Friday, 5 November 2010

Graphic Systems: The life and times of The Thunderbolt Kid

So the new project is to design a series of 6 books for an author. I've chosen Bill Bryson. The set has to have a graphic system which takes in to consideration all of the elements of a cover such as size, colour, type, imagery, layout etc. I did my research and such and decided that the best course of action was to create the illustrations first and then to work the type/layout around the central image. After showing initial scamps at a tutorial I was advised that this was a good idea and that the integrated type/imagery was working well. So without any further ado, here's what I've been working on:

Scamps. The first book I'm working on is "The life and times of The Thunderbolt Kid" and in the first chapter he gets given this doll which he hates, and so comes the first mention of 'The Thunderbolt Kid' so thats why I'm using it.

This is the ugliest baby that anyone has ever drawn.

Starting to experiment with illustration styles, I decided beforehand that I wanted to use paper to create some block colours & then work over it to introduce some details.

This is the first version I mocked up that everybody seems to love. I like the style of the illustration & I think the colour scheme is working really well but I thought the illustration might have a few too many colours in it for what I was trying to achieve. I could be wrong though. Also I like the type for the author's name, but the rest of the type is a little bit weak. I chose a yellow backing for this book, because it's a thunderbolt colour. Each book will be different colours.

Second mock up. I quite like this style of having just a bit of colour with a photo & some line drawing, I think this works well... although looking at it on screen it kind of looks like a manta ray with a baby's face stuck to the bottom which is a little disconcerting. However the type is much better at the top here, much more in keeping with the illustration style. The type at the bottom bled too much and was just generally unstyled.

Third mock up. Trying it from the other side, it didn't really make much difference, I don't like the author's name type and I had some more bleeding issues with the ink but I think 'The Thunderbolt Kid' rendered quite nicely. Almost there.

Extra baby. When asked everybody liked the drawn baby and not the photo one. So I tried to make a mix of the two by placing the photo style one onto the blue backing rather than straight onto the yellow backing. I'm not sure which photo baby I like better but looking at them both on screen the blue backed one looks less like a manta ray which is probably a good thing.

Knocking out some more text to try & solve the bleed issues.

Fourth mock up. Using elements from several different places to try and create a better version. I don't think this ones worked particularly well, everything's a little too spaced out and it seems a little incoherent.

Fifth mock up. This one feels a lot more coherent and I like It a lot more. I think theres still some work to be done, the author type needs adjusting as do both bits of type at the bottom, but the title & the illustration are solid. I feel like they are really complimentary here.

Sixth mock up. Again trying to incorporate the photo baby into the work, seeing if it was just the detail in the papoose, or if people just liked the face. This seems like it almost works but isn't quite there, if I was to photoshop the face in better rather than a quick knock up then it would probably look quite good but at the minute I prefer the drawn face.

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