Development and Realisation Research 3 – Poster Style

As I’m getting closer to choosing which of my design sketches to finalise, I have searched the internet for posters of varying visual styles for inspiration. As I wanted my poster to maintain a somewhat minimalistic and simple design, I did a Google image search for “simplistic poster designs” and found many great and interesting examples. I found there were simplistic posters designs that related to most subjects, especially films. I found these particular examples useful to deciding the final style of my poster, with the subject of “Who Lives the Longest?”.


The main design element that I like most about this style is that shapes and silhouettes have greater connotations and meanings. For instance, the bench from the Forrest Gump poster (pictured above) is all you need to see in the poster, as the bench itself is such a recognisable object from the film. This makes the shape, as simple as it is, have a deeper meaning and connection to the subject of the poster.

I would like my final poster to have a similar visual style, but also have a more meaningful message and meaning. The importance of shapes will be crucial to making my final result, and I need to spend a lot more time focusing on how I can get such a message across with only shapes and colours.

As seen in the posters below, different silhouettes and shapes have been used to represent the subject material featured within these posters. My particular favourites are the Alice in Wonderland poster (only showing the Cheshire Cat’s grin) and the Dirty Harry poster (simple shapes and lines used to display a gun and a face).


Image sources:

Reservoir Dogs, Forrest Gump and Paranormal Activity posters –

Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland poster –

Lion King poster –

Things I like and Dirty Harry poster –

Little Red Riding Hood & Pinocchio Posters –

Development and Realisation – Poster Development 1

So far, I have been experimenting with the pen tool in Adobe Illustrator, to make clear shapes and images; in this case, I have sketched out all the countries of the world. This will be an important factor in showing the life expectancy of the world.

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More specifically, I’ve used the pen tool to draw pre-existing images, the example above being from one of the issues of National Geographic that I previously used for research. As I go on, I plan on experimenting with different ways and methods of presenting the world in clear ways on a poster.

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Development and Realisation – Notes and Sketches

While I have been trying out different capabilities with Adobe Illustrator, I have also been producing sketches and notes for how I intend to present the information on my final poster. I also conducted secondary research by searching online, finding and collecting facts and statistics related to life expectancy in different countries. The information is a core part of my poster and careful consideration and research was mandatory for me to produce a more informative and interesting end result.

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The information I found was very interesting and relevant to my project in every way (e.g information, presentation, aesthetic value). For example, I found out that countries with the highest average life expectancy for women are Japan (87 years), Spain (85.1) and Switzerland (85.1). The countries with the highest  life expectancy for men are Iceland (81.2), Switzerland (80.7) and Australia (80.5).

A google search led me to where I found this data (collected in 2014).

My notes and sketches focused on different aspects of the project, such s colour I will be using, who my poster is aimed at, as well as basic presentation sketches.

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Adobe Illustrator Practice – Practising 3D effects 2

During this week’s workshop, we went over Adobe Illustrator one more time before we broke off to carry on with our work in the Christmas holidays. We were trying out the same 3D effects as before, but this time we were advised to experiment with them over the holidays and post what we’ve done onto our blogs.

We were tasked to work in a separate document and try out the three different 3D effects (Revolve, Rotate and Extrude & Bevel). As seen below, I split the document into three sections, one for each effect.

Click to view in full-size

3d trials

I found that the 3D effect I enjoyed experimenting with the most was Revolve, as it was quicker, easier and more efficient when it came to making recognisable objects (e.g. the Christmas tree, water drop and wine glass).

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This particular effect was easy to use as the software can take a single drawn line (as seen above on the right side of the glass) and convert it into a complex 3d shape.

Below are images that show my finished work during the production stage, and how I managed to create the 3D objects and text.

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Development and Realisation Research 2 – World Maps

Presenting one area of the world (if not the entire world) will be a crucial visual element in my final poster. This especially applies to my subject of “Who lives the longest?” where one of the main features will be the geography of the world.

To help give me inspiration for displaying the world on my poster, I looked through different issues of National Geographic for secondary research. I chose this particular example, as most of the issues have articles discussing different things and events happening worldwide. They usually include diagrams showing the world as well as select areas of it that are being affected.

The following are examples of how they usually present the countries of the world. The diagrams have a somewhat simplistic style with a small use of colours, that I intend to have in my poster.

Click to see in full-size

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As seen here, both the shapes and colours of the countries add to the visual layout and presentation of the information shown in these images. I have started designing my poster in Adobe Illustrator, while bearing that important factor in mind.

Adobe Illustrator Practice – Practising 3D effects

I recently decided that Adobe Illustrator would be the design software I’ll be using to design my poster for the Development and Realisation Assignment. I found it interesting to try and go over the software again, in order to practise features I’ve already tried, as well as new features, including the available 3D effects. I wanted to try these effects out, just in case I wanted to use 3D graphics on my finished poster, to add a more aesthetically pleasing effect.

I experimented with different shapes, as well as the brush tool, and then applied effects to them. Illustrator provides three effects, each with very different results. As seen below, there are different results you can get with the 3D tools.

A sample of 3D objects I created with Illustrator

A sample of 3D objects I created with Illustrator

In the picture above, I used the effects “bevel & extrude” (used for the green shape), “rotate” (for the blue hexagon) and “revolve” (for the yellow and orange shapes). These complex shapes came from drawing a few quick lines and then selecting the effect I wanted, making it a very easy process.

My favourite effect is “revolve” as it can create a smooth 3D image that also has built-in light and shade physics that can be changed manually.

It was fun exploring these effects, as they allowed me to quickly and effectively change the properties and appearance of shapes, as well as text, as I found out later on. Overall, I plan to incorporate a mixture of 3D graphics as well as 2D pictures into my final poster.

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As seen here, the highlighted blue lines show the original drawing before the revolve effect was added.

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An example showing a shape and text after a 3D effect has been applied to them.

Development and Realisation – Understanding the basics of Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator was the second graphic design program that we used in our most recent workshop sessions. We were advised to learn the ropes of Illustrator, as well as Inkscape to decide which would be best to design our posters for the Development and Realisation assignment.

In my experience, Illustrator is more useful in creating a visually informative poster, due to the huge range of features it provides. Pictured below is a vector graphic of the world that I traced from an image from the internet; this was done fully with Illustrator, and I’m very proud of the result.

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In today’s workshop session, we were given the chance to create vector graphic images and shapes, with the help of the drawing tools that the software provided. To begin with, we made smaller pictures, as seen in the examples below:

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One major difference between Inkscape and Illustrator is that Illustrator allows you to manually change the shape and style of a letter, as if it’s a vector graphic image. This makes it easier for letters to be edited so that extra details can be manually added to or removed from them. The final result also looks better, in my opinion, and Illustrator is used a lot more by people who work in the industry.

Our next task was to trace and draw an image from the internet, using the tools and features of Illustrator. These images had to be relevant to our projects. Since my topic was “Who lives the longest?”, I decided to trace an image of the globe from the internet. This was the most fun and interesting part of the workshop, as it helped me produce something that I’m proud of.

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Development and Realisation – Inkscape Practice

Inkscape is one of the two graphic design programs that we can use throughout this assignment, the other being Adobe Illustrator, which will be discussed in our next workshops. Overall, I find both these programs easy to use and learn, although I prefer Illustrator. Illustrator and Inkscape offer different features and benefits that I will find very useful in our Development and Realisation assignment.

Last week we were assigned a task to help us improve our skills with Inkscape, an example of digital drawing software. The task was to select any image from the internet and trace it using the different drawing tools that Inkscape provided. I decided to trace the following image of the tiger but, instead, replacing the black ink with different shades of red, in order to give it a more striking appearance.

Original Image

Original Image

Image source:

The following images show the traced head of the tiger, as well as two different versions of the final result. I used the ink tool, as well as the shape tool to go over all of the tiger’s stripes. The most difficult parts of the tiger’s head to draw was the whiskers and the hair, as they required the most precision and care to draw.

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The following are images showing how I applied my changes to the drawing as I was tracing it, up until the final result:

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