The Last One?!

…For the year…

I just wanted to start off saying that it has been an amazing year! I have had so many opportunities to hone my craft, and I have been enjoying sharing the last few with you here. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your day to read about them! Just like the titles say, this is probably going to be the last one that I share with you this year, so I hope you enjoy it!

The Project this time

The Sharpie Project last time was a timely project- it put me into the mindset of working on designs that were fitting for a bigger company, and could be seen as a potential advertisement for them. This new project kept those same gears crunching, and became very helpful throughout the entire design process.

The project was to find and analyze a company’s advertising campaign, break it down, and utilizing the breakdown components, design a new ad that would fit within that campaign. I would then create a presentation video that would be as if I were in front of the companies board of directors to get approval for the additional ad.

So where do I begin?

I began this project by first performing research into various ad campaigns. I did it in the most efficient ways possible that I could think of- a Google Image search and Pinterest. Ultimately, I put every ad that I found as interesting and well designed into a board on Pinterest (click to follow to that board), and began the process of elimination as to which direction I should go.

As shown to the left, I decided that this was going to be the ad that I was going to draw inspiration from. The ad is for the branch company of Nestlé, known as Nescafé. The ad is meant to be a promotion for their product, instant espresso.

So where does that lead me?

I needed to then do a basic break down of the ad, to find key elements that would help me design an ad that would fit the style utilized by Nescafé. I noted that the ad used a very well known Renaissance painting, “The Mona Lisa” by Leonardo DiVinci (with a few minor, yet vital, manipulations), the product’s placement in the design, the text, as well as the color pallet. From these four elements, I then was able to begin working on my own design.

The First Draft

The first element was of the “Mona Lisa”. How was I going to find an equally recognizable painting, or just a famous portrait in general, to use for my work? I went to history text books. From my time studying art at BYU-ID, I kept a collection of all of my art history books, and began to flip through them to find something that would fit the high standard set by the “Mona Lisa”. After going through centuries, I found a perfect candidate: “American Gothic” by Grant Wood. It is a contemporary piece that is almost just as equally recognizable as “Mona Lisa”. When I found it, I literally thought, “This is it!”

Once I had found “American Gothic”, I needed to begin needed alterations to the piece, in order for it to match the Nescafé Instant Espresso ad campaign. I began by enlarging each of the couple’s eyes. This proved to be a little tricky at first, but after making multiple different selections, I was finally able to accomplish that. I then began to look at the painting’s general color pallet. I noticed that there was an abundance of various shades and hues of blue, so I took that as my inspiration for the border. Not wanting to create contrast with the painting, I felt that it would be safer to go with more of a robin’s egg blue. I then went and found their Instant Espresso (it currently has a newer label than in the original ad), and placed it in the same position as the original “Mona Lisa” ad, then after going through a good number of the typefaces available in my computer, found an almost identical family and put the same text on the ad.

   

The Slide Draft

After making an initial draft, I needed to also make a draft for the presentation video I was going to be making at the conclusion of the project. Thus, I needed to design a series of slides to showcase my “New Gothic Ad”. I sketched out a few possible layouts, then I opened up Adobe InDesign to start creating a couple of master slides to work from.

I utilized a color scheme taken from Nescafé’s logo. Their logo also inspired the shape of the of the slide title block shapes, being mirrors of the accent on their name, and the same red. On these slides, I provided a more detailed breakdown of each ad to show the vital elements, as well as that consistency and continuity was a priority for the entire design process.

Product Testing

Once I had compiled everything, I brought my work to a group of peers to get feedback on the project thus far. The general feedback from peers was that the design is very well done, and that it could easily be seen as a part of the Nescafé ad campaign. Their suggestions for improvement were to make a few touch ups of the fine details. The eyes, after going through the enlarging, had become a little blurry, and it appeared as if the woman had heavy eyeliner on. Also, as a result of the enlarging, their stern faces became more pronounced, requiring manipulation to make it fit more with “Mona Lisa”. The robin’s egg blue was a good choice, but was still a little too powerful, and the suggestion was made to make it less saturated. The plan moving forward from here was to do those minor adjustments to the ad, as well as cut the word count on each of my slides down (might be a little too lengthy for an oral presentation).

 

The Final Product

Above is the final composition. I applied the needed fine tuning that was brought up during the product testing feedback, and instantly saw an improvement. I also became aware of the typography during the fine tuning, and noticed that my tagline of text had some irregular spacing between glyphs and went in applied the changes that it needed as well. Adjusting the couple’s mouths to reflect a more cheery disposition proved a little more difficult, but I feel that I was able to capture a subtle smile for each. Once the finished here, I needed to go into my slides to make the minor adjustments there to reflect the new image (seen below), and once that was done, I made the presentation video.

 

The Video

It took a couple of attempts, but here it is!

To sum up

I just want to thank all of you again for the wonderful opportunity that I have had to share my work with all of you the last few months. I am going to be continually designing and creating, so don’t worry, I will still be uploading when I do! I have grown so much not only from each project to the next, but also when I have been able to share and put down in words how it went. I hope that you all have a wonderful holiday season, and if you want to make sure you hear from me in the new year, don’t forget to subscribe to the blog! You will be notified when I post something new! And leaving a comment on your thoughts is always appreciated as well!

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