. Much jiggery pokery later with textures, painted outlines, laying down text and messing about with dissolve effects and you’ve got yourself a poster. And to finish the job we put together a few colour variations.
This has got to be one of my favourite jobs of the year so far. Smooth from start to finish. Here’s hoping for a few more like this.

Saturday, 26 May 2012

Exercise - Working for children.

For this exercise I had to gather as many examples of images for children as possible.
The following images go with the following age groups;


Usually these are mostly just picture books and are often made from cardboard as the little ones take as much pleasure in eating the book, as they do looking at it. Plastic, material as well as heavy-duty paper are also popular, and often come with squeakers, sound-effects and pop-ups. Spot was always popular.


Pre-school (3-5)
From what I can remember, my kids always loved Spot the Dog, drawn by Eric Hill, which was always furnished with a few memorable words on each page to describe the scene being shown. It always amazed me how quick they memorised each page. Julia Donaldson books, drawn by Nick Sharratt are a popular read, offering repetition, numbers and lively images.

Early Reader 5-7

Early reader (5-7)
Repetition, rhyme and the use of poetry is important in this age group and the images can be more detailed.

Established reader 7-9

Established reader (7-9)
The books this age group are interested in can be more sophisticated, less obvious in their storyline allowing the children to develop their inference skills. Images can be more detailed, slightly scarier even.

Older age groups
Longer storylines, often less images throughout with the emphasis being on the strength of the storyline. More use of comedy and a brighter, trendier cover.

I really like this set of stamps featuring childrens illustrations and the diverse styles of 
each one. Some very sophicated and others very simple and childlike, but each
working in its own way.

Spider-grams finding appropriate word connections for  the words 'discovery'
and 'journey'.

Below are some of the images I have sketched of various animals, with the 
intention of aiming towards the 3-5 year old pre-school reader and also the early readers 5-7.

I think the travelling rabbit shows promise, looks a bit serious for 
the little ones though....could be ok for the older children though.

For some reason, I really like the idea of drawing cows and I think
they always look a bit 'thick', also not sure if they work very well
doing activities other than eating grass or farting..

I've moved on to the idea of a travelling octopus......
below are some ideas of what he might look like.

'Olly's journey could be based on images of his adventures, from 
starting out,  planning his trip to catching the train, and then
followed by images of him visiting famous world sites.
This could work well for small children in a geographically
educational format.

Olly's look is starting to come now,  I like the idea of putting him in different 
situations, doing stuff that Octopus's dont normally do. He also has the 
benefit of eight arms/tentacles, so there's plenty of scope for artistic licence.

I have decided to go for a really simplistic style, so as not to confuse the younger children, although, 
thinking about it, I dont really believe that images have to be ultra-simple for
a young reader to appreciate them. Kids love looking at things, regardless of how complicated
they are, and tend to be selective and take away their own key points and views.
However, if an adult sits with a youngster and helps him/her to go through the book, 
the child can be steered in the right direction,.....i think.

Rough colour of cover
I like the idea of a the pages in the book looking like a polaroid photograph 
of each travel page with 'Olly' in the foreground of a famous landmark.
I've tried to keep the typeface 'fun' and informal. also I have the idea of
allowing the octopus to change colour ( I seem to remember them being able to do this), 
like a chameleon and this could go down the road of  'Where's Olly'? as most
kids love a bit of hide and seek.

Monday, 7 May 2012

Exercise - Packaging.

Brief - to produce a series of illustrations to be used for a range of organic biscuits for children. Raisin, Choc chip and Ginger. They need to feature extinct animals interacting in a fun way on the boxes. Full colour to reflect the flavour of the biscuits.
Research the market - how will it stand out?
Does the product exploit poster power or appeal to both adult and child.
Does it also need characters suitable for young children. What style? Type - hand-drawn or straight?

As a means of research I visited the supermarket to have a look at the way that biscuits are displayed and how they are positioned to attract their target audience.
For instance, it became apparent that the packaging that
was geared for younger children was placed on the lower
shelfs where the kids would see them at eye-level.
Also, the colours used for the childrens biscuits were brighter and utilised bright, primary colours 
Enhanced by Zemanta

I then looked at what was available in terms of extinct animals to choose from, so looked on t'internet and 
found the following ;
Sea Cow - not too keen on this as it doesnt make me feel very hungry.
Caspian Tiger, Sabre-tooth Tiger, Wooly Rhino, Hairy/Wooly Mammoth (quite like this as
the word 'mammoth' offers connotations of huge/large, and everybody likes a big biscuit.)
Giant Turtle (definitely not edible), Pterodactyle (too chewy), T-Rex - (not loveable enough), Raptor (like this as it goes well with the word 'raisins'.)
Dodo - this has got to be a good choice as everyone's heard of the Dodo and the name will go well with most Dodo Droppings, Dodo crackers, Dodo cakes...etc.

I looked at other name options based around the three animals, Dodo, Mammoth and Raptor.
Mammoth biscuits, Raptor Raisins, Raptor Crackers, Ginger Raptor Crackers, Choc-chip Dodo droppings.
On a serious note, I wanted to make the name fun and attractive to young kids....

....which is why I wonder what I was thinking with this effort.
This idea would probably be too scary for young children and have the opposite effect...

Raptor sketches

These two raptors at could be good, they dont look too fierce and I have given
them a hint of a smile...
Dodo sketch

I've picked out the three key colours for Raisin, Choc-chip and Ginger as above, not sure yet whether to 
go with a hand drawn or traditional font, will try some more ideas later.

Reggie the Raptor.
This is 'Reggie' the Raptor, Not sure if he's friendly enough, but I wanted him to have a bit of an edge cos he's sort of tough and streetwise. Reggie likes raisins......

'Dora' the Dodo.

Not sure if Dora is the right colour but I like the way she looks, not too fierce, sort of cheeky looking...slightly mental, but a bit of a character. This probably explains why they became extinct.

'Martin the Mammoth'
Martin the mammoth has been coloured in a nice bright orange to emphasise his allegiance
to all things ginger, including biscuits.

I have been thinking about the size and shape of the packaging for the biscuits and what shape would appeal to both children and adults. I thought about the packet type biscuits but these were not as
instantly ascetic as the tube-type packs such as the ones you get with Pringles. This type of packaging
really provides a solid base for a strong bright image and also has the added bonus of being a pack
that parents can re-seal and carry around.

'Tube' thumbnails.
I like these cans and the way they sit up and shout; "buy me, I'm expensive but collectable" and there
is the added bonus that when all the biscuits are gone, they can be used to keep 'stuff' in..

As a set of tubes they would look nice and in situ on the shelf, would really stand out.

Also had the idea of a caveman-character, who could be used along with
the animals in various situations. Like the name - 'Biscuit-Smasher'.

Mock up
I knocked up this mock-up of a can of 'Raptor Snaps'. I like the idea of a strong
vibrant colour, which could go with whatever flavour was used, ie, purple for the raisins,
orange for ginger etc.