Designing a podcast banner for Facebook using Illustrator

Design ideas and design process

The book I was designing the podcast cover for, which the design was also based off of.

After looking at the book cover I was designing the podcast cover for, I already had an idea in mind where I would utilise the diamond shapes of the cover to create an engaging and aesthetic Facebook banner. I’d also decided to use the cover’s same colour palette to create an effective link between the banner and book.

After using the eyedropper tool to get the exact colour swatches from the book, I decided to use the oranges and reds for the background, and the navy blue for the text since the blue would be easiest to read, due to its darker shade, and the oranges and red would allow me to create eye-catching contrasts in colours which would be highlighted through the diamond shapes I’d planned to use.

For the background base colour, I made sure to use the lightest orange to create a stronger contrast with the darker shades of diamonds that would be placed on top of it.

Here I create a white diamond shape for my text using the line tool, before joining then using the join path tool (ctrl+J) and filling it in white.
I copied the initial lines of the white diamond and enlarged it slightly to use as a guide for where the smaller diamonds, created with the same method as the white diamond, would line up, so they would remain even and uniform.
I copied and pasted the completed diamonds section and transformed them (rotated, reflected) to fit the other areas of the banner to maintain uniformity.

With the diamond shapes being the highlight of the banner, I decided to outline them in black to emphasise their shape whilst also making it more eye catching, further highlighting the contrasting colours.

After outlining the diamonds in black.

As seen above, I then added my text and used a font that I thought was most similar to the font used in the book cover: I used Haettenschweiler.

However, I thought the white diamond text box looked too plain, since there was a mass of negative space, and so I decided to resolve this problem by implementing the flowers from the book cover. I altered them slightly, so they were not completely identical so there was some sort of differentiating factor from the podcast and book. I created the flower shape by placing 6 identical circles into a flower shape, before merging them into one using the pathfinder tool.

The finished product

Then, I duplicated the flowers and adjusted their sizes to fit within the white diamond text box, varying sizes to fill up majority of the negative space, whilst not making it look cramped. I also varied the sizes and ensured they were never bigger than the text to not draw attention away from the text, a important focal part of the banner, whilst still allowing the flowers to maintain a presence. I then added strokes using the pen and curvature tool to add movement and link the typography, inspired by another element from the original book cover, the flower stems.

I also changed part of the text format, as I thought it initially looked plain and boring, and so I made the author text line have inverted colours, with a white fill and dark blue outline; I thought this was especially effective as it not only made the title look more exciting but highlighted the author’s importance.


Software tutorials

The provided tutorials helped refresh my memory of what I knew, as I had prior, although basic, knowledge of Illustrator from past tasks. Two new tutorials I did use, however, were:

The first tutorial informed me of the pathfinder tool, helping me create the flower shapes, as well as understanding the tool’s other functions.

The second tutorial informed me of the join paths function, which helped me create the diamond shapes, as I used separate lines to create them.


Design resources and articles

This article inspired this design, as it showed me how effective simple shapes could be when designed compellingly, hence my focus on the diamond shapes.


Learning throughout the module

Across the module, I have not only improved my prior skills in Photoshop, but learned and developed new skills in Illustrator, InDesign and After Effects. I learnt how to create and manipulate shapes efficiently in Illustrator using tools ranging from the shape tools, the line tool, the curvature tool and the pathfinder tool; at the start, I relied on simply changing the shape until it looked like I wanted, rather than fully understanding the process and so once I educated myself on the tools functions better, I was able to create shapes I wanted both easier and in shorter time. One of my wrong answers in the quiz at the beginning of the module was choosing Excel as most suitable to create a table, as I didn’t know there was a table creation tool in InDesign, so I enjoyed discovering and experimenting with that, although I hope to further develop my skills in making more complex looking tables. Despite the singular task in After Effects, I enjoyed it immensely, as animation is a sector of Graphic Design that I would like to become one of my strong points, and found dedicating a week to tutorials and articles learning about the program effective in helping me have a basic, solid foundation and understanding of the program.