Digital Development of Architecture Poster Design (Perspective)

For this poster I decided to go with a two point perspective grid that was influenced by the rule of thirds. The main subject matter for this is going to be the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) and the London Festival of Architecture Logo being projected from it. I began with a rule of thirds grid I found online, established the two vanishing points and began constructing a cube. Once I was happy with the placement of this cube I began to experiment with the particular placement of the vanishing points and the angles of said cube:

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Further vanishing point experimentation, trying out different placement:

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Here I used rulers and guides to math the placement of the vertices of the cube. I made use of triangles to math the angles of the cube to help mirror it so as to lessen the distorting effects of the perspective. I also tried out a different placement of the vanishing points:

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More experimentation with the placement of the vanishing points as well as exploring the rest of the tower and how the angles and placement of the details later on will work:

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Further exploration, trying to find the most visually pleasing placement of the vanishing points and angles with the aid of guides/rulers:

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I settled on the green version of the vanishing points and began to construct the rest of the tower. I used an X on the two faces of the cube that we can see to find the centre points, this will help with the placement of the ellipses/circles later on:

 

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Placing the circles/ellipses in perspective proved to  be difficult. I experimented with various tools, such as the shear tool, distort tool and free transform etc. I did some searching through the tools and options in illustrator and found the perspective tool. After some research I began to set it up and put the ellipses/circles in perspective onto the cube (Explanation of this process and the tool further along).:

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After I set up the ellipses I moved onto the logo projection and the mapping of the details for the rest of the tower. For the logo I created lines emanating from the centre of one of the ellipses and cube faces. I then put the logo into perspective using the perspective tool, of which is rather tricky to use and manipulate shapes with. I had to convert the logo (which was an image) to a vector using Control Panel -> Image Trace -> High Fidelity Photo, this allowed me to manipulate the logo as if it were a complicated vector shape:

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Here I removed/hid a lot of the clutter and began to create the clean lines for the tower, paying attention to line weight to help create more depth. I made the lines closer to the viewer thicker, as well as important borders. I made the lines further away, as well as the finer details, smaller to push them further back into space:

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Here is where I began to organise where the details will go on the rest of the tower with the help of the perspective grid:

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Fitting the text onto the tower was quite difficult to do when it was in a text format, even if I typed the text onto the line itself. Doing it that way did not help fit it into the same perspective as the rest of the image. I instead had to use Type -> Create Outlines to convert the text into vector shapes. This allowed me to use the perspective tool to conform it into the right perspective. This required a large amount of re-corrections and accuracy and was quite time consuming. I also typed London Festival of Architecture onto the projection lines for the logo, however this seemed quite unprofessional and lacklustre so I later on I decided to go with the text on the top right with the smaller logo on the bottom right to help balance out the left hand side heavy composition. I have also increased the line weight of the ellipses, giving them more visual weight and importance:

 

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Here I cleaned up the lines a bit more and added detail to the tower with the help of rulers/guides:

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The placement of the text on the top right and smaller logo on the bottom as I mentioned earlier is shown here, as well as experimentation with the font. I also added more detail to the tower, which I may or may not keep as it creates an area of concentrated detail, detracting from the rest of the image:

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Here I edited the text using Window -> Type -> Character. I also changed the colour to match the logo. I decided to make the text stand out more using, as I mentioned, the colour of the logo as well as making parts of the text bold. I also increased the size of the text and faded out the projection lines, allowing it to stand out more:

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Perspective Grid Tool:

Shift + P brings up the perspective grid tool, this allows you to conform vectors into perspective. There are multiple handles on the grid that you can use to manipulate and move the grid itself with. In the menus there are options for 1, 2 and 3 point perspective, allowing a wide range of complicated scenes to be created:

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To be able to put the vector in perspective, we need to attach it to the active plane. The active plane is indicated by the highlighted face on the cube at the top left of the document:

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Once attached to the active plane you can then use the Perspective Selection Tool (Shift + V) to put the vector into perspective, manipulating it using the handles on the bounding box:

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Digital Development of Poster Designs and Layouts (Graphical)

Here are some images of the development and thumbnails for my graphical poster designs and layouts. More information about the process of creating these posters can be found in my evaluations.

Here I created modular silhouettes and shapes to help the experimentation and development process.

(reference images found online)

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I began creating various layouts using the shapes created previously, experimenting with the placement of the text and logo.

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Further experimentation.

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I decided to use the juxtaposition of circle and triangle to help create interesting and dynamic compositions. The triangle represents the Shard, while the circle represents either the sun or moon. I used the golden spiral to help establish a composition that worked, flowing from the bottom of the image, through or around the triangle and then landing on either the text or circle of which creates a focal point. This was further aided by the use of the rule of thirds, where I attempted to position the top of the triangle and/or the circle itself onto one of the main rule of thirds intersections.

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Here I experimented with a different building. I made use of the circles I cut into the silhouette to show the larger circle behind. The interplay of overlapping shapes allowed me to experiment with a more complicated value hierarchy than what I was working with previously. I attempted to establish visual weight using value, trying to find the hierarchy between the silhouette, text, logo and circle.

With the circle being surrounded by different values and areas at different points in the image, it allowed for an interesting effect with the use of relative values, something that we have been learning about in our Visual Studies class recently. Having a light value surrounded by a dark value causes it to appear lighter. Having the same value surrounded by a slightly less dark value causes the effect to be lessened, although it does still remain to a certain degree. The manipulation of this effect, which works either way with dark and light, allowed me to experiment with the value hierarchy in the image.

A major challenge was the logo, as well as the text, and their place within the image and layout. The logo itself is quite bright and saturated, this draws the viewer’s attention away from the main subject matter and to the corner of the page. This is not desirable in regards to composition so I took several steps to lessen the negative affect it had on the image. I scaled down the logo and moved it to a corner further away from the main body of text. The logo with its bright saturated colour has a large amount of visual weight, to counterbalance this I placed the date on the bottom right.

With the logo being bright and surrounded by a light value, this downplayed the contrast causing it to be less of a focal point. I made the text on the bottom right dark, in combination with the light background this caused the contrast in this area to rise sharply, proving more visual weight on the right side of the image helping visual balance to be achieved.

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Here I moved onto colour comps, where I take some of the layouts and designs I am happy with and begin experimenting with colour schemes.

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More colour comps, this time with the Shard graphical designs and layouts.

I experimented with various colour schemes; complimentary and analogous etc. I attempted to downplay the logo by making the colour of the background near it the same colour, therefore turning into essentially just white text.

Further along during these colour development thumbnails I tried to push more of a mood with the colours of the background and sun/moon. The gradients in the sun pushed forward a setting sun/evening mood and atmosphere that is quite eye catching yet gentle on the eyes with the way its gradient fades into the background.

Green, being the complimentary colour to pink, allowed me to create an interesting interplay between the logo and the background.

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Screenshots of development:

The use of rulers and layers allowed me to create accurate silhouettes that could be used in a modular way to efficiently create multiple thumbnails.

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Contemporary Poster Analysis

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Contemporary Poster Analysis:

The composition of this poster makes use of two triangles. One triangle stretches from the top of Batman’s silhouette down to the edge of the city. The other triangle, this one upside down, goes from the title Batman to the two main actor’s names at the top left and right. This is an effective way of moving the eye around the image while allowing the main focal point to be somewhat centred. The word Batman lies upon one of the rule of thirds lines, further helping it to take centre stage as the main focal point. This is supplemented by the contrast created by the dark black and saturated yellow.

Colour and value-wise, only three have been used, yellow, black and white. The white has been used for the text regarding the actors, actresses and organisation names and are secondary to the dominating black and yellow duo that is a hallmark of Batman’s design when it comes to his colour scheme. The black and yellow colours are a nod to his original logo, a stylised black silhouette of a bat on a yellow oval, this is built upon even more by the silhouette of Batman and his name being projected into the sky above Gotham, another nod to his logo and how it is projected into the sky when his help is required. The black stems from the dark of night and the yellow represents the city lights and bat signal that calls him to duty.

A clean font was chosen for the two main actors names, which helps that text stand out from the gritty and textural black background. The gritty and dirty texture hints at the crime-ridden city of Gotham, the city he watches over. For the main title, an almost stencil-like font has been used with texture showing through and some of the letters and elements of those letters lean at various angles, contrasting with some of the more structural and sturdy letters within the same word; reinforcing the strength and willpower of the Dark Knight. The text of the title has been used in a way that cuts into the silhouette of Batman, with the ends of the name connecting with the dark background. The angular, almost lopsided, nature of parts of the text perhaps foreshadows something within the movie; is Batman going to be toppled or will the city experience an event that shakes up the status quo? As for the text at the bottom, a tall bunched up font was used with the text shrunk down and clustered together to not distract the viewer from the focal point of the poster; Batman.

This poster was most likely made in Photoshop or Illustrator, perhaps the designer used both in tandem to create it. The silhouettes of the buildings could have been created using a pen tool from illustrator or a collection of shapes combined. As for the main silhouette, that of Batman, it was probably created with a similar technique. Creating a large triangle and cutting the top off for his body and cape. A rectangle, two triangles and part of a circle at the top creates the silhouette of his head and mask. The slant of his shoulders could be created either with the pen tool or an edited shape that has been slanted and morphed. For efficiency, you could use a more complex shape, such as a hexagon, and edit it to create the cape, body and shoulders of the silhouette. The silhouettes of the buildings could have been created similarly, with a combination of the pen tool and various shapes. Another possibility is that images of real buildings were traced and then edited to help create the Gotham city skyline and reinforce some believability, grounding the designs of the buildings in reality. The grungy texture was probably done in photoshop via the use of a texture/splatter brush in combination with a mask, this allows for the texture and edges to be manipulated to create a more pleasing look, layout, visual weight distribution and composition.

The purpose of this poster is to captivate the viewer’s attention and communicate to them that this is classic Batman, evoking a sense of nostalgia over the classic imagery of the masked crusader looking down over Gotham, watching and protecting. The use of the iconic two Batman colours, yellow and black, has helped with this feeling of nostalgia and loyalty to a character, comic series and brand.

Evolution of Digital Media:

The evolution of digital media has allowed contemporary art, art created during the present time period, to be not only more accessible but allow more efficient iteration and more forgiving experimentation. The creation of this poster digitally has allowed for more freedom with how to approach it. The gritty texture, if done traditionally, would have required a large use of tape and physical masking so as not to allow any of the paint to enter parts of the image that the artist does not desire interference with. Digitally, the designer can mask off large areas of the image and use the organisation of layers to safely alter and change the image without destroying the overall layout and poster.

Multiple different styles have emerged out of the now widespread use of digital media, with certain art styles being synonymous with different pieces of software.  At the same time one person may create an illustration in Photoshop that is beautifully rendered and intricate, while another person might design a clean and elegant poster within the same program. The possibilities are endless, with every artist being able to express their own unique style, visual language and voice with the help of digital software as well as with the widespread accessibility of social media.  With this broad range of tools, techniques and software choices, the freedom that an artist possesses has grown exponentially and this is further evident when one looks at the diversity of art and design in all fields of the creative arts in today’s day and age.

Digital media has great potential in just about all fields of art and design. The use of 3D is becoming commonplace, with the intertwining of software and hardware allowing a multitude of viable workflows tailored to each individual. Each artist can use and customize their software as they see fit, with the ability to create and import brushes in programs such as Photoshop allowing you to further develop a unique style, and even emulate traditional media and tools.

Nowadays digital media is being used to create just about anything and everything art related that used to be created primarily traditionally. With the use of 3D, VFX, physics based rendering and illustrative/painting software, digital media has become a cornerstone in today’s art and design world. Digital media has not made traditional art obsolete, far from it, what it has done is made art more accessible and forgiving for beginners. It also allows professionals to efficiently iterate and develop their ideas and concepts without them having a cluttered studio full of brushes and paint, instead they might have a Wacom tablet, a copy of their desired software and a laptop. This allows for a clean and more efficient work space. With space becoming more and more of a premium, this is highly desirable by many people, especially working professionals.

With the large amount of free software out there, as well as trials, beginners don’t need to fork out large amounts of cash for sculpture equipment and materials. Instead all they need is a working computer or laptop (which most people have), a mouse and a free trial of Blender to see if it is something they are interested in. Not only that but, regarding graphic design and illustration, the process has become so much more efficient. You can create rulers, grids, layers and masks to organise and layout your work. Once you’re done all you need to do to have a physical copy is print it out instead of having to use a method such as screen printing to create multiple copies. With the growth of digital media has come a large number of tutorials and communities online that help artists grow, allowing education about art and design to be more widespread. This in turn allows the various artistic fields to grow and become more accessible.

The ability for people to efficiently create art wherever they are, with the portability and diverse selection of devices that are capable of running the relevant software, is quite extraordinary. I see digital media growing more capable of solving design solutions and handling larger files, allowing designers and artists to create more efficiently and make bolder design decisions. Not only that, but the integration of software and the mixing of digital media (such as mixing 3D, animation and digital illustration) will most likely grow and evolve over time,

Modernist Poster Analysis

 

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(image found online)

The layout of this image, by AM. Cassandre,  makes use of strong verticals and diagonals to guide the eyes throughout the image. The eye of the main subject matter grips the viewer and you must forcibly wrench your gaze away to view the rest of the image. Circles (and implied circles) contrast with the stylised and textural skin, this creates a series of focal points the eye bounces to and from. One point perspective lines travel towards ear, directing you towards the head. The strong vertical on the left prevents the intense diagonals from taking you off the page to the left. The curve at the top of the head keeps the eyes contained in the image and slopes down towards the open mouth. The diagonals are constructed in a way to keep the eyes trapped in a loop from the ear circle, the eye and the implied mouth circle (screaming mouth attracts attention). The use and exploitation of human psychology in regards to the gaze of the eye and the screaming mouth helps to keep the viewer looking at the image. They can’t help but wonder why this figure appears to be in either pain or intent on shouting some wordless exclamation.

The colours themselves are rather desaturated and the warm ochre gradient compliment the cool eye, helping it to stand out, especially since they are complimentary colours. The dark background seems like a cold void, this is enhanced by the colour relativity caused by the warm skin. In turn, the background causes the skin to appear warmer, especially by the more saturated jaw. The aforementioned jaw and face are separated from the rest of the head and neck by darker colour, especially near the jaw where more texture implies more intensity and a wild and unshaven quality. The strong brown vertical bar, almost like a bar from a cage, is cooler than one might expect. It provides an almost dull barrier that the viewer doesn’t want to cross and so keeps the audience focused on the main subject matter and text.

Due to the visuals of a human screaming out, jutting his head up and back with his jaw out, it would seem as though something is causing him or her pain. The striking gaze of the eye staring at the viewer helps supplement this affect. The strong lines moving into the black hole of the character’s ear seems to symbolise information or knowledge that is streaming in. The lamp-like shapes hanging off the strong brown vertical element can be interpreted as just that; objects used to shed light upon a matter, or they could be viewed as a stylised and abstracted ‘i’ repeated several times. If so, these lamps might appear to be information symbols being fed into the person’s ear from the strong vertical, which represents a powerful company, organisation or even society, of which continues to evolve, expand and develop as time passes by.

The strong, bold text is more fired than inserted into the character’s head, which communicates a forceful feeling. The change from black to ochre ensures that the text is always readable and in high contrast which almost guarantees it will have a high place on the visual hierarchy. The type’s kerning is closely spaced, promoting a claustrophobic quality. The text above the L’ INTRANS is underlined, the line itself almost slicing off the top of the character’s head, further pushing forward the conversation on communication and information. The space between the words are somewhat regular, although slightly pushed apart. The large bold “L” nearly creates several tangents with the perspective-like lines that shoot towards the ear. These tangents, and their near-touching nature, promote a sense of un-comfortability that the character no doubt shares.

The image looks as though water colour or gouache was used with tape and physical shapes to paint around to create the strong, clean diagonals, verticals and circles. The image is composed of a collection of simple shapes merged together to create a head. Tape or a custom stencil was most likely created to be able to achieve the washes and gradients that are evident in the image. Colour, or chromo, lithography was most likely used to accurately capture the colour gradients and complexity of the texture. The texture itself helps to communicate the organic inspiration of the main subject matter, as well as the intensifying chaos caused by the character’s exclamation and the surrounding dark void, threatening to swallow up not only what is on the poster but perhaps the viewers themselves.

 

Reference and Inspiration

Mood and Detail Boards to help with ideation and development:

(images found online and compiled in Photoshop)

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These images helped to inform the subject matter and mood/atmosphere of my poster designs.

Poster Inspiration:

(images found online)

These posters helped to inform the design direction that I wanted to take for this assignment.

Font Inspiration:

(images found online)

I was moving towards a more Art Deco tall and elegant styled font, these were some fonts that helped inspire my font exploration.

Colour Reference:

I used Adobe Kuler to help establish colour palettes to inform and inspire my colour exploration and experimentation.

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Explanation:

I used the combination of images of the real life architecture in London in conjunction with the design direction of the reference posters that pushed forward a graphical layout to create an engaging clarity. This direction of simplifying the real life architecture using simple shapes and interesting layouts appealed to me, so I decided to explore this further in my own sketches within my sketchbook for this project.

Later on, I decided to experiment with a different direction, this one being more perspective heavy and more traditionally inspired by architecture. I used the reference of the buildings I gathered and compiled earlier to choose my subject matter, settling on using the Elizabeth Tower I moved onto the creation of the poster after gathering some more specific reference.