Final Poster Design

Townend Bradley – A2 poster

Here is my final poster design. The original idea was to create a design which is simplistic, bold, and easy to recognise, while also being aesthetically pleasing. Although I feel as though I have achieved most of these things in the final design, I do not feel as though I have managed it as well as I had hoped.

The thing that puts me off the most is the simplicity of the background compared to the characters. The colour scheme is quite basic, with just black and white, and the layout of the characters makes it look too empty and dull. Also, although I am pleased with how the characters themselves look, the scaling and position of them does not do much to highlight this. I feel as though, for the detail and colouring to actually work, the characters would have to take up most of the screen, however, this would not fit the brief as well, seeing as it would not clearly represent the relationships of the characters.

If I were to re-do this, I would try to think of a more simplistic way of representing the characters, rather than doing detailed head portraits. I would also try and make the information represented on the poster more complicated, perhaps showing the family tree of certain characters, or go more in depth with the hierarchy of the characters. I would also try to include more colour, particularly in the background, and perhaps some text to help convey the information I am trying to present.

Layout designs

final designs

In this session, I have created 3 different designs for the layout of my poster. Although I am pleased with the design of the characters themselves, I am not sure about the poster. Because the images themselves took so much time to create, I seem to have neglected thinking about layout and composition. Now that it is getting closer to the deadline, it is wise to submit a final design and focus on writing my evaluation piece, rather than spending too much time worrying about the design of the poster.

Poster Planning – Photoshop Mockup 1

Because Star Wars has a very expansive universe and the relationships between characters are rather complex, I have decided that it would be best to keep my poster design relatively simple, in order to focus on aesthetics rather than worrying too much about intricate details.

My poster idea is to pick the top 8 characters that best represent the Rebel Alliance (Luke, Leia, Han Solo, C-3PO, R2-D2, Obi Wan, Yoda, Chewbacca) and 8 characters that represent the Galactic Empire (Darth Vader, Emperor Palpatine, General Tarkin, Admiral Piet, Storm Troopers, Scout Troopers, Boba Fett, Imperial Royal Guard), and represent them on each side of the poster, showing who are the ‘bad guys’ and who are the ‘good guys’, and also showing their rank within their respective circles.


Initial Photoshop mockup – Galactic Empire layout

I made this mockup on Photoshop so I could figure out the layout easily and find a way of presenting the images that was informative and visually appealing. I think this design works best, as it clearly communicates the hierarchy of the Empire. I may change the colour of the concentric circles in the final design, because, although the initial idea was to emulate the colour of the Sith lightsaber, I think that the red glow looks messy and out of place with the rest of the image.

Practise Session: Tracing Luke Skywalker


Luke Photoshop

The first thing I did in this session was import the image of Luke Skywalker onto Photoshop, remove the background using the magic wand tool, and modify the exposure and brightness settings. After that, I posterised the image and used the ‘cutout’ effect to simplify and stylise the image, ready to export onto Illustrator. After loading the image into Illustrator, I begun tracing the outlines using the pen tool, and different layers for each section (base colour, boots, belt, lightsaber, etc.)


Luke Illustrator 1

Luke Illustrator 2 Luke Illustrator 3

Although there is still some more work to do, I am reasonably pleased with progress I have made. This session was much more successful than my first attempt, and I am continuing to make progress and develop the skills I will need to develop my final poster. The next thing I am planning to do before I work on any more Illustrator, is to create some concept sketches and do some research on the information I am intending to include in my final design.

Practise Session : Darth Vader helmet – Adobe Illustrator

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The Darth Vader helmet was relatively simple to recreate in Illustrator. After using the posterise tool on Adobe Photoshop, I imported it into Illustrator and begun drawing the black outline using the pen tool. After that, I simply traced a solid grey outline in a layer below, and traced some light grey areas in the layer above. The final image is clear, minimalistic, and instantly recognisable. I would consider this my most successful attempt so far at recreating an image in Illustrator.

Practise Session: Recreating a Stormtrooper in Adobe Illustrator

In today’s session, I attempted to recreate the image of a Stormtrooper helmet in Adobe Illustrator. The first thing that I did was take the original image and load it into Photoshop. I had to posterise the image and change the contrast settings to make it easier to trace onto Illustrator. This was a step that I should have taken with my last image, as it would have made the process much easier.

Screen Shot 2014-12-18 at 16.15.35Star-Wars-A-New-Hope-Stormtrooper-Helmet copy

In a new layer, I used the pen tool to trace the outline of the image before using the Live Trace tool, because the outline faded whenever I tried directly tracing it. After tracing the outline, I duplicated the unedited layer, then used the Live Trace tool to define the black outline and convert it into a vector image. I then re-used the pen tool and traced around the black outline again, so I could clean up some of the inaccuracies and smooth some of the edges. I also did the same with the grey areas of the image.

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Here is the final image: stormtrooper

Practise session: Tracing a photograph in Adobe Illustrator

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Today I practised tracing a photographic image into Adobe Illustrator. I took an image of myself, then started using the pen tool, with the fill option turned off, to trace around the outline of the image. After that, I created a new layer beneath the outline and added colour. This technique was exhaustive and extremely imprecise, as I could not trace the shape exactly the way I wanted it to. It created an interesting effect, but was not as clean or as accurate as I would have liked it to have been.

I also never finished tracing the entire image, as it would have taken quite a bit of time at the rate I was going. I think that I might have to look for tutorials of some more practical ways that I can trace photographs, without having to resort to this messy technique. However, I cannot quite tell if it’s because I am doing it wrong, or because of the technique itself why it doesn’t look so good. I think I’m going to ask somebody about this soon.

Development and Realisation Intro

For the introduction to the Development and Realisation unit, we were given our first task, which involves creating a poster that visually communicates text and data. The list of subjects to base our posters on were:

–       Where have you been and when?

–       What is your social network?

–       How many documented meteor impacts have there been?

–       Who lives the longest?

–       What is the fattest country?

–       Where do different genders shop online?

–       Who knows each other and how in Star Wars?

–       What type of music is most popular?

–       Who has the largest carbon footprint?

–       How does the hydrological cycle work?

Out of all of the briefs on the list, the one that most interested me was the ‘Who knows each other and how in Star Wars?’ task. This appealed to me because I am a big fan of the franchise and would find it an interesting challenge to try and find a way represent such a complex universe in a way that was easy to read and aesthetically pleasing.

Research Task – Star Wars Poster Research

“How Star Wars changed the world”

I chose this poster because it is relevant to my chosen subject. It also presents a complex web of information clearly and in a  way that is visually appealing. If I was to create a more complex poster design, this is the kind of style I would hope to achieve.

“Star Wars Family Tree”

I chose the above poster because it clearly communicates the relationships between different Star Wars character, which is extremely relevant to my brief. This kind of poster would be ideal because it is quite simplistic in it’s design and effectively demonstrates the use of vector graphics to convey information.

“Meant for you, which occupation is?’

The above poster is the simplest design of the ones I have seen. It mostly uses text and line to convey information, but also uses basic silhouette images and a minimalistic colour palette.