The brief was to work up three ideas for a children’s natural history book entitled ‘Animals from around the world’.
Keywords from the brief:
- For children (aged 7-11)
- Full colour front jacket
- Three ideas as coloured client visuals
- Include information about size, format and where type will be positioned
- Note the design decisions you made
I carried out an internet search of similar titles aimed at the same audience to get a feel for how other illustrators and publishers are choosing to address this audience.
I worked through a mind map to formulate the three different visual approaches that would end up being carried through into the final client visuals.
The three different ideas can be summarised as:
- Composite image – featuring one animal from each animal category; Invertebrates, fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds, mammals
- Facts – incorporating ideas of scale, interesting/surprising and hopefully memorable/engaging facts
- Narrative – the idea of the hunter and the hunted. Needed to be mindful of the audience
I felt that that these concepts were strong enough to pitch at a client along with a good set of visuals.
I created thumbnails for the last two approaches but the nature of the first composite image meant that it really made itself and it didn’t generate a thumbnail.
I used the same process for creating each image.
I collected reference material from the internet including pictures of the animals and their habitats. The illustrations had to be factually accurate.
I built basic versions of each image by digitally manipulating the reference materials. Decisions about subject and viewpoint were made at this stage.
I then used a light box to create line art from the reference images and scanned these into Photoshop. I found that creating several different layers of the same image by picking out different detail is an effective way to add expression and texture into the digital image.
Approach 1 – Composite image
Approach 2 – Facts
Approach 3 – Narrative
What I learned from the exercise
What went well
- I like the approach of creating a layout using reference materials and then creating line art using a light box.
- I think the three different concepts give a nice range of options for a client to consider.
- I finally figured out how get a really clear black and white line art layer in Photoshop.
What I could have done differently/better
- I could have spent more time and consideration on the typographic elements but they weren’t really the focus for this exercise.