Author: Jannah Holder

Exploring Sticker Design in Adobe Illustrator

Design ideas and design process 

Sticker 1
Sticker 2
Sticker 3

My  design ideas consisted of producing three stickers that represent the various areas of typography and graphic communication. The idea for my first sticker was to take a typographic approach and focus on composition and colour which allowed me to study what attributes make design successful. I sourced a font from and utilised a combination of colour and size to create a composition that I found complimented the sticker. My second sticker design is focused on vector art as it allowed me to compare the programme, which is more appropriate for vector art, to the photoshop programme which I usually use for vector art. I created a vector of an iMac as I felt this was a great representation tools used for graphic communication. Finally, my last design, specifically my favourite, is a sticker which focus’ on many elements of typography and graphic communication. I incorporated a range of elements into my design by creating vectors of a pencil, type keys and a pen. I was able to produce these shapes through a variety of tools, in which being the pen tool, the shape tool as well as the rectangle tool. The most challenging to design was the keyboard vector. With a rounded edge rectangle, I used the line tool to create lines protruding off of the edges diagonally which allowed me to add contrasting colours, creating a 3D effect. Once I had designed the vectors, I created a circle and arranged the art, I found myself revising this part multiple times to create the best outcome. To make the design more engaging, I added the word ‘Type!’ to the keys. Finally, I added centred text in the middle, in the font ‘Jungle Adventure’. Through the composition of the vectors and text, I found I was successfully able to produce really interesting die-cut shape which I think really contributed to the design.

Keyboard vector
Pencil Vector






Pen Vector
Vector arrangement







Text and Font







Software tutorials      

Across the progression of my sticker designs, I utilised various software tutorials to generate a range of ideas. I found the Adobe tutorials provided informative explanations in the ‘essentials of the pen and pencil tool’ video. Utilising this video enabled me to confidently use the correct tools to create the vector art. I further gained knowledge as the video provided a follow along aspect which provided the chance to use the pen tool to create clouds and the pencil tool to create hills. In addition to this tutorial, I also made use of the ‘TY1SK: working with your sticker file’ to understand how to use the correct colours/files in order to create the cutcounterperf and cutcounterkiss layers. I have never created a sticker or a design that required specific printer instructions rooted from the design, so I was able to develop and expand upon these skills. Furthermore, the use of die-cuts allowed me to explore the curvature tool in order to be able to shape the lines. Along with the provided videos, I further used a YouTube video on ‘How to Round Corners in CS6 | Illustrator Tutorial’. I struggled with reshaping objects due to not knowing where the tools in the programme belonged. For the majority of the vector arts, I wanted to use rounded corners. I found through the software tutorial I was able to develop my skills in shaping objects in the programme. Along with obtaining these skills, I would like to develop my skills in illustrator as I am yet to discover other aspects in which I did not come across in this task. I plan to expand them through taking the time to watch Adobe tutorials and I specifically would like to learn how to use the programme to create digital paintings through exploring tools such as brushes, strokes and gradients.

  • ‘How to Round Corners in CS6 | Illustrator Tutorial’
  • TY1SK: Working with your illustrator sticker file

Resources for research and inspiration

Throughout this task, I researched and sourced inspiration from various different sites and platforms. Before starting my designs, I generated a few ideas from stickers I found online. My main source was Pinterest as it provides a wide range of designers’ work. I searched for the term ‘stickers’ and I found a majority of the engaging designs consisted of a bright colour palette and a hand-drawn finish. I found this technique engaging as it provides a quirky ambience and feels more inviting. Furthermore, I noticed that the majority of these stickers had interesting die-cuts, separating them from ordinary stickers. This allowed me to experiment with the pen tool, along with the transformation tool in a range of different ways, allowing me to develop my skills throughout. Another attribute repeated throughout many of these sticker designs, were the white borders outlining the sticker, in which I implemented into two of my sticker designs, I found that this allowed the  text and vector art to be highlighted. In addition to using Pinterest, I also used to select fonts as I found they were more vibrant than the ones in the programme and offered more creativity. Finally, I utilised Instagram branding pages to research how they use vectors and typography within their designs. Sourcing from these designs allowed me to take different areas such as fonts, arrangement and vectors and implement them into my work with my own personal touch. The combination of the sources allows for the stickers to represent typography and graphic communication but on a universal scale as I sourced designs with different audiences in mind. Moreover, I noticed a continuous theme of colour and how they were used successfully. When designing my stickers, I was able to experiment with colour and confidently implement them. Whilst researching and sourcing inspiration, I have identified that I would like to explore the topics of colour within branding due to finding myself drawn to those designs and how a designer can successfully use colour to produce engaging outcomes.

  • – home page access to Instagram page


Minding the gap is a tricky task

This session for design practice was taught by Gerry and was a very technical session where he explored different typefaces and analysed their individual properties. I thoroughly enjoyed being taught the effectiveness of how we should hold our pencil and the techniques that to use which can improve our sketching. For the morning exercise we had a look at the word ‘hesion’ which had been presented in three fonts and try guess what the letters would look like in the word ‘Cadbury’. I chose one font and tried analysing the way it goes thin in some areas as well as where it is thick or bold. My attempt was a little bit off from the correct version but from Gerry’s feedback I could see where I had gone wrong. I also learnt how to be a bit more precise when using fine liner pens. For the afternoon exercise we did a similar task however we were given some bits of the word ‘aden’ and we had to fill in the rest of the areas in the way we thought was correct. I found this time I had completed the take well but messed up some of the thin and thickness.

Reading Film Theatre Flyer

The Reading Film Theatre flyer task was a challenging but enjoyable one. As I’m quite new to Indesign compared to other Adobe softwares, I struggled a little bit in being able to make things the way I wanted them to be. However it was a perfect opportunity to implement what James taught us in one of recent sessions, which was using paragraph styles which made the process quicker than it would’ve been without the use of them. For this task I had various ideas on how I wanted to format it however along the way and across different drafts I found myself tweaking and changing things. I found that alignment was one of the things that I was concerned about the most as I found the flyer was more visually appealing and the information was articulated better when it was organised in that form.

During the feedback session, I was told to improve on trying to see if I could make it easier to read as they said there was too much typographic difference because the colour was hard to read. So for my improvement I decided to select a darker colour which was still engaging but softer on the eyes. I decided to pick a dark red as I liked how in class it was mentioned that it gave of the cinema feeling that you’d want to promote. Another point of feedback was that I could’ve chosen black for the dates to make them stand out more. However for the brief we could only have two colours so I decided to create that visual flare I would alternate between the red and grey colour.

For someone who loves to travel

For Kim’s Project on Thursday we got into groups and learnt some interesting/unusual facts about each other. I learnt that my partner loved to travel. I decided to brainstorm and research ideal gifts that would be perfect for a frequent traveller to have and utilise. As seen in my sketches, I played around with mostly items you can take with you as you travel such as a backpack, a scrapbook, a sleep mask and more. I then looked at incorporating the second task into my designs which was to find a word from the random word list and see how I can add it into my designs. My first word was aeroplane and I experimented with how it would look and how I could make it fit in. I decided that the best design was the passport holder as I felt I could incorporate a lot into it and it was the best ideal gift out of the ones I had thought about.

Sketching out my passport holder, I decided to draw a simple icon of an airplane which is of course fitting the theme. I decided to look at the second and third random words in which being compass and money. I included the navigations of the compass; north, east, south and west around the airplane in an order to visually mimic the layout of a compass. I then decided I could include the random word money by also illustrating things that can go in the holder along with the passport, which was bank cards and loyalty cards. I also added pound signs to further accentuate the use of the word money.

UK Government vs Australian Government

These two Covid-19 awareness posters communicate similar messages but use graphic language in different ways in order to present the information. The HM Government/NHS and Australian Government use graphic language to highlight that washing hands is a huge part of protecting ourselves and others from Coronavirus.

Both posters obtain similar audiences in which being the citizens of their Country. Whilst one being for the United Kingdom and the other Australia, they use similar approaches to convey the same message. Whilst the UK poster initially comes off as simplistic in comparison to the Australian one due to the lack of colour background, it makes up for it in a detailed set of pictograms which provide a thorough step by step process of correct hand-washing. This has been made easily identifiable with the use of numbering and green enclosing circles, allowing the pivotal message can be sent across to the audience effectively.

In comparison to the HM Government posters, the Australian awareness poster convey the message with less imagery and more text. The one simplistic image depicts hand-washing and although they just use one in comparison to the NHS six step process, the topic is still conveyed quickly. The audience know it’s about hand-washing due to the pictogram as well as by the accompanying title “GOOD HYGIENE IS IN YOUR HANDS’ in bold san-serif text allowing it to be easily legible.

However, to know the process of hand-washing the audience would have to actually read the writing which is seen comparatively small to the title. The informative text also isn’t detailed either which doesn’t exactly explain what good hand-washing is, only that it needs to be done and you should use soap and water for 20 seconds.

Due to this different approach the UK government/NHS’ poster convey their message better. Along with the step by step process, highlighting how to wash your hands thoroughly, they use text to further explain some key information. They include the 20 second rule along with extra precautionary steps on how to turn the tap off safely. This ultimately allows them to take the audience from A-Z without too much reading. Both posters do successfully present an eye-catching appeal with san-serif, allowing an easy read, with bold text where appropriate. They both nicely include a general message in their own box and bubble that we’re protecting ourselves and others and we can stop the spread through a collective effort.




Coraline Penguin cover transformation








In Fridays integrated design technical session, we focused on the Adobe software ‘InDesign’ and practised recreating a conventional penguin book cover. We looked at the The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald. I learnt some very important skills which I hadn’t discovered before, for example using only one text box and creating complex shapes with tools I didn’t realise were available in InDesign. For the follow up task of creating a distorted cover with an ironic twist to it, I decided to base mine on the novel Coraline by Neil Gaiman. The novel follows the narrative of a young girl who finds a portal to a world similar to that of our own but the people in the other dimension have button eyes. The buttons are a heavy theme throughout the book as well as in the movie. So I decided to swap the penguin for the button. I decided to set the main colour as blue to represent the main characters hair colour and general aura of the novel.


Education system

In this session presented by Sara Chapman, we explored designs and art that convey a deeper meaning. Looking at artists such as Banksy, we discussed how his work has dual meaning and presents emotion and thought provoking imagery. We were all assigned a word to focus on conveying our own message for and my word was ‘education’. I had several ideas and took time to create a spider diagram to get all of them on paper and consider which ones were the best. I decided to convey how in school we are taught a lot of information that many of us don’t and wont ever use but are made to learn as they are obligatory topics. I used topics such as algebra and physics equations which can be handy but not for all and show how once we grow up, we realise we haven’t been taught some of the most important and vital pieces of information that we need as adults.

To represent the decline in understanding life and topics, I used only primary colours in the first image. Not only does it have that stereotypical school life feel but when it changes to the the second image, it accentuates the hopelessness we begin to feel as  we grow up. The  colours change to grey and dismal tones. I also only used my own handwriting in the first image to convey that sense of innocence and typical school taught handwriting. I then contrast it in the second image by using bold and capitalised font to show the harsh reality of our life changes and us not being given the education to keep up with it. To complete this concept, I decided to do it digitally as I felt it would convey my ideas better due to the solid colouring.  I used Adobe Draw for the entire process.

The maze beyond the gaze

In todays project presented by Berta Ferrer and Kim Marshall, we explored concepts of what a book is and what makes a book? Whether it be how it looks, the content it withholds or another aspect. We discussed how it doesn’t have to abide by the traditional format that we are used to seeing in our everyday lives. Through exploring various artists such as  Tom Philips and Alberto Hanadez, we were given an insight, which provided us with some inspiration, on how to transform our books narrative from ordinary words on paper, into a visual  narrative.  Alberto Hanadez for example, displayed the novella, Jekyll and Hyde’s narrative by dividing the core pages in to two, visually representing the split identity of the main character.

I decided to explore the theme of ‘Labyrinth’ by sketching ideas on how to represent the narrative of a family moving into an ordinary house and how they uncover it isn’t what it seems. I played with the idea of making the cover into an actual house, which I did through using a craft knife to shape a roof and windows, along with a physically operating door. I decided to incorporate the physically operated door and gaps in the cover to allow the audience to take a peak into the house and see it isn’t that of a normal one. When the door is opened, you are met with a pop up speech bubble which comes from the back of the book, displaying that the family is right at the back, beginning their journey through this maze and calling out for help. To display the idea that through every door they enter, the rooms change, I created layers of pages which get deeper and smaller, displaying a never-ending affect.