graphic design

Experimenting with my postcard designs.

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I began with playing around with the designs of my postcards following the guidelines of Kew, as well as wanting to implement some factual information about Kew and why there is so much more about the gardens than the landscape.

These were my 4 final results, which I could consider using as my final design. I felt that the title of Kew Gardens was not fitting with the actual design of the postcard.

Despite trying out different techniques such as masking some of the image out, changing the colours of the title, as well as making the image smaller, I felt this took away the effect of the image, which is what I want to stand out.

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I decided to consider putting the logo at the back of the postcard. I saw some postcard designs for the back of Kew Gardens, and the back designs have been kept simple for people to write on the back. I want to keep the back design simple also, taking inspiration from their existing postcard designs; I put together my back design, including a small flower illustration as a little ‘decoration’.

4 – Final Layout


My final experimentation was to put a fact about Kew on the front in their style. I thought this fitted more than the other designs, as it is clean, simple and does not clash with the photography. I had a go at putting one of the other symbols on the front, however it was blending too much into the picture, not allowing it to be visible and causing eyestrain because of it.


Response: Postcard designs.

In response to what I have found for this mini project, I have produced the front of my postcard designs in a modern, illustrative way using photography. I wanted the pictures to look slightly abstract with subtle colours coming through, giving the audience a glimpse of what they could be looking at as they come to visit the gardens.

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The designs themselves I took into consideration with the originally existing theme of Kew Gardens, and I wanted them to be applied easily with the rest of what they do.

I also went on to look at their typography, and I came across their actual guideline. I thought this would be an excellent resource to use in order to ensure my postcard designs match as closely to their specifications as possible.

The guidelines explain everything from colours, to fonts, to advertising, to board layouts. It is an extremely useful template to use, and I can also use this as part of my research for a style guide for my FMP, helping to bring everything further together.

With the images I have got, I will begin to create a template that I can use for the postcard designs. Using a template will mean that I will have a consistent design theme running throughout my postcards still.

Adjustments Part 3.

I thought about how I could take my posters further without adding too much to them, and I decided to see how silhouettes of hair would look like on the figures, rather than faces. I decided that it looked better without especially on single pictures, as that could single out genders on the advertisement, especially as first glance if you are unfamiliar with the brand.

Alternatively, I had a go with including a ponytail on the landscape image. Because there’s two ‘people’ on there, I thought it could differentiate the people a little more, as it shows that the clothing brand is clearly for both male and female. What I intended to do, was create a style guide to show the specifications required for this brand. Because there are so many elements to this project, having a style guide will help to tie everything together well.

Despite this, I felt the hair did not suit the picture. I feel the poster needs to be kept simple, and to keep the silhouettes as they are, knowing people could see them as anyone this way.

1 final

2 final

3 final

I also changed the hand on one of my posters, making it look more realistic. These small refinements have helped me to be able to ensure that my posters are looking more professional, and soon to be ready for print.

Adjusted image

I wasn’t completely happy with this picture still, because I was concerned with how close the logo was at the bottom to the trim mark. I decided to make the logo smaller and move it in slightly. Because the logo is already apparent on the Ishihara image, as well as the title of the website being centred on the page, the logo can appear to be big enough to be seen, but not big enough that it takes your eye off the rest of the page.

Taking my posters further Part 2.

I tested out my posters to see if they still worked in black and white, and to my surprise the posters I thought looked better than in colour. The text is still just as clear to see, and because of the hues merging in some of the colours, the text appears clearer to see.







Even in the colour blind mode, the posters appear to be clear to see and the patterns are still clear to distinguish. Because it is so important for my brand to be clear to see to my target audience, doing these tests shows that the design of the brand has taken the target audience carefully into consideration.

Making my posters Part 1.

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From the research I had gathered to make my posters, I was still inspired to want to include movement in my clothing without including models. I decided to illustrate silhouettes of parts of people to mock up onto the clothing. I purposely did not include faces however as I felt this was more effective.

I found making the posters quite difficult, because the poster needs to be catchy, quick and appropriate for everyone to see and read, especially for my target audience. Because of my minimalistic theme also, I found it difficult to create the posters without adding too much or too “little” that people do not notice the poster.

I began with putting the clothing pieces together and the Ishihara logo, which is the most important element for the poster. I then experimented with typography and how I could make the typography interesting, bold but does not take over the images of the clothing or the Ishihara image.


2 – I decided to change the title to the next image. The ‘IS’ now looks bolder against the confidence.

2 – Adjusted image


I thought it would be a good idea to include colour on the background and have the colour weaving through the clothing, giving the poster more depth. I also decided to de-saturate my clothes, which ultimately is the only object on the page that has purposely been changed to black and white.

I did this in response to my previous experimentation of turning the clothing black and white for my poster; the overall effect is clever how it shows the audience that the clothing advertised does not need to be shown in colour, because that is not what the brand is about.

I wanted to draw this link to bring everything together more. Although the clothes are in colour, by advertising them to the public de-saturated, it grabs their attention more. The desaturation appears subtle against the bright colours, meaning people would not notice it until they look at the poster more and realise the objects advertised are the ones with the least colour, creating a spin on the poster.

I also decided to include a landscape version to show how the poster can look in different ways. The benefit of a minimalistic poster with various shapes of colour means it can be very flexible to how it can be positioned, and the template is easy to change and adapt.

I feel my posters have worked well for this whole project, they help to tie everything together well, as well as link the Ishihara effect with the brand.

Experimenting with my poster.

I had a go at putting the illustrations on top of the clothing pieces, as well as putting together the clothing pieces. I also thought about using silhouettes instead of people to put on the figures. Both I felt did work, however not combined.

What I think would work well however is illustrating the arms and feet only without the face as shown in the first image. I felt that this was the most effective way of illustrating bodily features without singling out what someone should look like wearing the clothes. This way, it gives a much more subjective feel to the advertisement, giving more option of more people to feel like they can wear the clothing.

The silhouette alone also adds more movement in the image, without overpowering it, which is what I want for my poster. To refine it, I will illustrate the arms and feet again but more precisely for all of my chosen items of clothing.

What I will do following from this is to illustrate on each individual pair of clothing I have put together, and to try and see how I can get the parts to fit with the clothing.

Postcard inspiration.

I decided to have a look at some existing postcards and their designs. I was becoming more drawn to the styles of illustration over photography as I was researching. All of the designs were completely varied, which gave me a lot of inspiration when it comes to designing my own postcards.

I feel that the postcards that had a more illustrative style felt more personal, which to me represents the idea of connecting also. In relation with this to what I have produced for Kew Gardens, I can see how illustration and photography can benefit each other by merging the two styles together.

Although I did like the digitally illustrated designs, I wanted to take a different spin on my designs and make people stop and think about the design, rather than just knowing how it was made. Because the pictures are personal to Kew Gardens also, it brings a lot more sentimental value to the designs, as well as making them different.

With my style also, they can be sued as a collectibles item, which can be used as a challenge for people going to the gardens to try and find where I took the photos, as I took them in very public and specific areas of the garden, which are easy to find.

What this project reminded me of was my project last year Weird and Wonderful London, the activity book. I would have loved to work out my exact location of where I took my photos, as I could have put them on the postcard for people to find the location themselves.

Despite this, the postcards will resemble the feeling of connecting to nature and you as a person through the design. I intend to research more about Kew Gardens and find out some interesting facts and information that I could put on the postcards. By doing this, the postcards will have more value and meaning to them, as it will be informing people as well as showing what beauty they could be visiting.

Postcard design experimentation (further).

I wanted to take my photos further, so I found a tutorial online that turns photos into illustrations. I thought this could work really well for my project and link nicely with the older style postcard designs.

What I did differently in comparison to the tutorial, was on one of the layers (sketch layer), I put the mode onto screen, and added a mask set at 20% to reveal some of the colour from the original image behind. I also included an extra layer with the blend mode on ‘multiply’ to bring out the lines more.

I love what I have done to my image; the picture still brings out that calmness but also a little bit of curiosity to the image. The level of detail is emphasised with the effects I have put onto the image, and it shows the beauty of what the place has to offer.

I then changed the layer mask option and instead of having the layer on ‘screen’, I changed to ‘colour dodge’, which allowed some of the colour to come through. I felt this was much more effective as it allowed more colour to come through across the page, rather than in certain areas.

I really like this technique, and I would like to use this for my postcard designs. With all 36 images I have got, I would like to use this effect on all of them, and create a whole series of beautiful postcards/advertisements that Kew Gardens can use for their new design.



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Influenced by what I have seen, I have decided to think about how I can include the biological facts of Kew, but also combine this with their vintage style with my photography. I got 4 photos from my selected few and did some quick experimentation in Photoshop to see what I could do with my images, and simply using the filter option, I remembered the mosaic effect. To my surprise, I felt that this worked really well on my pictures.

I feel I could still go further with this however. I want to show in a modern style the idea of peace and connecting through design in the postcards and advertisements. Kew Gardens have a lot to offer to the public, and there are endless surprises as you venture around the vast garden.

Because of this, it can be easy to miss little details. Thinking about details, the postcards need to show that attention to detail is essential to the garden, and because there is so much to look at, looking at what you can see is important, as that is what makes you feel connected with the place and yourself as a person.