I started brainstorming and collected some more reference material in both my sketchbook and this Pinterest board. I don’t intend to strictly make merit badges, they could just be regular clothes badges (patches to us in the UK).
I decided to test out materials. I go back to the Adobe Illustrator tutorial I found. I’m impressed with the results. It’s quite simple and I’m not quite sure yet if I would know how to do the layer of stitching on top. Also, and I think it’s the illustrator in me, but I’m not enjoying the computer generated look to it…I will experiment with painting and drawing, also.
I started roughing out some potential layouts.
I tested how some of these might work in illustrator and settle on the 5 badges I’m definite on making.
I’m pleased with the results. However, I am now having a major rethink. Although it was fun to figure out how to make these badges, I feel like they don’t represent my current interests, influences or tastes in terms of design. I’m going to figure out how I can best represent my badge designs in a more minimalist style.
I did some quick sketches, and some more visual research, but quickly took this process into illustrator.
The results of my simplified badges are below. As you can see, this is a very different style to the first postcard, however, I know if I wanted to make them similar I could (paint them all, for instance), but at this stage it feels like I would be learning less. There are elements I would like to change (see sketchbook for details), but I’m fairly pleased with them. I need to think about colour.
I have now edited the trees, the ghost and starting to play with colour. I’m pretty certain it’s going to be two colours only and if I have time I will look at textures.
Here is a link to the Pinterest board I created for colours I’d quite like to use. For those who have no access to Pinterest, here is a screenshot. There are two colour palettes that I am interested in for this postcard. One is a retro palette of muted pinks, greens, yellows and browns. The other has neon pinks, greens, purples and blacks. I don’t particularly want to mix these different palettes together:
I used the Recolour Art function in Illustrator using swatches from colours in my mood board. There are some pretty hideous results, but it did show me things that I would not have tried that I actually did like, and I quite like having a third colour.
I will continue to try different colour combinations.
I ordered some sample paper from Moo. My favourite paper is the Soft Touch Super with the rounded corners. I thought they would send me some recycled paper sample, but this was not included in the set. For the purpose of this assignment, I am going to work as if I’m sending the postcards to Moo, to be printed on their soft touch 350 gsm paper. The merit badge postcard would have rounded corners.
I started drawing some more elements for what I’m calling the backpack essentials postcard – things I always have on me. I wanted to hand paint these, but I wasn’t sure how I would digitise them. I have done some research and done some experiments with photoshop. I was able to scan the images below and vectorise them. They are quite low quality, but I think with more work they have potential.
Because I think my line work leaves much to be desired, I have decided to just paint them with watercolours.
These are the final elements I have decide to use. I think they say a lot about the things I enjoy. I like the fact that they are hand-painted, because I like to do things with my hands if possible and I’d like to learn how to incorporate them into design work. The colours are quite subtle. I tend to be drawn to these sorts of colours, along with very shocking pinks and purples, and black and white.
Below are the elements after taking them into photoshop, punching out the white and adjusting levels. I then took them into Illustrator, vectorised them and scaled them down. I’m not sure exactly if this whole process was necessary, as I painted them quite large and the postcard is quite small. However, I’m very glad I learned how to do this, as I am sure it will come in handy. Some of the detail was lost when they were vectorised. I quite like this effect.
I wanted to add my handwriting to the piece to annotate it. I thought this would look better done by hand. I very recently improved my cursive, (it was pretty bad) so that I could improve my hand-lettering. It’s not the greatest but it’s legible and goes the watercolour style. I digitised them and brought them into Illustrator and started to play around with layouts. The text was originally too dark and the arrows were too big. I redrew them with the blob brush and changed everything to a dark grey/navy. I also found the elements looked better together in landscape.
This postcard is pretty much done. Only thing I would like to change is the title. It looks a bit clunky. I shall rescan and digitise.
I have left the 3rd postcard until the end because I really liked the map ideas I first drew, so I knew it wouldn’t take me long to execute. I was wrong of course, as I had to learn how to use photoshop to colour line work, but design wise, I feel I did most of it in the preliminary stages.
I came across a map by a comic artist in a similar vein to what I was going for. I’m a little disheartened as I really don’t want it to look like a straight copy, but I also don’t want to change my idea. The main reason it looks similar is because they are both drawn with black pen, but it’s also the reason I like my initial sketches. Below is this artists work and some quick sketches I tested in photoshop.
I’m happy with the results I can achieve using photoshop. I tried some various shapes and then drew some rough sketches and then started to refine one of them. I drew the final sketch on bleedproof paper with a black micron pen. There were a couple of mistakes and some smudges but I can clean this up in Photoshop.
After isolating the line work and playing with some colour, here is the result:
This is where I am at so far. I’d like to now amend the details in the lake, and experiment with colour.