A Trick of the Eye

KevinTong6

I ran across this beautiful graphic this week and loved it for several reasons. First, it’s very creative. Second, it still uses a lot of great design principles to really emphasize it’s message. I’ll point some of those out below.

Alignment

alignment

This design uses center alignment for it’s image and main title information. Unlike regular center alignment, however, it tweaks the wording so it is slightly diagonal. They do this for a number of reasons – first I think because it makes it more artistic with the center alignment with the image. Second, it aligns well with the diagonal lines that are softly shown in the background of the page.

Color Scheme

color scheme

The color scheme of this design is also a fun one. They have a soft blue background that is lighter on top and has darker hues as it gets lower on the page. The main image of the design has a mix of colors, the main ones being red and blue – good contrasting color choices for warm and cool colors. This works well with the design of the image to show conflict.

Contrasting Typography

contrasting typography

The designer of this ad chose contrasting typography. They used a very flowy script font for the title information and then used a standard san serif block font in all caps. Using contrasting typography brings in enough of a change to make the typography interesting and engaging.

Contrasting Design Element

There is a lot of contrast in this design, specifically for the main design graphic. There is the face of the woman looking out with traditional coloring of her face. You can tell that shape is a woman’s face and make out those details.

face 1

Then the contrast to that is in between the curved lines there are blue shadows and a red face. The red and blue contrast nicely with each other, as explained above. But the red color choice for the sinister face really contrasts well with the pale skin and light background as well. The pale face looks more innocent and calm, while the red face looks more mysterious and devious. I really liked the contrasting theme there as well.

face2

Overall the design of this graphic is really fun and interesting, with a lot of good stylistic elements to make the design stand out and look professional. Implementing these types of design principles really elevate any type of graphic. Thinking outside the box and being creative elevates it even further.

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What Makes a Vector Illustration Look Professional?

There are some excellent vector illustrations out there, but there are major differences in novice vector graphics and professional looking vector graphics. Today, I want to point out some things that make a vector illustration look even better.

I found this beautiful artwork from artist Kaz Oomori, who partnered with Disney and Fandango to create beautiful posters for the movie Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

3_Kaz_oomori-Star_wars.png

The artwork shows numerous reasons why it works well as a vector illustration:

Leading Lines

finn leading lines.png

The illustration takes advantage of the design element of leading lines. Your eyes are naturally drawn to the image of Finn and Kylo Ren because of the use of leading lines. Not only are Finn and Kylo Ren drawn in a diagonal, action way, but the lines leading off behind them really emphasize that action. Movement, as shown above, really elevates the appearance of this poster.

Good Use of Value

finn value shadows

There is an excellent use of value to show dimension with the vector illustration in this poster. Through out the design there are examples of shadows on the two men, and also the different value shadows leading off of them. On the face alone there is several layers of different shades of color, some of them the same type of color scheme just lighter and darker, but the artist also takes advantage of the light saber color reflecting off his face as well. There is also dimension with the shading on his pants, and also on Kylo Ren’s clothing and mask as well.

Contrast

finn contrast

Contrast is prominent in this design in multiple ways. Firstly, the color scheme shows great use of contrast with the cool blue color with the hot red color. There’s also contrast with the vibrant red/pink color of Kylo’s light saber highlighting off of his dark black and grey costume. The contrast between the two characters is also noticeable here as well with Finn on the good side and Kylo Ren on the bad, so having those two perspectives is a fun play on contrast as well.

If you look at the other artwork in the series they all have these same elements with consistency and repetition between the different posters, and all of them show good use of good contrasting design principles.

1_Kaz_oomori-Star_wars kaz-oomori-star-wars.png

Having warm color verses cold colors, using a variety of shades and focusing on the value of the design, and also using diagonal action lines really helped elevate the look and appearance of these vector illustrations. I am definitely a fan.