Graphic Design Exercise 1 – Part 1

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Picture charades

Key words for brief:  charades using only drawing

No single words permitted so symbols to represent the film, book or T.V.

I road tested with my instagram followers but not many responded but they did like so I’m going to have to assume that they understood the images.  For my husband it was a bit of a stretch with some of them and he got there simply through knowing my taste in movies.  For the phrases and idioms he got there a lot faster so I was happy with that.

I used markers for this exercise and a range of either half pages in an A5 sketchbook or a thumbnail.  The paper is a nice weight at 170gsm so it can take a certain amount of marker before really looking terrible.  The back of the page does get a bleed through but it isn’t awful for this exercise.

First up I tried some movie images that would hopefully be easily recognized.  The simple one was ‘Ladybird’ so I went for a strong background and a lovely ladybird on top.

The next movie was ‘IT’ and I went for the image of the water flowing into the gutters and seeing the eyes staring back at you.  The start of the movie has it and it’s when a small child is taken first.  The obvious image to go for would have been a child in a yellow coat holding a red balloon.  It’s already a poster so I wanted to try something else.  This was easily recognised although it is quite confusing with the lines.

I tried it again using a red background to represent the balloon and a close-up of the clowns face but funnily enough it wasn’t as easily recognisable (bottom half).  Next I tried ‘Taxi Driver’ and went for the classic New York taxi colours with a contrast of the character as he was and what he became.  When I flipped the image and showed the Mohican haircut then it was identified easily.  It was really tough to decide what to focus on here.  I think even just a close up on the haircut, a beauty spot and the yellow, black and white background may have been better.

This is just a test on things and so the images are not big but I can see how a bigger image and a focus on the silhouette of the taxi driver killer character could be more iconic and so people would recognise him a lot easier.

Next up I tried ‘Blade Runner 2049’ and ‘Thor: Ragnok’.  This had a lot of iconic imagery in the movie but the colour palette is amazing for both movies.  They’ve got this neon quality to the blues and pinks with a dust like quality to the orange.  They’re fantastic.

So I focused on that and tried to convey a main character that is often depicted in the trailers.  Very much the same as the Blade Runner first movie when the image of the geisha selling coca cola became iconic, I went for the woman with the blue hair.

The shape of the head was a little off so I used tipp-ex to fix that then added the range of hands.  They’re not the best but I hoped the general vibe of hologram, glitching and main holographic woman image from the future would be recognised.  It wasn’t.  So I went back to the doodle book.

Next up I tried a different image, trying to portray the contrast in size and show the oversized female form dwarfing over the main character.  Still not recognised.  So I went for a shot of the main character staring at the blue woman with a strong pink that is the light reflected from the city.  The numbers were added and then he finally got it.  This one has a strong positive reaction on instagram as the colours represented the film strongly and the shot of the characters eyes show you he’s staring at someone or something.

Using the markers with the Thor thumbnail was interesting.  I tried to pick out the important info that would convey the character but also show the movie was a different one.  For example, the helmet and the sword are for combat while Thor normally has his hammer.  The cloak is his but this movie is has a beard.  The blue eyes are meant to assist with character recognition.  It kind of worked but wasn’t super obvious.

Just for a contrast I tried the same thing out with a range of idioms and phrases.  This was much more successful and 7 of the 8 images were identified quickly.  The only one that caused some confusion was the 7th which was ‘I’m all ears’ but the size was focused on instead.