Thursday, 24 April 2014

Postcards & Stamps Design


I wanted to design the postcards first as I plan for these to feature a large amount of the marble effect and so I thought if I could ensure I was happy with this design, and find a way to design so I can try and visualise how this will look with the marble, it could act as a basis for other elements such as the front cover of the book and stamps. 

I firstly drew out some potential layouts for the front of the postcards, although I had a good idea of how I wanted these to look. I thought about including some kind of simple illustrations to work with the  design of the book and in some cases I thought about including a bow like design to represent this as a gift. 

However, when I started to experiment digitally with these designs I preferred the simple box outline design as the marble effect is quite 'busy' I don't want the design to look too much and I want to ensure the text is readable. 

Although I had planned to use Gill Sans I firstly experimented with another sans serif font in the centre of the card. 

(I scanned in the marble effect from my experiment and used this to give some indication of how this could look when printed, but this still isn't the best visualisation as I don't plan to use blue and yellow.)

I wasn't too happy with the above design and I wasn't sure if it was the font I didn't like. I thought about using a hand rendered font to link with the idea of print being personal and the human involvement, but when I tried this it didn't create as much impact and I don't think on the marble effect it will be very easy to read. 

But when I then tried the type in Gill Sans, in a bigger point size, it worked a lot better so I was pleased with the font choice I had previously specified. 

I wasn't sure about the centralised text so aligned this to the left instead and I felt this instantly looked better and read better. 

I experimented with this in another potential phrase.

Although I liked the positioning I thought the text would benefit from being a bit smaller to allow the marble effect to be appreciated more. 

From the sayings I thought about when defining this idea I have decided to go with the following four:
  • Guess What?!
  • Hello
  • Just Saying
  • :)

I feel these provide a range of sayings that you could say/give to various people from close friends to people you may not have seen in a while - as you might want something a little simpler for them and so the 'hello' would work well. I really wanted to include some reference to the digital language and I feel the :) does this well as this is a commonly used emoticon, but in sending this in print I hope to send the message that even this is more personal and meaningful in print form. 

I created a simple grid on the postcard and them used this for the rest of the designs. 


The above didn't work on the one line so I continued onto another and this looked much better. 

I then started to work on the back of the postcard. I wanted to keep this quite simple so simply split the page in half with a line and added a stamp box and address lines. 

I wanted to include the logo on the back as I had seen similar features when researching existing postcard designs.

Although I was pretty happy with the above design and the inclusion of the logo I thought about including a simple illustration to link with the style of illustrations I plan to include in the book. 

So I drew out an icon like illustration of a pencil to indicate where the audience should write. 

You can see this included on the postcard below, however I felt this was actually quite patronising as I am sure the audience will know that they should write here!

So I removed this but I then thought about the logo and how it may be more relevant to say 'from me to you' rather than from us to you, as this would add another personal element which is something I am trying to communicate with these cards. 

Here you can see the adjusted logo.

I adjusted this on the postcard design and I was then happy with this. 

Here are the final postcard positives ready to be exposed to the screens. 


From my previous research I found that the standard dimensions for postage stamps were 20mm by 24mm, so these were the dimensions I based my design on.

Following my research I decided that I wanted the stamps to resemble typical and recognisable postage stamps, whilst incorporating the marble effect.

So I started to trace the outline of the side profile Queen as this is obviously the most recognisable element of UK postage stamp.

You can see this outline on its own here but I wasn't sure if this was enough, if it needed any more detail. This was another challenging element to design without being able to see the marble effect, as I didn't want the stamp to be too complex with them being so small. 

I wanted to see if a more detailed illustration would work any better so I found a different year stamp that was a high quality image so this allowed me to pick out the details easier. 

However, I was not happy with how this was going when I had got the main facial features outlined. 

So I went back to the previous image and tried to add some more detail into this.

Again I felt this looked a bit odd so I decided to leave this and work with the simple outline.

I used the marble image to get a better idea of how this may look. 

Although this was still quite difficult to visualise I thought that the outline actually worked quite well and that any more detail would be somewhat lost in the marble effect.

When researching I found many of the stamps had this rounded pattern around the edges so I created this on illustrator, however if I were to use this I wouldn't print it I would just cut this out once I had printed the inside design. 

I added the previous design into this outline as if I went with this idea I would want a border around the main design. 

Although I was pleased with this I felt it would look more like a real postage stamp if had a 'class' on it. 
So using a serif font I added the '1st class' to it. 

In the above example I also made the outline thicker as I felt that this would create a stronger contrast against the marble and make it more clear.

From this however I then thought about having a solid silhouette shape to really create a distinction between the marble and the image of the queen, however when I did this I felt there would be too much white on the stamp and I didn't want that.

I then created a clipping mask with the image over the marble image. 
I started to play around with designs that would work with this and then thought I could link this to the postcard design and include a border around the stamp.

I quite liked the above design but wanted to continue experimenting. I felt with the above design including the 1st would be too much and maybe look too cramped in that small space. 

So I thought about printing the rectangle in one of the marble colours (in this example I tried to represent this with the blue but obviously the colour would match exactly), but only marbling the illustration/silhouette. 

It was difficult again to visualise how this would look but I didn't feel that the marbled image would be very clear with the background colour being the same as one of the marble colours. 

I then went back to the stamp with the border and made the image smaller so I could include the 1st class. 

I felt this was a little too cramped so I removed the border and made the '1st' the marble effect as well. 
This was much better than the design with the border but I wanted a clear rectangular outline so decided instead to inverse this and go with an earlier design with a marbled rectangle. 

As I was now happy with this design I needed to make the areas fully black that I needed to expose. 

I did however decide to not print the detailed outline and instead print a simple rectangle and I could cut the curves in later using one as a stencil. 

To get these ready to print I positioned four on a page which will allow me to print these four at a time as they are quite small. 

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