For the ‘Keep Calm and Make a Poster’ project, the brief was to design a series of posters to boost British morale in the same way that the ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster did during WW2. After some initial research, I decided that I liked Saul Bass’ film posters and title sequences as a style. I liked the way that they all tended to incorporate one or two bold, bright colours and feature clear, simplistic design.
Although I really liked the idea of only one or two colours, when I came to do some sketching of ideas, I found that I wanted to do something a bit more illustrative and bright. I brainstormed things that I thought were good about being British or funny British stereotypes.
From the first critique for this project it was clear that the strongest idea I had played on the British stereotype of our tendency to queue ALL THE TIME. I thought this was really funny but I couldn’t work out how to turn this seed of an idea into a poster that boosted British morale. I felt that it in fact just pointed out a rather unenjoyable part of British life and so I went back to my initial ideas and did some more sketching. (Actually I did end up producing the queue poster for fun anyway.)
Finally I came up with the slogan, ‘there’s nothing quite like being British’ to go along with little illustrations of typically British foods and drinks. I wanted to celebrate the British summer and contrast to the dull, grey stereotype that Britain has.
I settled on ‘Afternoon Tea’, ‘Strawberries and Cream’ and ‘Pimm’s On A Summer’s Day’ as my motifs and I set to work creating digital versions of my sketches on Illustrator. I scanned in the drawings and used the pen tool to draw over the top. Looking back, it would have made more sense to use the image trace feature on Illustrator but I was doing this project back in September right at the beginning of Foundation and I hadn’t learned how to use Illustrator efficiently yet. Now, image trace is my best friend.
The final posters turned out quite successfully in the end and I am satisfied with the way my drawings translated digitally although without image trace it was a very time consuming process!
I think that the posters work well as a group and I can see them being developed into a campaign to promote the idea of a British summer. I really enjoyed getting stuck into this project and it confirmed to me that Visual Communication was the pathway that I was most suited to. In my reflective journal entry for this project I wrote “next time I will allow myself enough time because I hadn’t foreseen how long the final posters would take to make”. For subsequent projects I have tried to do this but learning how to use Illustrator properly has really sped up my working.