Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Hot on the Campaign Trail

My friend Katie (aka Karma) is running for GPSA President and she asked me to help with the campaign advertising. Previously she had asked me to do a logo for her Women in Physics organization known as SWIPHT. Now she wants some flyers and promotional material. As of now I made a full page flyer and a couple of quarter page fliers (that are more like handouts). Today I'll show you the progression of the full page flyer which took several iterations to get a final product that the client was happy with. Follow the yellow brick jump to see the gallery.

My initial thought when asked to do something, was this is a student election and generally the students don't know anything about the candidates and they especially don't know what the candidates even look like. So I did a simple design that showed who Katie is with a simple promotion for her website.
Unfortunately no one liked this design at all. The photo that this is based off wasn't optimal and so resulted in a less than thrilling illustration. Also the concept didn't go over so well (except with Katie, she thought the idea was great).

Next I added the details that her campaign people wanted in the poster. I included the same image just for graphic value.
Unfortunately this poster also didn't go over well either. I guess the image is too horrific to even look at if only briefly. Someone actually said it was horror movie-ish. Ouch. Personally I don't think the image is that bad, but I did not like the amount of words that were to be included. Fortunately Katie had the same beliefs and asked me to scale back the words

So from there I moved onward. Instead of going for facial recognition I tried just doing some kind of background that meant nothing, but looked nice.
This also was shot down. I had made this before I got word to scale back the words so it is still wordy. I really like the design, but maybe it is a bit much density wise. Katie didn't like it because it didn't have a professional look. I could go either way on that philosophy. While it isn't as simple as I had hoped, I don't personally agree with that because I think the typical professional look has become jaded and meaningless. But it is not my campaign, I understand what Katie was looking for, and the customer should get what they want regardless of what I think.

So I went back to the drawing board. At this point I was fresh out of ideas. I wanted to make something simple, and it has to be black and white because of printing and financial limitations. I wanted to convey calm, open, sturdy, and local. Then I thought of the Sandia Mountains and worked with it.
I think I finally got it right. Not only is it easy to read, everything about this flyer is simple. The mountains are heavily faded to not distract the reader, but also add something that could draw an eye if glanced at quickly. I added a gradient based on inspiration from when the sun sets here in ABQ. The sky and the mountains reflect a similar color during sunset and so I wanted the gradient to subtly remind people of this amazing phenomenon.

What do you think of the final design? Which one is your favorite?

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