Assignment 5 – 7 Days

Part 5 – Assignment ‘Seven Days’

Brief:  7 Days

The brief was to create an illustration based on the title ‘7 Days’.  The brief was to be interpreted by myself and the medium for expressing that illustration was also open to my interpretation.

Key words  – 7 Days

Response to words which also went into Generating ideas:  a brainstorm produced a wide variety of ideas and these were jotted down and expressed in the images below.

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Lord Mountbatten – He was the great grandson of Queen Victoria and the last Viseroy of India overseeing the transition of Independence.

Radcliffe – He was a British lawyer drafted in to create the division lines for the partition process.  He was considered a neutral party in the process.

Gandhi – Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi – was the leader of the Indian Independence Movement and gained a reputation as a leading Indian nationalist, theorist and community organizer.  In 1915 he joined the Indian National Congress and was a key figure in the drive for independence.

Jinnah – he served as the leader of the Muslim League from 1913 until 1947, when he then became the first Governor General of Pakistan until he died.

Nehru –  He became the first Prime Minister of independent India and was a central figure in Indian politics.  He opposed the division of India in the quest for independence but reluctantly agreed in the end.

08/08/1947 – Mirgration begins and 12-15million immigrants make the decision to leave their homes and move.  Most think it will be only a temporary move and that they will be able to return at some point.  Some family members decide to stay thinking that the situation in India will conclude quickly and life will continue.

09/08/1947 – Sir Cyril Radcliffe submitted his proposal for the divisional lines drawn for the borders for the new formation of an independent India and Pakistan.  However, the uncertainty about the divisions create tensions and in Lahore a state of civil war ensues with rioting and no order.  Seikhs make up 15% of the population and the divisions don’t seem to be including them as any border would divide their community in half.

Karachi becomes the new capital and trains full of immigrants making their way east and west before the division line is drawn are boarding these heading for it.  With the Seikhs aware that divisions will divide their communities, their frustrations and anger decide to make a point by blowing up a train heading for the new capital.  It’s the first time a train is derailed.

10/08/1947 – Karachi wasn’t ready for independence and as such the killing in Lahores rioting of Seikhs and Hindus has ordinary people seeking revenge.

11/08/1947 – People are dressing up as different religions to escape from the rioting and revenge seeking.  Muslims are fleeing to Pakistan and Hindu and Seikhs are fleeing to India.  Trains become the target for revenge with their direction giving their destination.  Identity was reduced to religion and as such systematic religious violence.

12/08/1947 – Calcutta still not decided on in relation to what side of the border it was going to be on.  Would it become Hindu or Muslim?

Riots begin in Calcutta and Gaudhi speaks to the Gundi Leaders in the area to try and alleviate the troubles.  He ended up reaching some of the leaders and prevented further violence.

Lahore has a continued escalation of violent acts and nobody present is willing to try and calm the situation.  Ordinary people are recruited to incur violence on those taking refuge.

14/08/1947 – Pakistan is officially separate with 1in5 people a refugee.

At midnight British rule ended and India became Independent.

An elaborate handing over ceremony in Delhi and the British were eager to demonstrate a smooth handing over of power, but the trauma and violence involved with the uprooting of many due to a border division created without careful consideration overshadows everything.

15/08/1947 – India is now Independent.

It is estimated that approximately 2 milllion people died as a result of the unrest due to the divison of India.  Originally it was hoped that India would be Independent but whole.

“Long years ago we made a tryst with destiny, and now the time comes when we shall redeem our pledge, not wholly or in full measure, but very substantially.

At the stroke of the midnight hour, when the world sleeps, India will awake to life and freedom.  A moment comes, which comes but rarely in history, when we step out from the old to the new, then an age ends, and when the soul of a nation, long suppressed, finds utterance.”

Jawaharlal Nehru – first Prime Minister of India on the eve of India’s Independence, 14th August 1947



Indias move towards Independence started back in 1857.The Indian National Congress (often called INC or Congress) was founded in 1855 and Gandhi was an active leader of it in the 1920s.  He pushed further for an independent India with peaceful demonstrations.  In 1942 a ‘Quit India’ movement began was Congress.  The Muslim League, headed by Jinnah, was also pushing for a clear Muslim state within this new independence.  This put a lot of pressure on the country and on Britain.

Towards the end of the 2nd World War, Britain found its resources depleted and the fight for independence in India was further depleting resources. Britain realised that staying in India was too much of a burden on their dwindling resources so the plan for partitioning India was conceived.   The Mountbatten Plan was quickly formed in a bid to relieve mounting tensions in India.

The issue however was the broad division the plan was putting forward.  It would mean millions of Muslims living in what would become Hindu-majority India would have to move and and a large population of Hindus and Sikhs living in what would be Muslim-majority Pakistan would also have to move.

The Mountbatten Plan was drafted and approved by His Majesty’s Government in May 1947.  It was then put to the various leaders supporting partition and given consent on the 3rd June 1947.  Not everyone agreed with it however and from June until the final confirmed partition date, discussions over divisions with Pakistan and India continued.

The demarcation of the boundaries fell to a man outside of the discussions as a neutral party was preferred.  Sir Cyril Radcliffe had never been to India and was given the task of outlining the division lines.  The Indian Independence Bill, which was introduced in the House of Commons on the 4th July 1947.  It was passed within two weeks by both the Houses of the Parliament.  It gave authority to the representatives of India and Pakistan to draft their own constitutions and was a loud confirmation of British rule being removed permanently.

The migration of people began before the official date of partition as it became clear through political parties that India and Pakistan were going to be the outcome from the push for independence.

People had to flee their homes to cross borders and seek refuge with similar religions.  Muslims living in what would become India fled to Pakistan and Hindus and Sikhs living in what would become Pakistan fled to India.  Violence erupted in many places with villages and towns butchered for being on the wrong side of the border.

People fled and many left their possessions hoping that perhaps it would settle and they could return in the future.  People travelled great distances by foot, plane and many used trains.   Starvation, disease and violence led to many deaths.

People that had lived in areas all their lives now found themselves in a dangerous situation from the division lines.  Mass murders of villages and crimes against women and children became common.  The number of those that died reached into millions.

About 14 million people are thought to have abandoned their homes in the summer and fall of 1947, when colonial British administrators began dismantling the empire in southern Asia. Estimates of the number of people killed in those months range between 200,000 and 2 million.

19th Sept 1947 – 3000 die on a train, slaughtered.

NUMBERS as featured on

The numbers behind Partition

190 – The number of years the British ruled in India, first through the East India Company and then the Crown. The Company, however, had managed trading posts in India for more than a century before assuming more official control after 1757.

400 million – The population across British India – including modern-day Pakistan and Bangladesh – at the time of Partition in 1947.

40 – The number of days British judge Cyril Radcliffe was given to draw the new boundaries that would divide the subcontinent into India and Pakistan.

3,800 – Miles (6,100 km) of new borders between India and Pakistan created by Partition. More than 1000 miles overland separated West and East Pakistan (now Bangladesh).

0 – The number of times British Prime Minister Clement Attlee and Lord Louis Mountbatten, Britain’s final Viceroy, uttered the word “Pakistan” when publicly announcing plans for the Partition of India on June 3, 1947.

48 – Hours after India declared independence on August 15 before British troops began sailing for home. Their withdrawal was completed the following February.

1 million – The widely-held estimate of the number of people killed in the brutal violence that followed Partition. Some estimates put the toll at double this figure.

83,000 – Women and girls raped or abducted by both sides during the violence of Partition.

15 million – The number who migrated, often by foot, during Partition – Hindus and Sikhs to India, and Muslims to Pakistan.

400,000 – The number of refugees walking in a single column from modern-day Pakistan to India.

200,000 – The number of miles covered by “refugee specials” – trains carrying evacuees between India and Pakistan – on the north-western line alone in 1947.

3 – The number of wars fought between India and Pakistan since independence in 1947.

Sites researched:


12.58  09/09/17

  1. 09/09/17
  2. 17 09/09/17
  3. 09/09/17
  4. 44 09/09/17
  5. 46 09/09/17
  6. 18 09/09/17
  7. 21 09/09/17
  8. 10/09/17
  9. 10/09/17
  10. 01/10/17
  11. 04/10/17
  12. 08/10/17




Drawing ideas up/ Choosing ideas:

I wanted to go for a brochure and poster for a museum that were trying to expose secondary school students to the history of India.  It is a part of history that is not well known and I had no knowledge on the amount of refugees created during the division process.  My own realisation was how little I knew about it after watching the documentary put out recently by the BBC called ‘7 Days of Summer’ relating to the independence of India.  The violence was heartbreaking and the train massacres were horrifying.  The massacre of 2 million people was alarming to find out about, as prior to the announcement of a division, Muslims, Hindus and Seikhs lived in relative harmony with each other and religion wasn’t a main focus for conflict.  The impression from school education regarding this period of history was that it was a peaceful handover of power and Gandhi peacefully protested while pursing his dream of an independent India.  The truth was much more complicated and the subsequent research revealed a lot to me.

Pinterest inspiration:

Working within format/thumbnails: I drew up ideas for the brochure based on the template that I had for a brochure from the internet.

trifold-brochure-guide-front free template



Based on the layout, I wanted each section to be a clearly separate piece in the brochure with a piece of information, but I wanted the whole thing to be coherent so that as a flat sheet of paper it would look good and the colours would look well together.


My ideas were largely trial and error as I wasn’t sure what type of brochure to create.  The brochures I have come across in museums or small library displays, often depict pale colours and grey photos.  They echo the past and try to give a reverent tone to the history being expressed.

I was very aware that the tone needed to be respectful and echo the past, but I wanted the colours to echo more of the India and Pakistan that would be readily recognisable based on our current knowledge of it.  For school students at secondary level education, this would most likely be in the commonly displayed religious images and possibly the images associated with spiritualism.

Henna tattoos and elephants came to my mind and bicycles as a form of transport.  So with this in mind I wanted to create some images that echoed this but that could be used as a pattern to support the main focus which was the history of the 14th August 1947 and the 7 days prior to Partition.



The patterns and colours are extremely vibrant here but very typical of what my impression of India is.  Based on this I created a pattern using buttons, as often I associate India with clothes.  Using 3 colours green, blue and red, I created a spiral effect and the map of India.  From these images I then saved them as a png file so that I could alter them and use them in patterns for background details.


The next pattern I created was using lino and I cut out simple stamps of an elephant and a spinning wheel.  The stamp for the bicycle was in my collection already so I used this to represent the transport.  I then found a leaf stamp in my collection too so I used this as further decorative detail.





Final artwork:

There were drafts that were simply not working because they were either too plain and boring or too garish and loud.  I really wanted to go for a healthy balance so there were a number of do-overs.

I wanted to experiment as much as possible with this assignment and inject the lessons learned over the last while.


The key figures were an important aspect to feature so I printed off a number of google sourced portraits of the key figures.

Key figures for Partition

Using a variety of portraits I then used a window and a page to sketch a loose image of the portraits.  This was then photocopied to a5 and I used my bamboo slate to sketch over the image again and this png file was sent to my pc.

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I then went about sketching various figures using photo references from the images from LIFE magazine that were captured at the time.  These loose sketches were then scanned into the pc and a png file created for these too.





The patterns created were then adjusted and a mosaic effect or a pixel art form of the patterns, were created to mimic saris and material.

The process image shows you some of the images sourced for sketching and the patterns created using the various forms of png files from stamps and buttons.  The images used were all sourced from a google image search for LIFE magazine images and Pinterest boards.



The final artwork is a combination of a lot of research and a process of adjusting the colours and tones with layers and masks.  All the patterns are my own and the combination result is something I am very proud of.  I found the process of creating the brochure fun and a little daunting at times.

Front of Brochure – Hilary Lawler OCA Assignment 5
Inside of brochure – Hilary Lawler OCA Assignment 5
Poster suggestion  – Hilary Lawler OCA Assignment 5


The daunting aspect came when I got bogged down in the information that was to be included.  The volume of research conducted for this was huge, and the information overload became apparent when I got to the end.  I simply ended up unclear as to what was important information to include and what wasn’t.

For the brief having such a huge potential for interpretation, it was really important to note how much I really needed to get clear in order to finish the job.  I tried not to focus on the ‘finishing the job’ type thinking and thought that if I was to ever create anything like this for real, the text would not be the focus.

However, I really wanted to do the telling of this part of history is the best way possible as I felt it was really important to make every attempt to get it right.  I hadn’t been aware of the full extent of the violence and horror of this part of Indian history as it was glossed over in secondary school education as a ‘successful handover of power’.

From a visual perspective I wanted the illustrations to be friendly, accessible and honour the tone and vibrancy of a nation that has such colour and energy.

The final brochure and accompanying poster achieve this balance of a delicate expression of a difficult history while echoing the India we recognise today.



Reflective journal on Part 5

Based on the feedback given in Part 4, how did I apply the suggestions made by my tutor?  Below are some of the highlighted comments from the feedback on Part 4, that I felt would be important to address in Part 5.  Under them are the reflections on how I did or didn’t do it.


1 – invest more time in the process itself rather than worrying too much about the end outcomes.

2 – simpler drawings could have been enough.

3 – make the brief your own

4 – keep the iterative sense of working and reworking going

5 – have a method for my process



1 – invest more time in the process itself rather than worrying too much about the end outcomes.

This was definitely applied to the packaging task in Exercise 33.  For this exercise there was a lot of playing around and trying different things.  A revisit on linocutting produced some lovely results and I felt that I was connecting to the art rather than the task of producing an outcome.  The bonus was the outcome was good, but it wasn’t important as the process was something that I enjoyed more than in previous exercises.

The process of play with the text was also okay, but as I progressed the worry crept in and the deadline aspect started to dominate again and this hampered my efforts to relax and enjoy the process.

2 – simpler drawings could have been enough.

For most of the sketches produced in Part 5, I went for a simpler approach and sketched without getting too heavy on the details.  It worked for the dinosaurs and for the educational strip.  Did I go too far with the simple drawings in exercise 35?  I’m not sure, but the message was conveyed so I think it was fine.

In exercise 30 the drawings were kept simple again, but the drawing of the plant was not up to scratch so that impacted on the overall image.  It was okay, but again I finished it in a digital format without truly engaging with a wider range of media.  This may have worked better as a paper cutting image or a linocut or even a still life.

3 – make the brief your own

I definitely tried to do this more and felt that there was a stronger sense of my humour coming through the exercises.  The characters drawn were badly drawn or childlike in their approach, which is definitely more me.  Making the brief my own resulted in more cheeky interpretations or more comic style formats introduced.  I’m still not entirely sure though if this is my default to familiar territory or making a mark of my own style.

In many of the illustrations done I haven’t fully experimented with watercolour and acrylics or inks and oils.  It’s something that I would like to develop.  Either way it was a step forward and if it is a default it is something I’m clearly comfortable with so keep it but still explore the other things.

4 – keep the iterative sense of working and reworking going

This definitely happened more for Part 5.  I reworked most of the things created.  It almost felt that the first draft was the so called final draft and then something would click and a new way found of doing it and this would be better.

My bamboo slate was used a fair bit too.  This helped me to loosen up and do simpler drawings which were then layered into things.  Using stamps and designs I had created worked well.  So although I was using digital, the content was all handmade patterns, stamps and designs.  This felt more authentic to me and digital software was being used to help create the image rather than depending on it from start to finish as an image creator.

Most of the exercises got reworked and feedback on the group page was very helpful to see something in a fresh perspective.  This worked very well on Exercise 35 and on the final assignment.  Feedback really helped to point me towards aspects that worked and didn’t work.

5 – have a method for my process

This was approached by creating a template for myself which included all the steps:


Each section reminds me of what I should be focusing on and it helps me to return to the brief and stay focused.

It really highlighted certain things to me though.  For some of the exercises I wasn’t sure how to answer some of the sections, but knew what I wanted to do.  From a student perspective that is fine as I’m learning and developing skills.  From a client perspective it is terrible as I’m showing I’m not clear on my intentions and direction.  There is a lot of room for error here, and although the exercises get done the fact that sometimes I don’t fill it in fully, gives the wiggle room for errors to occur.

When I do fill it in fully – like above, the end result is something I can stand over even if it isn’t fully working. It can be revisited and brought forward in a less stressful way because the steps are present.

For exercise 34 I hadn’t filled it in fully as I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do and so it showed in the process sheet!


The exercise was done, an image was produced, but the thumbnails went in the draw ideas up and the final draft wasn’t really a final draft.  It felt more like a ‘draw ideas up’ stage and not thought out as much.

So the brief works, if used in the right way, but when you don’t commit to it, you lose sight of important steps and it shows up in the draft and you create more work for yourself.

other reflections:

I was really looking forward to part 5 and went through it with a high level of enthusiasm.  Towards the end though I felt like the workload was too big.  There were chunks of stuff in each exercise that took way longer than expected and it meant that the stress kicked in about working to a deadline quite strongly.  I don’t feel like I had enough time to experiment with mixed media.  The focus was on getting the job done.  It would have been fun to have some exercises that were specific to working in watercolours, paints, markers, inks, paper and lino cut/wood cut, just as a way to engage with the media with some control and get feedback from tutors.  This would have helped me to be more willing to connect in with it for illustrations further down the line.  I think most students find themselves leaning towards digital formats for illustrating things, but it is important to know different ways to approach it.

Aside from above, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed the course.  It pushed me a lot and I have found myself out of my comfort zone many times.  I see the work done and I’m happy with my efforts but I’m also aware of where I let myself down.  There are times when my A game shines through, and the sense of satisfaction with that is epic.  Then there are times when I let the stress seep in, lose focus and find my ability to produce A game stuff slips and I just want to get the job done.  It’s something I’m working on.



Exercise 35 – Educational strip

The full comic for Exercise 35 – Educational strip, can be viewed via the link:


Audience – Young children about to hit puberty

Key Words – children, educational, panels, humour

Responding to words – youth, puberty, hair, body, unknown, growing, uncertain, moods, knowledge, humour and changing

Generate ideas –

Some images that inspired – Pinterest Boards

As humour was a key word I wanted to keep the information being conveyed light and easy to follow.  As this was a brief educational strip and not an information booklet, the information included would be only lightly introduced and not heavy in content.

The easiest way to convey this would be either through a neutral source or a direct source.  I chose to go with a character who is of the same age and a little bit of a ‘wise girl’ as she gets her information earlier than most and likes to share it.

I also wanted to try revisiting comic strips as a way to convey the message through humour.

Research – in order to know what information to include and what to leave out, I visited a number of websites and downloaded various pdf leaflets and booklets on the subject.  Most of these adopted a very informal cartoon type character which expressed the things that happen to us with humour.

When important and formal conversation was required, it defaulted to diagrams and texts so that it was clear there was important information being discussed.

The ones that I found to be most helpful were definitely the ones with a character sketch done with a distinct style and sense of humour.  It softened the intake of facts.

The links are listed below:

PDF from the NHS

These are the sketches I ended up with as I doodled various images.  I felt that they were chirpy and friendly but also a little tongue in cheek with the humour and I could imagine the conversations with them.

The images were also very sketchy as I didn’t want a formal image with a solid colour.  I wanted to play with the backgrounds a bit and use foam and other materials that you would find in the classroom.

Using foam I created the panels I wanted and scanned them into Photoshop.


I tried scanning in some objects too but I found it wasn’t really working and so I left it out of the final batch of images.  It was originally going to be a background of pencils and pens behind the background.


I then went into photoshop and moved about the sketches, added some speech bubbles and adapted them to suit the characters.  A quick sketch earlier with the characters including the text had worked well so I didn’t want to deviate too much from that and lose the energy from it.

The final comic works to inform children about the fact that puberty happens and will happen to them and there are certain things that you can watch out for.  Hopefully the main message of how everyone experiences it is also conveyed, as I feel that the information can always be obtained from somewhere on what actually happens, but feeling included and having a sense of belonging to the club is probably more important during this process of growing up.

I asked my OCA group on Facebook for some feedback and they were great so I went back and made some changes.  Some of the feedback related to not being able to see the characters and the bubbles being too white.  So I went for a clean colour on all and this is what I got:

The bubbles have been toned down and the uniform colour makes it a lot easier to read!  Nice one on the ladies that gave me the time to review and give honest and very helpful feedback.  They’re a great bunch on the page.

New version here:

Exercise 34 – Working for children

Pinterest boards for Exercise 34:


Brief – review working for children and experiment with words listed

Focusing on the words, journey and scared, I thought that the target audience for both would be 3-5 years old.  Their lexis at this age is limited but a combination of colours and simple drawings may help them understand the story.

I chose the kitten for the journey as it is an animal that they will probably have come across by this age, and may have a pet of a cat.  The characteristics of the kitten would not be unrealistic so it might be easier for children to relate to.

I chose an owl for being scared as it is a nocturnal animal so it should not be afraid of the dark.  Being afraid of the dark is something that we all experience as we grow up, so the eyes of the owl would characterise the emotion of being scared easily.

The backgrounds was something I wasn’t sure about – so I kept them simple.  A sketch of a background was included as while watching a movie it inspired me because of the shapes in the frame.  I thought it would look good as a background for either the kitten or the owl story.

I also sketched out characters for the words but they weren’t animals.  It was a warm up to get me thinking about it and figure out what would work best.




This is the sketch done for the owl and the kitten.  They’re quite basic but hopefully convey the words of journey/curiosity and scared of the dark.

I wasn’t sure what medium to go for and so decided to try out watercolours.  The problem however is that I really don’t know what to do with some of them so I decided to do what a child would do and I finger painted the owl image.  It is quite messy as a result, but it was something that a child of 3-5 would do so I’m hoping the noise it created in the image contributed positively in some way!


This photo doesn’t actually do the colours any favours here.  I really don’t think I hit the brief well on this occasion.   It feels half baked and not fully realised.  It’s a bit disappointing to say the least.  Part of me was hoping to try paper cutting or linocutting again, but to meet my own deadline I tried out watercolours.

I like the idea of watercolours and have watched videos on them but the skill isn’t there just yet.  I don’t know if it is my own impatience (probably) or simply a case of not getting it, but the ‘light touch’ that watercolours give is not present.  Even the effect of the finger painting can’t save it!

To see what would happen in photoshop the owl image was adjusted and altered to see if anything of value could be salvaged.  I think this is the part that I keep tripping up on.  The idea will present itself but the process for the finished visual is a little trickier.  It’s something that can be visualised sometimes and then it’s a process of trying out mixed media to achieve it, and then other times it is crystal clear on the idea, the process and the execution of it…and my brief clearly shows that I know what direction to go in.

explore owl

It’s a nice image but it’s about 5 steps away from what would be considered a visual for the client and then the final image.

That is a step I keep stepping over!  The visuals for the client…it’s very frustrating because I think this is the step that would help me to get clear and focused.

So overall, as I’m coming the end of Part 5, I feel like I’ve learned a ton and have made a small step forward but the vast amount of things not known are phenomenal.  It has shown me how scattered I can get when under pressure, and I’d really really like to try and sort that out before moving on the 2nd part of illustration.

Texture and play and imagination is big on the list for the younger readers, then as they become more mature the images start to fade out a little in favour of more text and the realism kicks in a bit more.

Perhaps the idea of texture books at the other end of the age group would be considered childish by them, I don’t know.  The use of colours is really interesting as the very young group tend to go for the bright primary colours but then head towards softer palettes.  It’s such a mix!

Even the manner of approach to the illustrations changes so much, and often animals are depicted as having human interactions.  Imagination is high.

Exercise 33 – Packaging


Brief: produce a series of illustrations for packaging to be used for a new range of organic biscuits for children.

3 varieties in the range : raisin, chocolate chip and ginger.

3 illustrations featuring extinct animals interacting in some fun way with a biscuit to be used on the boxes.

Full colour drawings and the colour reflects the biscuits.  When researching, decide on whether ‘pester power’ is important or the packaging should be aimed at the parents.

Firstly I began by inputting my new sheet to keep things together better.  This system worked for the previous exercise so I wanted to continue with it.


The key words were identified, in this case extinct animals and fun were the main focus.  Colours were very particular so the colour palette would be earthy or warm.

The ideas generated were aimed at giving the idea that the biscuits were something to fight over or play with.  The quick sketches were demonstrating a playful aspect of the animals and the food.

Pinterest was used to create boards for the reference images needed related to dinosaurs and extinct animals.  It was also helpful to use as a source for a variety of illustrations on dinosaurs.  The colours and textures used for some gave me an idea on what media to use for this exercise.

I felt that a mixed media approach would be best and that the aim would be to get childrens attention and then ‘pester power’ for purchase.  A linocut background would give it a clear individual style and the sketched dinosaurs could be imposed on that and a layered textured style would be built upon to give it a very distinct look.

A range of packaging sought in various shops in the area, yielded very few amazing results.  Most of the packaging aimed at kids were often processed foods, sweets and high sugar foods.  The packaging was often using the ‘pester power’ approach for marketing.  Organic foods were most often paler in colours, a fresh green palette and the fun aspect was low key with kids often featuring on the images.  Any animals were often depicted as ‘characters’ rather than the real characteristics of the animal.

Playing on this I drafted up some ideas on what the dinosaur would look like in a character form.  I wanted to explore what type of personality to depict on the packaging.


I liked the type of familiar dinosaur template used here, I had some idea that most t-rex dinosaurs were often depicted as aggressive and running in images.  The quick sketch above could be good for a dynamic image but may be too strong.  The right image was too simple and the lower image felt it would be better suited to an under 6 years old market.   It felt like a character of a dinosaur but not so much a fun aspect of it.

Next I tried out what type of line weight I wanted my character to be drawn in.  I wanted to go for a character type feeling with the dinosaur so a quick sketch in a variety of pens gave me a sense of what would work best.


The 0.7mm posca pen in black felt like a good choice to go with.


Next a reference board for my style of background and the animals being considered was created.  This helped me to stay true to the style of the animal while allowing for fun characteristics to come through.


For a coloured version of the images I went with the colours that would represent chocolate chip and raisin.

These sketches would be used in photoshop as a layer on top of my linocut background to give the stronger focus on the clean lines of the character drawings.

Next I sketched out two ideas for a background.  The idea was to have a volcano shooting out biscuits from it that the animals would then catch and eat.

These images are my sketches that were then scanned in and reversed and printed out so that my reference image for the linocutting would be the right way around.  I then cut out the details on the lino and printed the image in 3 shades of blue and a black, for contrast and variation.

These were then scanned in and placed as a background layer in photoshop.  For more fun elements I decided to create 3 x A3 images of watercolour effects that could be used with the background too.  These were simple experiments to provide myself with some variety for textures rather than using google sourced ones.

The sketch of the animal was then scanned in and a clipping mask of a texture I had designed using watercolour was used for the skin.  The cookie texture was created using a parchment paper background.

This worked as a familiar image of an extinct animal and it would sit on the background in a good way and be recognised easily by anyone shopping.

Variations in colour were made for the purpose of allowing the image to be adapted to any of the ‘flavour’ types needed.  The pink would be good for raisin and the red would work in either raisin or ginger settings.

I then put the background and textures together and adjusted the layers to see what effects I could get.   A cartoon type vibe was the aim and bright colours from the raisin range of flavours were being used in the image.


For some type of variety, a simple brush stroke effect created a candy like strobe on the image so  I went with it to see what would happen.  This image was saved as a jpeg background as I like the purple tones and the green that came through.  The sandy coloured sky was a good effect and resembled a sunrise or sunset, but it was strange looking in some way so I left it in.

The first draft was simple with the dinosaur on the background but it looked too simple.  A second draft produced something that resembled more of a cover for a childrens book rather than a cookie product.  As the colour was close to choc chip colours I felt it was a good match for that, but not for the brief.

Organic cookies1

So I tried it again with a more structured image in mind, taking into account that the biscuits would most likely be featured on the packaging with a photograph.  With this I then created a more angled image approach and toned down the background in an effort to focus more on the product.

Some images from google of stock free biscuits were included for the purpose of context.  The colours are good and they echo the raisin flavour well.  The dinosaur definitely has a character and a slightly fun ‘my cookie!’ vibe going on so I am happy with that.

Organic cookies final
Google sourced png free image of cookie

I think I hit the brief for the colours and type of image they were looking for.  The main aim for this exercise for me was to try and stay away from digital until the very end when the images were being layered.  A revisit on past ideas was needed and lincutting was something that had been really fun to do so I wanted to revisit that.

The background turned out great and that was something that made me really happy.  The images of the extinct animals were okay and were not exactly a caricature of them but did express a ‘fun’ type of personality.  Perhaps a cleaner image could have been achieved by simply spending more time on sketching them.  The packaging wasn’t calling for a character design but it kinda was asking for something like that in its aim to have the animals interacting in some fun way.

Are they interacting?  Not with each other but they are interacting in a message conveying ‘my cookie’.   So the brief was met about 80% of the way I reckon.

Exercise 32 – Text and Image

The board below outlines a variety of posters for movies, plays and places, as well as examples of objects used as letters.  In the case of the posters, the fonts used echo the theme of the movie or play or place.  There is a distinct sense of what the place or story is simply based on the text and style.

I particularly love the Metropolis letters going up and down the buildings to demonstrate the sheer volume that is a city.  The building structures are angular and distinct shapes, and the font reflects that shape but uses the landscape to give a sense of depth to the populated area.

The Mouln de la Galette has a beautiful flow to it that echoes the flow of the hair from the lady in the image.  Meanwhile the Gatsby font is embedded into a golden gate, giving the impression of extravagance and money.  Back to the future uses neon lights to demonstrate technology at the time, and the font is quite fluid but the joined writing and colours are perfect for neon lights.

West Side Story has a sense of weathered apartment blocks and concrete with height while the Tuck Shop font is an excellent nod to school shops and blackboards with chalk.

Star Wars has a beautiful fluid science fiction font style and the symmetry in the number and size of the letters balances the title very well.  Meanwhile on the extreme left we have animals built into the letters and then objects that demonstrate letters which could then be used to represent the collective form of the objects such as ‘buildings’ or ‘seats’ or ‘household objects’.

As a contrast the Merry Christmas illustration uses a variety of objects associated with the season and given a seasons greeting in a fresh way.  The SUV illustration is clever with the wheels added to give motion.  Coca Cola was included as it is a timeless font and flows beautifully from one word to another but it is very easily recognisable.  The Goonies font for the poster is a beautiful blocky type font that gives the impression of rocks and caves.  The poster is very dynamic and exciting and expresses such a sense of adventure and drama so the solid font on the poster is a great contrast.

text in posters

More examples –


The above are a range of fonts I tried to create to express the meaning of the word.  My favourite one is ‘invisible’ as it disappears towards the end and represents the literal meaning nicely.  Boom was ok but there are better ways to express it and I felt this was not fully realised.  As a sound effect in comics it is often expressed in a ‘loud’ manner.  Speed was the same, the second version worked okay but the first one wasn’t clear.

Rope was a successful font as the fluid motion spelling it worked nicely.  Fat looks like it is sweating and uncomfortable so that works but the balloon could be better.  Noodles work and slippy kinda works too.  Electric font would probably work better in a outline form rather than fully coloured in.  Slim and thin are similar but thin has a slightly stronger vibe to it.

For the fonts that are built into word and PS, the ones below were the fonts that jumped out at me as the clearest forms that express a theme, genre or adjective very clearly for me.


If I was using a font in my images I would carefully consider what the font needed to be and whether that complimented the illustration or not.  Sometimes a contrast is needed but when there are fonts that jar the image too much then it detracts from the image completely.