Design Analysis – Constructing the Poster Part 2

The finished version of the poster, compared with most other art projects ever taken up, has stuck to the key parts of one of the original ideas.

EPSON MFP image meteor map a2

Originally, the lines pointing to each meteor were going to be erased before the final version, but very quickly it became difficult to see exactly what year (apprx) each meteor impacted.

The starry background with light purples and oranges gives the illusion of an atmosphere and highlights the meteors, while the deep blues and greens of the earth compliment the background colours. The text naturally bends around the earth as if entering its orbit and the clusters of lines make it easy to see even from a distance the extent of meteor impacts in a certain era. Obviously to appreciate the poster fully it must be viewed in A2 size, which is a major drawback when designing as I can’t get a full size view of the image and must zoom in to check if individual parts of the image were correct, especially the individual meteor text, and not being able to see the text when fully zoomed out.

Perhaps a zoomed in section of the graph highlighting a smaller section with smaller intervals would have been helpful with the more recent meteors, although the lines are effective at locating an individual meteor, it does get clustered when there are meteors one or two years apart, placing them on a timeline with 150 million year intervals isn’t going to be as accurate

Overall I am pleased with the result, it does look professional to a standard and is effective at broadcasting the knowledge otherwise on a table (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_impact_craters_on_Earth) creatively and aesthetically.

Full size meteor map

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Design Analysis – Constructing the Poster Part 1

Designing the poster came with some key decisions, one of those decisions was whether or not to group the meteors by country

quickplan1 quickplan2

Very rough example sketches.

However grouping the meteors only by size meant a gradient could be formed which looks much more aesthetically pleasing than if grouped by country, especially as some countries only have one meteor impact, and others like Canada have many.

Presenting the meteors on the graph got difficult when lots of meteors impacted around the same time, as the text put next to the meteors would be very clustered and confusing.

To solve this issue, lines were introduced to clearly show which meteor belonged to each set of text

meteor map section2

With the bigger meteors there was room to be creative with meteor placements, as they impacted much less frequently. It also gave me the opportunity to add extra facts about the three biggest meteors, and increase the size of the biggest and second biggest meteors for even clearer explanation.

meteor map section

For the font I was also indecisive, I chose Impact as it is thinner and easier on the eyes than a more wide text

meteor map section3 Comparison of the two possible texts, and why Impact is better suited due to its sharp edges and blunt curves, gives the image a more space oriented atmosphere.

Design Analysis – Image Trace

During the illustrator workshops an extremely useful tool called image traced was introduced, this has the power to convert bitmaps into vector graphics for infinite scalability.

meteor meteorvec

The difference between the two is very minimal, almost barely noticeable; but the power of infinite scalability far outweighs the slight cartoon feel to the vector.

earthvectorcomp

The Earth itself had a more dramatic effect but nonetheless just as or if not more effective visually.

The numbering system for the graph was a fairly challenging part of the process, as it needs to be visually appealing and not too distracting from the image, but sensible enough to accurately show when the meteor hit earth.graph The graph.

The graph goes up in 150 million year intervals, meaning it only took 19 intervals to comfortably cover the entire spectrum of meteors (the first one was 2650 million years ago)

The graph will be slightly transparent on the background the further draw attention away from the complicated lines.

graphexamp

In hindsight, perhaps 2 graphs could have been used as there are many more meteors recorded less than 150 million years ago than any other time period and this could look cramped on the poster.

Design Analysis – Next steps

After the initial designs, the idea of the planet being the actual graph changed into the planet being what the graph was based around. This was due to the space lecture and the example by http://www.5wgraphics.com/

5w-sample-001-space-travel

This inspired me to concept a new idea with the meteors heading towards earth on a graph, the further away the meteor the older it is.

EPSON MFP image

This concept made more of a visual impact than the first one as now the user can see the meteors travelling to earth instead of the impacts they left. It will also be easier to show travelling meteors on a timeline than providing individual information about each countries meteors.  In the drawing, the plan was to overlay a countries flag onto the meteors of that country, but I decided to scrap this due to the problems with the smaller meteors.

Design Analysis – Initial ideas

The A2 communications brief is a very broad task with countless ways to reach a successful final product, however I leaned towards the question “How many documented meteor impacts have there been?” quite quickly as I believe it will be the most visually appealing question to build on. With the social media question, often colour palettes are limited due to the association of certain colours with social media apps (blue for Facebook, yellow for Snapchat etc) and other questions like the online shopping one just plain don’t interest me. Having done space related digital art before it seemed like the best and most logical option.

I started with rough initial drawings of a possible pie chart-like graph, with the planet as the chart and ‘slices’ of countries with the number of meteor impacts shown as ‘dents’ in the slice.

EPSON MFP image

Then the meteors would be grouped by age with a visual representation of a beard and or walking stick

EPSON MFP image

While this is a good starting point, I feel as if it is fairly comical and will be difficult to implement on to the smaller meteors in the poster; and the idea of using circles for the meteors may be wrong as the background of the poster will be stars and the circles may get lost in that.

Next step is to move onto Illustrator.