Connecting evaluation.

The mini brief for Connecting was all about going to a place and doing a design response to what you see, hear and feel. The message needs to be of connecting, peace and hope. My choice for this was to go to Kew Gardens and to appreciate the time, effort and care put into the magnificent garden for the public to enjoy.

Overall with this mini brief, I am really happy with how my final designs came out. I wanted to turn the theme of the original Kew Gardens illustrations and make it into something of my own, making the audience see, feel and understand how important the upkeep of Kew is by informing them of the facts behind the science of Kew.

The postcards are meant to resemble beauty and peace with the images of the plants located around Kew, giving you a taster of what lies within the place. Kew itself is known to be a peaceful preserve, and they connect with all different organisations and places across the world to make this place as magnificent as it really is.

I got a lot of inspiration from this project that I have applied to my FMP, the style guide of Kew especially. I’m really happy with my overall appearance of the postcards.

Despite this, if I were to improve on this project, I would have liked to locate where I was when I took the photos, and possibly collected seeds of those plants to put on the postcards. This way, whoever buys the postcards, will take home a bit of Kew with them. Nevertheless, the brief was about connecting, and the postcards show the connection of science, peace and beauty all in one, making Kew Gardens far more than a pageant of flowers.


Final postcard designs.

These are my final designs for Kew Gardens. I wanted to take into consideration of the text on the image, so I placed it centrally on all of the pages, and put them near the edge to allow as much of the image to be seen as possible.

Some of the facts were longer than others, so I put the longer facts on the landscape images, as that allowed more room for the text to be placed. All of the images show plants and locations of the beautiful garden, with a fact about the plants to bring both the text and imagery together.

I’m really pleased with how these have turned out, as they look different to the usual style of Kew Gardens, but they represent a modern appearance using photography. I would have still liked to note down the co-ordinates of where I had taken the photo, as that would have been a nice addition to the postcard and made them more interactive with the audience, as they could take the postcard and locate where I had taken the photo. I would like to get these professionally printed also to showcase my work, and to see how the photos look in print.

The photos chosen are peaceful, they show colour in different forms and gives the audience a small taster of what they could / have seen in the magnificent place, as well as giving them some information they may not have realised, connecting them with the gardens, rather than just visiting.

Looking at their shop.

I had a look online to find some more inspiration of Kew and what they sell and what the print on, as well as the styles. I can see that the illustrative vintage style is used on all of their products, which keeps to the theme throughout. What I love about this is the diversity on which they can the illustrations, whether they make patterns, single out illustrations or they use it as their example of plant choice.

I also found out whilst researching that they use the illustrative style in response with the illustrations that are used in books and research of flowers. I thought this was a critical piece of information to take note of, especially when it comes to applying my piece to their work. I think it is important to understand the theme of Kew, but to also give it a slight modern twist, especially to the prints.

Referring back to the science of Kew, I looked into the scientific information and facts about the place, and I found out some amazing facts that I think would be important to include on the postcards:

  •  Kew’s collections contain over 8.5 million items.
  • Kew has over 250 highly skilled scientists, curators and technicians.
  • The scientific spans and collaborations span 100 countries worldwide.
  • There are 30,000 species of plants.
  • Kew’s Herbarium contains around 7 million preserved plant specimens that have been collected around the world over the past 150 years.
  • 25,000 specimens are added each year to the Herbarium.
  • Kew’s Fungarium’s collection contains around 1.25 million dried specimens of fungi.
  • Kew uses the plants and fungi to compare existing specimens with new collections to see the change and evolution between the species.
  • Kew’s collections of rare plants have their seeds frozen and preserved, to help prevent them from extinction.
  • There are over 80,000 seed collections of plants that are recognised to be rare or becoming extinct.
  • There are over 200,000 prints and drawings assembled over the last 200 years of research.

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.


As I walked around Kew, I took pictures purely on plants because of how busy the place was. Although this was unfortunate, I wanted to make sure my photos showed peacefulness and a feeling of connection despite how busy it was, because the gardens itself makes you feel that regardless of how many people there were.

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With the photos that I have got, I’m really happy with the quality and how beautiful the shots were. Because of the time of year, the flowers were blossoming in rich colours, which I want to emphasise especially for my project seeing as it is the season for these plants.

What I have decided to do is look at what Kew already does for their advertisements. All I could find were beautiful illustrations that look old fashioned and give you that feeling of the gardens being vintage and truly one of a kind. The text is simple and bold, allowing the image to be the primary focus for people to have a look at.

Inspired by this, I feel I need to give Kew a modern-vintage identity for their advertisements. Their current advertisements appear to look like they are made with 2D painted layers, the shading is minimal but the level of detail with each ‘layer’ makes you stop and look at everything.

What I love about their advertisements is that it feels like they have purposely only used illustrative styles to give the audience a glimpse of what they could see, and how amazing the place truly is when you see it come to life as your enter the place.

Place of topic: Kew Gardens.

Kew Gardens is one of London’s largest UNESCO World Heritage site capturing stunning natural landscapes; it is gardens paradise. It is famous especially for its extensive collection of plants, the largest collection in the world in fact in various glasshouses, nurseries and around the landscape.

On my visit, I was unfortunate to not be able to access the main glasshouse on this day, however I made use out of what I could see around me. I noticed that the plants come in different shapes, sizes and forms, varying in colour and whether they are bundled against each other, or stand-alone.

In response to the brief, I certainly felt connected with peace and appreciating the effort that is taken for the place to look how it is every day. On the day that I visited, the park was very full, but I was still able to wander around and appreciate the peace that this place brings in contrast to the never-ending city that you can spot in various locations.

For my project, I have decided to go with photography postcards to showcase the flowers and plants, and to show people the beauty from each plant and how the beauty compliments another to create the beautiful landscape that brings people peace and connects with themselves and those around them.

What I didn’t know until when I visited was that the whole place revolves around science (Biology). I was amazed with the work they produced to keep up with the plants, and how they use biology to look after the plants in the best way that they can, as well as using biology to discover new parts of flowers, developing them and how the world depends on plants and fungi. Kew’s work spans 110 countries and collaborates with over 400 institutions worldwide, which is why it is so vast and magnificent.

Something that I have realised having come from this trip, was that I wanted to know more as to why it is so magnificent, and why we underestimate the extent of how complex this garden is.

Final postcards: Back design(s)



For the back of both of my postcard designs, I thought it would be easier to keep them plain and simple. I looked up a few examples of back postcard designs, and realised that, that was what the majority looked at, because the back is used to write on and send messages.

I noticed all the postcards had a line in the middle, with the right hand side left for the message. On the left or in corners, there would be a very small design of what is shown at the front, or something that relates to the same theme.




Some of the postcards have information written at the back, similar to what I would have to format on the back. I have decided to keep my text very small at the bottom to give maximum space for the buyer to write on.

I thought of using Arial as the font for the modern postcard, because it is what the postcard is about, and keeping to the same theme I think is the most appropriate!

I also had a think, and a typeface I know works well with anything is Tahoma. Tahoma is a good alternative to using type on the back for the Historic postcard. The reason for this is because it is a good typeface to use and is easy to read. It also merges quite well with the overall historic theme slightly with its informality.

Historical design:

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Mini example

back design PS historic

For my historical design, I thought it would look nice to have all the attention drawn to just one side of the back design, and allow the other side to have space to be written on. I decided to take an element of the front design on the back to give it a little bit of depth and decoration, without being too over the top in decoration.

Arial design:


I used the same format as the historical design, because I liked how everything is really clear but simple. Instead of having a decorative pattern, I thought it would have been more appropriate to keep it plain; I thought this would link quite well to the type itself, being plain and boring (to be precise).

Postcard 2: Tweaks

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Whole Post card

Whole Post Card

The first post card, I thought the black against white was too harsh to look at, so I very slightly changed the colour of the black font to a very dark grey, this makes the colour not look too vivid when you see it, and I also darkened the background slightly so it didn’t strain your eyes when you try reading it!

Texture 1

Texture 1

Texture 2

Texture 2

I looked at it, and I thought something was missing with it. I thought adding a very subtle texture in the background would look good with this design. I tried it out with 3 different textures, all I thought complimented well with each other.

Texture 3

Texture 3

My favourite one was the third pattern, a simple embossed wall print of the skeleton of a leaf. The design is so faint you can barely see it, which is what I like as it adds a tiny element of depth in the picture without you realising.

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The second image I kept very simple. I just lightened the yellow more, and added a deeper tone to the red to give it more contrast. I definitely think this design works with the font, because of the colours. I really like how the colours make the font seem inviting; despite it has been told by many designers to avoid it at all costs.

I have decided to use the first postcard with the title, and use the third texture in the background. I chose this one from the other designs because I felt that it communicated directly to the audience more, as it is directly speaking to them, driving their attention.

Postcard 2: Colour leak (continued)





I went on to produce a few mock-ups of my designs in colour using the two types of palettes I had looked up. The first post card, I did two lots of modern and 80’s style colours. I thought carefully about what colours I would use, because the font is quite simple with no real design to it, I can have quite a bold colour to compliment the font.



My favourite two were the pastel green and nude, and the warmer colours of red, orange and mustard yellow. I like the difference between both colours. The warmer colours makes the font appear less harsh to look at, whereas the pastel greens compliment the coldness and the boring feel the typeface gives, which I think again works well as it compliments the whole meaning of the font.






The second post card I had mixed views about. I don’t like how the ‘rial’ on some of the designs stands out, because I feel it loses the whole effect, as it is supposed to be very subtle so the viewer focuses on the slogan first.



The effect of the pale blue I think works really well however. The icy feel of the colour goes well with the font, showing no positivity or warmth to it, but is still subtle AS WELL AS adding a little more colour!


Differently, I quite like the effect of the pink added onto the whole text itself. The font doesn’t look too harsh against the white background, and it gives a depth of warmth to the image, instead of keeping it completely neutral. The deep clashes yet compliments the font, which is what I think draws your eye more to it.

My 4 favourites:


Out of the 4 favourites choices, I am deciding to go for the post card with the warm colours and tweak it around a bit to see if I can get it looking a little brighter, and instead try out a neutral colour for the bottom two. Personally, I think having it in black and white it more effective, because I want the title to pop out against the white background.

Postcard 2: Colour leak

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I decided to try out a few random experimental ideas from two designs that I had produced previously that I quite liked. I messed around with the tones, shades and variations of colour to see whether it would look better.

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I thought about the colours, and thought about using colours that compliment the font. Because Arial is a fairly modern typeface, I thought modern colours would be best suited. I went onto Colourlovers and typed in ‘80s’and ‘Modern’ as keywords to see what they had come up with and I found quite a few results.

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Along with the 80’s theme, I also looked at what colours were particularly popular in that time period, which were mainly pastel colours such as pinks, blues, greens and yellows.

I noticed also, that under both keywords I had put in, there were a lot of pinks and purples that was included within the palettes. I liked the blues also that were used; the tones of the blues were more of an aqua theme to them; quite bright and subtle. Personally, I didn’t see many rich colours like deep reds and browns. By looking at the colour palettes I can see what colours would compliment if I was to use more than one colour, and what colours would not mix well at all regardless if it was one colour or mixed with a variety.

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