Monday, 22 October 2012

Client Visuals

This exercise really got me looking at book covers - the design, style of illustration, typography used etc and is an area I'm really interested in . I looked at classic penguin novels, modern contemporary fiction, kids books, and very text based illustration by Jonathan Gray.

I came across these redesigned covers illustrated with embroidery for the Secret Garden and decided to strip it back to the initial stages of the cover design and sketched out the outline of the image. (note the image below is the full image - whereas some covers only feature part of this image).

tamaki_sgsewn by Jillian Tamaki
I can imagine the brief for the illustrations was to update a modern classic in a quirky and unusual way and I like the almost dreamlike quality of it a bit like Alice in Wonderland style.



Very simple yet almost surreal - use of visual metaphor. Bold colour choice - shapes almost childlike.

Very simple yet effective lets the book speak for itself.


Mikey burton illustrations - Rest, read relax series. Online Image - Available from, Accesssed 10th October 2012

These illustrations are particularly quirky and are a modern take on the classic novels with something slightly disturbing about them. Use of unusual fonts and almost haunting imagery. I can imagine the brief was to draw new readers to the classic novels.

I also produced/ enlarged some book covers by Mikey Burton as part of a penguin classics series. I tried to just show the main lines of the images.

Use of visual metaphor quirky interesting, grabs attention. I can imagine the brief was to represent the unusual title in a modern quirky way.

Online image:

Judith Kerr - The Tiger who came to Tea - Online Image Available Accessed 11th October 2012


I also tried a few more examples including the "Tiger who came to Tea" by Judith Kerr. I tried a more detailed line visual and then a few days later tried to strip this back even further and concentrate on the main outline/shapes. I think the image I've created is honest to the original source and the stripped back version shows the main elements of the artwork.

This was a useful exercise at getting me thinking about the main features of a design and how its good to imagine how the final piece will look and gives you a good opportunity to think about whether the composition works prior to colour choice.
Images found that make me think about art direction . The reworking of the classic penguin horror series by Coralie Bickford-Smith . Very bold striking images almost haunting created using cyan blue prints. Simple fonts are very effective. I've been looking at the Penguin book blog online and it shows a short video where Coralie explains her use of cyanotype to produce the images as she wanted something modern and striking to stand out on the book tables.

Online images available from
Accessed 7th November 2012.

I also particular was drawn to Coraline's work in the Penguin cloth bound classic series where she produced a range of covers .

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass The Hound of the Baskervilles
EmmaGulliver's Travels

The covers are based on patterns that all conform to the same grid bringing a recognisable style across the range of books but allowing each book to convey something about the character of the individual books. Each of the patterns reflects something about the book content with some being more literal than others. I love the simplicity yet boldness of these designs - simple outlines which really stand out and are quite symbolic.

Tuesday, 9 October 2012

Exercise: Giving Instructions - Diagrammatic illustration

For this task I decided to select the title "Making a cup of tea" to base my diagrammatic illustration on.

I had a search on the internet at other examples of diagrammatic drawings/instructions and for information which would help me to break down the tea making process into its components/ steps.

Online image Esquire online [Accessed October 2nd 2012]

Online Image[Accessed 2nd October 2012]

I produced a few mood/ reference boards gathering images of tea making and looked at the work of other artists/ illustrators. Including Johanna Kindvall who uses simple and minimal illustrations many of which are food related.

Johanna Kindvall Online Images [Accessed 2nd October 2012]

I found a site which detailed the process of making hot chocolate and I thought the tea components would be similar.


I found a great site with loads of examples of illustrated recipes some of which were produced in a diagramatic way to outline key steps.

One of the key thigs I was picking up from the diagram illustrations I'd looked at were that they were trying to get a message across and the drawings themselves were often quite simple to break down the process and stand out, many of them from a plain background.

To get a more accurate record of the steps I got my mum to make a cup of tea and documented the steps with my camera.
I found these along with my mood/reference boards useful to work from.

I considered and experimented with various styles of illustration and considered how best to paint/add colour. I did some sketchbook work around this and then decided to add some shading/ detail with colour pencil but in a sort of sketchy way based on a sample I produced which I thought worked quite well.

I produced my images then set about adding a background and arranging in photoshop.

I worked in my sketchbook and on paper and photoshop experimenting with compositions.
I tried thinking about what way the image would be read and how to draw the viewer into the image and naturally found that my eyes worked across the page from left to right.
I also tried one which was a clockwise style illustration but I didn't find this as appealing to look at or logical.

Trying to add colour red, amber green go - idea
I tried some different background and colours - red, amber green idea above, but remembered that in my last assignment my tutor mentioned trying to use colour palettes and pick out key colours which worked together and then have small sections of other colours which are not as complimentary.
I selected a colour palette based on this image.

I tried adding some numbers - wasn't sure if these were needed.

Adding some coffee stain marks to frame and bring reader through the stages.


I think the image above is the most successful. I showed it to my friend and mum who could clearly follow the stages and thought the illustration was pleasing to look at. I added the background rings to help show each of the distinctive stages. I made the final illustration of the completed tea cup bigger to show the end result and added some biscuits to add interest and set the image in context and add appeal. I think the colour palette whilst being limited works quite well and the images aren't overly complex.