Diabetes Fonds IllustrationsApr 21 2015 · 0 comments · advertising, Illustration ·3
In what turned out to be one of the most satisfying projects I’ve worked on last year, I was asked to design a couple of posters for the Diabetes Fonds (an organisation that spreads awareness and funds research towards the treatment of diabetes).
This That and the Other is a company consisting of two creatives and an project manager… although the term project manager doesn’t cover it (she basically does all the thinking while the other two do the dreaming). They have a solid network of freelancers that they employ whenever their own (already fairly broad) skill set falls short.
This time they needed an illustrative designer to help out with a couple of posters to form the visual ground work of a campaign they were building for Diabetes Fonds.
The goal was to announce a dedicated week of fundraising (de Collecte Week) that was coming up and the concept was to focus on the people that were going to spend that week going door to door collecting money.
One of the recurring messages coming from Diabetes Fonds is that sports are one of the best ways to prevent diabetes (in particular type 2). And in a way you could view the people doing the collecting as athletes themselves… they go door to door, making their miles. To spur them on a little TTaO thought it was cool to make it possible for people to not just donate money, but also to sponsor a collector.
So you could register as a collector and other people could give you an amount of money for every door you would hit up in “the Door to Door Run”.
Now to rally the troops… They asked me to design some propaganda-like posters in a similar style I did for Kaboom and Omega. Some typical interbellum style hero breeding inspirational stuff, you know.
A style I’m comfortable with and enjoy doing. So I got to it.
First we take a Pencil...As always the scamps first. We were going to need a series of posters (3) so consistent yet varied was the goal. With the typography being one of the more consistent elements the first scamps mainly focused on the illustration part.
Looking at different poses, different angles.
When these were presented I proceeded with a more detailed sketch. Looking more closely at possible typographic solutions too.
These were presented to the client and some feedback came back about the character and look of the lady, but also some doubts. The company had just restyled their visual identity and were a little apprehensive about using “old-style” imagery. Which is understandable, but we were kind of getting on in the project.
Change CourseWe started to realize that we needed to face up to the fact that the work we had done up to this point, was not going where the client was going to be be happy with it. These posters were just going to be ‘old’ looking. We needed to drastically rethink the art direction and as opposed to what usually happens in these situations, I didn’t get fired.
Instead I was asked for advice and to help look for a new visual solution!
And this right here is why I love this project so much. It gave me the opportunity to explore a better solution and through that a chance to learn and grown at the same time. This also made me realise how rare this is and how much I missed it.
Anyway, we needed a more modern looking solution, one that would fit the new identity and still convey the idea that these normal collectors can be seen as heroic athletes.
We decided the illustrations needed to be more realistic, but for realism I need reference. Without the time for castings and photo shoots, the parents of Francine (who is ‘the other’ in the company name) were asked to pose for a few shots which were enough for me to work from. I mainly needed their face and the general pose, the rest I filled in myself.
At first I just did a close-up of the man’s face, just to determine the style and colour solution.
From the photo reference I did a sketches and subsequent vector and colour tests.
And parallel to this exploration I worked on a new overall design for the poster. One that would meet the needs of the brand and the campaign.
When we were clear on the right direction I started work on the rest of the illustrations. I always draw everything out before I lay down the vectors, for me it’s just quicker that way…
The bodies are less detailed than the faces of the figures to give viewer’s eyes somewhere to go and find some rest (the faces). If everything is all super detailed the overall image becomes kind of restless and it starts getting in the way of other important elements on the poster (like the message).
These are the final illustration and some ideas of how they could be integrated with the typography.
The Final StretchWith time evaporating quickly, we decided that I would focus on finishing the illustrations and leave the final poster designs to the TT+O guys. This is something I am usually reluctant to do, because I’m a controlling perfectionist neurotic, but this project had been such an nice co-operative effort that I felt fine handing over the last detailing to these guys.
These were some of the final applications that were designed utilizing my illustrations and typography.
As I said above this was one of the most interesting and satisfying projects to be involved in a long time, not just due to the challenges it presented along the way, but also for being given the opportunity to actually meet and overcome them.
Thanks for looking.
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