Blog Post on Illustrator Sticker Task

Design Ideas and Process

Figure 1 – Design 1
Figure 2 – Design 2
Figure 3 – Design 3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Starting off my illustrator project, my main focus was to tie together my indesign and photoshop tasks, seeing as the idea for the project as a whole was to create material for a podcast it made sense to tie them together as a set, however, my indesign and photoshop work was very different in design so to have the 3 pieces as a full set I wanted to tie them together with this project and use elements from both in this design.

Figure 4 – Indesign task
Figure 5 – Photoshop Task

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My initial idea for the illustrator task (figure 1) stemmed from the form of the microphone image I used in the photoshop task (figure 5), I took the same image into illustrator and drew the outline of it using the pen tool, my initial idea was just to use the silhouette of this image and have a very basic background using the shape created, however after creating it I decided I would add slightly more detail to the silhouette to allow it to be more easily understood to be a microphone, especially if the user had seen the actual podcast cover (figure 5), having the microphone sticker with slightly more detail as a base flat simple image allowed me to branch out into colour very easily because of the simple style and shape, it was from here that I added in the colours that I’d used in my indesign project (figure 4) using the iconic pink and blue to create a vibrant sticker (figure 2), with the task itself being to create a sticker I found that having bright colours made sense because the function of the sticker is to stand out against any background and be noticeable no matter where it is stuck. From this point I decided that text wouldn’t need to be a huge part of the sticker itself because the bright colours allowed it to be noticeable, this meant I could embed the text into the shape which I did, creating an emphasis on the word podcast by making it larger, I also decided that I’d cut the text into the shape to simplify it down more, I wanted the sticker to consist of 2 colours and only if necessary three, also cutting the text into the microphone silhouette shape meant that it flowed better within the shape as a whole and the text didn’t just look like an afterthought addon. Finally, I decided to bring in some more elements, the lines dots and squiggles, from my indesign task (figure 4) and add them onto the sticker (figure 3), this meant that the sticker tied the 3 designs together much better, however I eventually decided that this made the sticker itself too crowded which defeated the design I’d originally gone for, so I decided that figure 2 would be my final design.

Initial shape creation and tracing
Continue tracing
Collapse all traces into a single shape

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Added background layer and start on details
Added text and more details
Added ‘shadow’ to right side
Put in full background and perf/cut lines

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Software Tutorials

When it came to software tutorials, my main focuses for illustrator were learning how to use the pen tool better and I also wanted to improve my use of layers within illustrator, as this is something that I’ve not done before, and it’s led to issues in past projects.

The main illustrator tutorial I used was an in-depth video on the pen tool inside illustrator by ‘tutvid’ on YouTube, focusing on using it for creating very custom paths and shapes. This video helped me learn to create the simplified microphone shape for my sticker, this wouldn’t have been anywhere near as easy without the pen tool, the amount of iteration and detail needed if I’d done this using basic shapes prebuilt inside illustrator and editing the anchor points that way would’ve taken way too long in comparison. Furthermore, using the pen tool as opposed to another option or method, meant that I had the paths built in aw way that I understood and could utilise properly later on when I wanted to add more detail or customise the shape, the paths became easy to use and simple, because I could limit the amount of anchor points, I’d used it meant I could manipulate the shape perfectly. The tutorial specifically explains how to use the pen tool for tracing a shape and how to get the angles and curves you want properly and how to refine them down to be exactly correct to the image you want to create.

The video also touched on certain shortcuts and key binds you can use when using the pen tool to allow you to quickly create certain types of joins in the shape or certain Bezier curves, these shortcuts and commands are something that I’d like to develop further now so I can more efficiently use the tool in future.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tXpnKlUMZQA&ab_channel=tutvid – This is the tutorial I used.

 

Design Resources and Articles

When I was looking into shortcuts and quick commands I could use inside of illustrator I came across a default keyboard shortcuts article by adobe, this article highlights all of the keyboard shortcuts inside illustrator and is particularly useful as they’re well grouped into sections and easy to sift through to find what you need quickly, I spent time going through this article to learn some new shortcuts that would hopefully allow me to more effectively utilise the given tools inside illustrator. As well as a list of every shortcut for illustrator the article also has downloads for ‘one page reference’ sheets, one for both mac and windows users, this download is a very useful and precise list of the most helpful shortcuts for illustrator, I saw this as a list of shortcuts that it would probably be necessary to learn off by heart, and then from there I can go and learn the more specific niche shortcuts as and when I need them from the full list on the original article.

https://helpx.adobe.com/illustrator/using/default-keyboard-shortcuts.html – this is the article I used

RFT Listings

Reading Film Theatre Listings

I started off this project by drawing up small sketches of my initial layout ideas, I’d quickly decided that I’d have the main heading left aligned at the top of the page and then the contact info at the bottom, deciding this early meant that I then had a determined space for my actual content of the page, this allowed me to appropriately size the rest of the page properly.
I’d also focused on my layout for specifically each block of information, my idea was to keep this page with as few rules and lines and boxes as possible to allow it to read easy and feel breathable almost, this meant my layout for the information had to be clear and consistent between each section.

I started by creating the general layout and the columns, then created a template for the format i’d decided on for the information. I found doing it this way that as i went along and input all of the information i was able to adjust the sizing appropriately when i input new information and i learnt what the spacing and sizing actually needed to be as i went along. My main focus was to keep a systematic format for each section so that once you’d read one section of information you’d be able to understand all of them, this proved awkward in areas such as “Hotel Transylvania 2” where the name was extra long and required 2 lines, this led to me deciding to use an ‘outdent’ for the main title of the film, further separating the sections but meaning that names that spanned over 2 lines were still just as readable as any other while not taking up an obnoxious amount of space horizontally on the page.

Another of my steps was creating a background, since my goal was to create a format of bolds/italics/sizes/lines to break up the information in a block into understandable sections this meant that my choice of colours was free to use for the background graphic, using a mesh gradient i created a purple and orange background which wouldn’t be overpowering to look at but gave it a friendly feeling still rather than a blocky full colour background, next for this i decided to add in lighter sections of blurred circles attempting to tie into the theme of cinemas with a pseudo lens flare effect on the background. I created this is illustrator and then placed it into the indesign document.

Grand Concert and Dance

Grand Concert and Dance

This piece interested me for a couple reasons, firstly the colours of it were very different to a lot of other things in the collections, I found the gradient interesting because when you look closer at it you notice that it’s possible that it was one gradient across the whole piece and each of the separate sections of information all use the sections of the same gradient that will have been applied just once.
Secondly, the choice of fonts for this poster, more particularly the amount of fonts used on the piece, from a quick glance you can notice more than 10 different typefaces on this piece, which is absurd compared to now where we’re advised that 3/4 is the absolute maximum.

Lettering in Warnings

Lettering in Warnings

I took a lot of pictures while wandering around campus for this project, with no real focus as to the content of them while doing it, I’d mainly looked for lettering that intrigued my or caught my eye for one reason or another.

After sitting back down and looking at the images I’d taken I was drawn to the warning signs in particular, I thought it interesting how not all of these warnings will have been designed by the same person yet all follow a very similar pattern and method in their design, for example the bold text, similar fonts, use of bright contrasting combinations such as red and white or yellow and black in the colouring, they often put key words in boxes to seemingly highlight them and also the use of negative space is a very common factor amongst the lettering. Also I was intrigued by the use of similar shapes across all of them, triangles being very common and almost becoming a staple that you’d automatically connect to a warning.

Green, nature inspired

Green, Nature inspired logo

The theme that I chose for this project was “green” because I liked the simplicity of it and the freedom to take it any direction.
I started off grabbing pictures from online of anything green and just throwing them together to see common themes amongst the colour, obviously nature and leaves cropped up quite often so i decided to use that.

 

I then created a second mood board of nature inspired logos or logos to do with nature to see common themes used or styles chosen for these logos. It was from these logos that i decided on the style of font that I’d like to use, because i saw it was quite a similar font used between all of the logos i’d picked out, so i decided to go with a bold blocky font.

 

I then started on ideas for the logo and settled on the use of a leaf in the design, once i’d created the leaf i decided i wanted it to sort of grow out of the R to tie into the theme of nature, i moved the leaf across created some cutouts on the R to make it seem the leaf was coming out of the R and then pushed the Z and R together to have the leaf sprawling over the Z aswell. my final decision was to change the R colour to green to tie back into the original theme of the logo.

Touch Screen T-Shirt for Matt

Touch Screen Spotify T-Shirt

In the seminar, Matt’s interests were:

  • Indie music
  • Edgar Wright films
  • Interesting t-shirts

I wrote out a few ideas for each and then came to the conclusion that my best option would be an idea of combining music and t-shirts.
My initial idea being a series of unique signed t-shirts for bands that he liked, however I ended up making it a bit more interesting and going down the idea of a touch screen t-shirt that would allow you to connect your phone to it and then control/display the music that you’re listening to from the shirt itself.
Another idea would be that when not connected the t-shirt would display preloaded album covers of Matt’s choosing and cycle through them automatically with the option to change manually with a swipe on the screen.

Stairway

Broken Narratives – Stairway


My initial idea for the broken narratives project was the stairway narrative, in which the protagonist finds themselves in an asylum for a mild illness, the asylum has 7 floors, the floor you’re on depended on the severity of your condition. The protagonist found themselves being moved down the floors until they were at the very bottom which seemed to represent death.

My idea for the design was to turn the book into physical steps, I then coloured the edges of the lowest steps black to fit the representation of death.

Harry Potter

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

I found this session because I’ve not used InDesign before, so it was a good introduction to the program and the tools it provides. I liked the usefulness of the paragraph styles and swatch styles and utilising these for recreating the same layout with different text made it so much easier.

For my ‘messed up book’ I did Harry Potter and the goblet of fire. I used one of the original cover designs for the book and took inspiration from the colours used and the image of the dragon on the front and tried to incorporate these into my design, using both the red and blue colours on my creation and also using illustrator to create the appearance of a small fire coming out of the penguin images mouth.