Brief's key points:
- Produce a cover illustration for a natural history book for children (age 7–11) entitled Animals from Around the World.
- Full colour front jacket
- Modern audience
- Draw up at least three ideas as coloured client visuals. Include information on the final the size and format, and where the type will be positioned.
- Take notes in your learning log
The Design Process
I'd like to start by pointing out how this exercise has been kind of a game-changer to me. It's the first time that I feel like I have a plan on how to approach the project and feel much less like I'm "all over the place".
I started simple: highlighting the key points of the brief and brainstorming about the first ideas. After I had in mind a few elements I knew I wanted to included in my final art, I started to look for references and created a Pinterest board.
Then, from my references I started to sketch some animals very loosely, just to get a feeling of them as well as some ideas of different angles and perspectives that I could use in my final piece.
After that, I went on to sketch some thumbnails of the whole piece in order to search for various ideas on composition and how to place and integrate all the elements.
As a final step before getting into the developing of the three coloured client visuals, I thought about color and format. Regarding color, first I thought about two different palettes, one was inspired on a photograph and the other on a thumbnail from the Lion King's movie. However, I wasn't really convienced about it. Color is at the momento one of the most challenging elements when creating an illustration, si I decide to investigate further consulting a book I have about this topic and in the internet. There I found the idea, perhaps very obvios, of thinking about tones as well and developing some tonal versions, which I think really helped my process. At this point I also started to think more specifically about the composition and how to organize the animals so they would fit the page nicely.
Regrading format, I looked at a couple of books I own and did some research online. I considered the three classic formats: square, portrait and landscape. Finally I decided to use a square format since I believe it'd be appropriate for a natural history book, whereas a portrait format would be a better fit for a novel, for example.
Coloured client Visuals
The above where my final coloured visuals, however I wasn't sure if in the professional practice this would be good enough to send to a client, so I refined them using Photoshop.
I'm Astrid Badell-Suhr, designer and illustrator, specialist in communication