Thursday, 30 May 2013

Swap! Layouts - the Design Process


There are a few places in Swap! where, instead of one image on the page, there are two or three little vignettes. These can just sit on a plain, white background, but the design of Swap! uses a pastel coloured palette throughout and I envisaged these little illustrations sitting either on a coloured background, or a page divided between two contrasting colours.

When my designer send the layouts, she had done something I didn't expect. She used the pastel colours, but in combination with a white background (ignore the little, red oblongs: they are just editing notes): 


I like the freshness the white lends things, but feel the design leaves insufficient room for the text and everything seems too cramped.

So I had a play, to see if I could make the idea work better. I tried different shapes and ended up with this, which keeps the white border but, by making the shapes big enough to encompass some of the text, allows things room to breath:


But any design of this kind needs to follow through the whole book, so I went over each of the vignette pages, trying to make them match my theme. They all had different challenges, so no two worked out quite the same...

There was more going on in these illustrations, so I couldn't manage the white split between the shapes, but by keeping the outer border and the diagonal split, it's a good enough match:


This one was tricky, as four images meant even less room on the page. Again, I felt the original idea from my designer had the shapes a bit tight against the text:


So I did away with the white between the images as before, then played around until I could find two diagonals which created shapes that fitted the illustrations. Again, shifting the majority of the text inside the shapes makes it feel much roomier:


We decided that this page worked best on just one colour, as the 3 poses are happening very quickly after one another and the pink makes it all suitably 'girlie'. I've kept the diagonal split though and the element of fragmation creates extra fun, because it adds to the sense of chaos:


I've had these designs approved now, so it's full steam ahead!

9 comments:

Louise Forshaw said...

These work so much better now than when the designer did it. Looking fab!

Ian Summers said...

It looks great. I'd love to try my hand at kids books!

Mai Kemble said...

fun! and they definitely re-emphasize shape!! ;)
awesome!

Dow said...

Thank you for sharing the thought process behind your layout design. I really enjoy reading about how artists think!

Catherine said...

So lovely to see the development of your artwork - thank you for sharing the process :)

Cameron said...

Wow! Amazing what a difference those changes made! I loved seeing how this process took place!

Nahin said...

Wow !!! What's a sweet adorable blog you grant here. Cute cartoon with fantastic blog layout design, great sharing ever !!!

Vong Chong said...

So nice and interesting post you have shared guys .

Clipping Mask Asia said...

Quite smart collection of art drawing. I appreciate your talent and creativity.