Development and Realisation – Final Poster

The last development changes to my poster have finally been completed and I have reached the final design and layout for my infographic poster. I decided that changing the orientation of the poster to landscape had given me more of a chance to display more information and data, as well as make better use of the space available.

Because the poster had more space now, I added a few more countries to make my selection of data more informative and varied for the audience. These important examples included the UK, Germany and Brazil, represented respectively by Big Ben, Brandenburg Gate and Christ the Redeemer.

I applied the same image editing process for these landmarks as I did for the other main landmarks. This gave all of the landmarks a consistent, simple black and white style. I made sure to keep as many of the recognisable elements of these landmarks as I could when editing and re-sizing these images.

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Overall, I’m very pleased with how the final result looks, and the only changes I would consider making to it are small design choices (e.g. possibly lightening the shade of blue in the colour of Germany). I feel that the simple style of my poster and the lack of text taking up space worked well together to create an end result which is visually informative. I’m glad this unit had given me the opportunity of learning the ropes of Adobe Illustrator (software used in the industry) as well as creating something interesting with it.

The finished poster document can be seen here:

Final Who Lives the Longest Poster

Additional image sources:

United Kingdom (Big Ben):

Germany (Brandenburg Gate):

Brazil (Christ the Redeemer):

Development and Realisation – Poster Development 3

This week, I have been developing my poster and have come very close to finalising the finished design of my poster. Since the last post, I have made several different design changes to the overall layout and presentation of my final poster. As I decided on what kind of shapes and images to use and display in my poster.

I felt that some of the most recognisable and appropriate shapes to use in this case would be famous landmarks from different countries (e.g. Leaning Tower of Pisa, Eiffel Tower, etc.) in order to represent and help the audience identify and understand the information I’m displaying. This gave me the opportunity to use the image trace tool in Adobe Illustrator, which can be used to recreate pre-existing images, but with different effects (e.g. black and white, 3 colours). I used this tool to create silhouettes so that I could have simple images, but also maintain the visual elements of each of the landmarks presented in the poster.

The following images show my experimenting with the tools available in Adobe Illustrator, as well as the overall development of my poster.

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Screen Shot 2015-01-07 at 13.19.38As seen here, the famous landmarks were originally going to be placed on top of the bars in my bar chart. I later decided that they fit better on the lower side, as I felt they looked more aesthetically appealing, and it gave me more opportunity to try out different effects for them, without complicating the design.

The landmark I found most fun and appealing to apply effects to was the Taj Mahal, as it has many decorative details on it that translated well into my version of it.

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As seen above, on the left, I had an earlier design for my poster, which consisted of a simple looking skull with one half of the world in each of its eyes. While I felt it was an interesting concept, I felt that the general tone of this version of the poster was a bit too grim and the message was slightly morbid, no matter how cartoony I made the skull itself look. I also felt that this design didn’t give me as much freedom when it came to using space creatively and trying out the different effects in Illustrator.

I had a skull in my original poster, as it is an established symbol for mortality, and I wanted shapes in my poster to affect the audience more than words and figures. However, I wanted a more positive approach to presenting the subject of “Who lives the longest?”

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Image sources (in order from high life expectancy to low):

Japan (Torii Gate):

Italy (Leaning Tower):

France (Eiffel Tower):

United States (Statue of Liberty):

China (Great Wall):

Egypt (Sphinx and pyramid):

Russia (Kremlin):

India (Taj Mahal):

Pakistan (Badshahi Mosque):

South Africa (Table Mountain):

Development and Realisation – Poster Development 2

After my research, I was in the process of sketching, designing and producing the icons I would be using in my final poster. I found that one of the most important uses of icons would be for showing the age of the people in the world who lived the longest. Pictured below is the development process of creating three icons, each one for a stage of life (e.g. baby, adult, elder).

As you can see, my icons were heavily inspired and based on pre-existing images, in particular the WC icon of the adult man. This was because I wanted to keep the simple style and give a lot of information to the audience through only the shapes, and avoid any unnecessary text on my poster. My initial idea is that the different stages of life could be colour coded (e.g. bright blue for young, darker shade for older), and these colours could help identify who lives the longest in the world.

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While these small graphics will only make up a small segment of my final result, I have developed a much clearer idea on how to present my information and use the space on my poster to my advantage.

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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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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