Category Archives: Core Concepts Part 2

Point of Sale Display – Finished work

apple and pepper with white background DONE


Point of Sale Display


At first, I was tempted to use bold vector graphics, or otherwise stock photography.  I think close-up photographs are often used (certainly in supermarkets, or in the Spar at the end of my street)

I found these via Bing search engine, they are all licensed by creative commons.

fruitVeg1 fruitVeg2 fruitVeg3

But I wanted to have a go at doing something a bit different, and maybe creating graphics for a Farmers Market type of greengrocer. I looked at a variety of illustration styles. These are lovely, but maybe not really suitable for large display. The really stylised ones seem better suited to packaging or recipe books.



fruitVeg5 fruitVeg6  fruitVeg7fruitVeg8


My Drawings

This led to me to buy some pastel pencils to draw a picture of an apple and a pepper. I haven’t used traditional materials much, especially not with colour so this was a bit daunting. but I really wanted to give it a try.. I decided on single fruit  and veg for maximum clarity. The pepper and apple  are a simliar size  and shape, in complementary colours, which i’m hoping will create balance  between the two pictures.

The paper is actually white (I don’t know why pastels are usually on coloured paper?) but it still photographed as grey, so I had to remove the background in photoshop, and replace it with white, which I think looks cleaner. They are slightly stylised, but I was aiming for crisp and clear.



Then I chose a font I liked and kept the wording very simple. Whether they would stand out enough, is still something to ponder, but I hope that having a large picture of single fruit, combined with coloured text, would catch the eye.

apple and pepper with white background DONE





‘Identify the software you have available to deal with desktop publishing, image manipulation, and graphics/illustration.’

Luckily, I have most of the Adobe Creative Suite (bought at a student discount when studying web design. ) So I have most frequently used Dreamweaver and Fireworks…

Illustrator is quite similar (as they are both primarily used for vector graphics), Photoshop I still find a bit frustrating, depending on what I need to do, and Indesign is the one I’ve used least.  I also use an app called Procreate, which is a useful too. (It allows you to draw and paint freehand with your fingertip, and supports layers)

My aims are to learn to use Indesign effectively, and make proper use of my printer, which can print borderless, double sided, and up to A3 size. I need to read the manual! Ugh.

Poster Design – Finished

1 – The Simple Poster

I realised the most simple layout of all is probably the title, and the dates. I opened up illustrator, made a custom  colour palette and saved it in the User Defined section of the Library. I wanted to keep track of the colours, or I just get confused! Here it is. The font is James Farjardo.

orange poster -simple



2 – Full Text Poster

Next I added all the text that had been cut using the idea of a diagonal layout shown in one of my roughs. The fonts are Airstream and Myriad Pro Condensed.


diagonal text carnival darker green2-01



3 – The Final Poster

This is my finished poster, I’ve tried to solve the problem by keeping each snippet of information in its own ‘bubble’.

Multi Carnival-01

Not sure my eye is travelling comfortably down this poster, maybe all the circles should be physically touching… or  the pink is wrong? I think I could do with some advice on this one.




Poster Design – Research and roughs

The first step was to pick a subject for the poster. Luckily I got a large flyer through my letterbox, which has plenty of events and information on the Tavistock carnival. So that’s my subject.

Here’s the flyer, and the events


These roughs try to list all the events

image image


Then I thought about both simplified versions (particularly on the left here), and ones including more text.  I really enjoyed doing these little thumbnails on paper, its so different to storing multiple versions on computer. I’m still getting used to working out ideas visually on paper using pictures, not words, but its really satisfying!



Occams Razor feels a very helpful concept to bare in mind at this point.

But it doesn’t go on to explain how you might tackle this situation: The organisers of the carnival have just sent you a word document with all the information they would like on their poster. Now suggest cutting 90% of the text.

I discovered the word for organising lots of information in a clear way is called ‘Infographics’.,. Here’s a couple from a great website called Daily Infographics. It has a large array of categories, from serious to funny.  The tree one is so elegant, and I chose the one on loneliness as its such a ‘taboo’ subject.

Trembling Giants


Another good website is This poster is really fun1





How do you approach being self-critical?

As with everyone, the answer to that, is probably ‘it depends what mood i’m in!’

Some of my questions can be quite constructive. How can this be improved? Does it work? What if?….The flip side is , if I have lost confidence , or become frustrated, and I feel something is going wrong, then I can’t let things go.

Its quite a new concept for me to realise that ‘mistakes’ are normal when you learn though! When I’m open to that thought , it really helps.There’s some sort of quote along the lines of’ ‘fail harder, fail better’, which i like. And that you ‘become an artist inch by inch’. (No, I don’t know who said either of these quotes!)

I do like friends and family offering supportive criticism. (Though I can’t cope well with ONLY being told what’s wrong!) Name one good thing, one bad, is a helpful starting point.

When I build a website, feedback and revisions are part of the process.  If someone contacts me to say they are pleased with what I’ve done, it feels great. But its really embarassing  if I think I’ve nailed something, but the design isn’t right. I feel like I should have spotted it!  I always need a bit of time and to look with a fresh eye to assess things better, I also feel less attached to something if I’ve stepped away from it for a bit.



Visualising Your Ideas

‘You have been asked to design a leaflet for an organisation, inviting people to volunteer for a task’

I chose a community garden project, and used A4 paper to experiment with. I imagined this project may not be using professional printing equipment, hence the paper size.


In this first idea, I folded into unequal ‘thirds’, with a narrower strip marked with a dotted line, for people to fill in and tear off . This narrow section would have pictures on the reverse side, so the user wouldn’t have to lose any of the text from the leaflet (see below). I marked out 2 columns within each section. This is just possible to fill with small type, but would read rather like a newspaper column, and each row of words would fall below what’s considered most comfortable to read. Also, a major consideration is this doesn’t fit inside a standard envelope!


Next I thought about a standard leaflet folded into equal thirds, with a cut-out of a flower for interest. But I think this would be out of their budget.


This type of folded leaflet actually stands up fairly well despite the paper being quite thin. I considered types and thicknesses of paper…Obviously if they are printing from home, an ordinary printer can only cope with thin card.

Next, I experimented with another set of folds , this doesn’t work at all, the width is fine for an envelope, but as it opens out like a map, I feel the layout doesn’t correspond to the front at all, and could be confusing to view.


This next idea is about how to display the leaflets. I had the idea that if people were attending an open day about volunteering for the community garden, there would be an opportunity to interact with the leaflets. Here I have simply folded a batch into A5 size, and imagined that people have been invited to sign up on a form. Once completed, they roll up the paper, tie it with the string provided, and leave it in the plant pot (I’m also imagining there is an explanation of what to do inside the leaflet, or displayed next to the plant pot.)



I did a rough of what the cover of the leaflet might look like, then added it to the display. My final idea was to make the flower design perforated and invite people to fill in their name and email on the back, remove it from the leaflet, and add it to a display. I’m imagining an open day has a board pinned with colourful flowers from these leaflets. Perhaps the board they are pinning flowers to is a large hand painted stalk or pretty green lawn with a target number if flowers they are hoping to collect.

Possible drawbacks – any perforated paper would involve professional printing, and it may be difficult fitting all the type written info on the remaining space,


Since this post, I have talked to my local printer, and asked about various topics including the cost of perforating paper. She explained it does add a quite a lot to the cost, and would depend on the shape of the tear off section required. the cheapest option would be to have a separate loose sheet of paper with a simple straight line.