Monday, 19 April 2010

Flyer design for Singaporean Musicians :)

I've been silent on this blog because I've been busy with designing a poster and flyer for my friend K's husband, Lim Yan (who's quite an accomplished pianist in Singapore) and his cousin Lim Hui.

Here it is! I spent quite a lot of time on it, but I've learnt so much these past two days.
"Violin and Piano Recital by Lim Hui and Lim Yan" (flyer front and back)

I've been trying to draw an illustration on Photoshop with another earlier sketch but it was too hard for me to finish it within two days. The steam went off and...
..the sketch didn't look that good anymore. While I was shopping earlier this week however, a series of silhouette cards caught my eye. They were beautiful, simple, black and white. I love black and white, so I suddenly thought maybe I can do the same with the flyer designs.

So I went home and immediately searched for images of violinists and pianists on deviantart.com. I found some, then I started drawing the silhouette, first using the "Magnetic lasso" tool with the violinist, then the "Magic Wand" tool (don't you just love that name?) with the pianist. My use of tools evolved because I decided I didn't want such a clean outline - I prefer to use the silhouette with a "dirty, sandy" texture in the background (which you can achieve with the Magic Wand tool to select the background.) I can always use the Eraser tool to erase any "dirt" in the background. Coincidentally, while editing my "Linked" illustration, I found out that just selecting an area inside the outline of a person/thing, I can create a silhouette (isn't that obvious though? Sometimes solutions appear only when you face a problem.)

Because some of the songs in their repertoire had some "Spring" elements, I found some awesome brushes on deviantart.com, with music notes and flowers to "decorate" the flyer. Composer Arvo Pärt's Spiegel im Spiegel was inspired by two parallel mirrors and the infinite reflections that result, so I thought of creating a circle around the violinist and pianist, as well as using an antique-looking frame for the text on the flyer to imply images of mirrors.

Actually I'm supposed to credit the artists for the music and flower brushes, but I forgot which artists they belong to. I might try to track them down later and send them this link.

For now I'm very happy with the effect of the flyer, thanks to Viking Man's constant support and discerning eye from a non-designer's POV.

"Violin and Piano Recital by Lim Hui and Lim Yan" (Poster)
My friend reminded me that I have an A3 poster to design too, and I nearly freaked out. Yes, budding designers, remember to ask right from the start what dimensions you are designing for. The flyers were DL size (110 x 220mm) and A3 size is 297 x 420mm! Great difference, especially if you are designing for print. There's the danger of creating images with low-res graphics and everything looks all pixelated. Designers' worst nightmare. *gulp*

Anyway, I figured out how to blur the original graphic to make it un-pixelated (if there's such a word). The rest of the graphics were thankfully Photoshop brushes that could be adjusted for size, and copied and pasted. AND.... something that comes with experience...I had backed up my silhouettes in their original bigger size, in a folder. So life looks good from there.

Before creating the back of the flyer, I also had fun playing with the different looks and effects for Lim Yan and Lim Hui's photo below.

Original photo taken by my friend, K
 
I wanted the photo to look alive and almost hand-drawn, with the look that "belongs" to the antique frame at the bottom. As such I googled some Photoshop tutorials, and tried this look:
But this effort was abandoned half-way as it wasn't the look I was going for.

 Then I tried playing with effects on my own with "glowing edges" to create a semi-hand-drawn effect. I also added a fibrous texture to the photo to make it look a little older. The result was....:
I kinda like this. A lot. Viking Man thinks it looks chaotic, but maybe because that's how my mind works, I like it... :P

Through this whole designing process, I realised why good designers command more money for lesser time - sometimes people pay for experience and not time spent on the work. The more experienced the designer, yes, the faster they work. But nobody can exchange experience for money. Does that make sense?

Btw, my friend K (you know who you are) - *THANK YOU* for always giving me free rein to exercise my creativity on your posters. By being who you are, you have supported my artistic child to flourish like never before. Thank you...*muacks*

Ok, gotta go. Viking Man just reminded me that I have to finish reading my Production Handbook for a meeting with my manager tomorrow! Yikes.

enjoy your week, guys! 
x pixy



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