Another round of creative thinking, and how to portray homelessness in Seattle. For this assignment, I have used a variety of techniques to create a graphic using handmade vector graphics. The assignment requires the use of all vector graphics, which I have done here. The one “image” that I have modified, was cut out of a photo I used in the previous project, but I have used the “live trace” function within Illustrator to create a silhouette scalable vector graphic that I would not have otherwise been able to create from scratch. I have used this function many times in the past to take rasterized images that would otherwise scale very poorly, and create an artistic rendering that is infinitely scalable.
In creating this I had two concepts in mind, one reminiscent of the evolution of ape to man graphic, and the other being a play on the title of the movie “Sleepless in Seattle.” To create this, I looked up images of some of the iconic buildings in Seattle, and chose the Columbia Tower, the Smith Tower in Pioneer Square, and, obviously, the Space Needle.
For the final draft, from the suggestions I received, I changed the font to match the “Sleepless in Seattle” poster font, which was a Bodoni Poster Compressed font which I found from this website: http://fontmeme.com/sleepless-in-seattle-font/. To match the poster font, I had to adjust the paragraph spacing as well as the character spacing of the words. The first line had to be compressed slightly, and the second had to be reduced in font size and the character spacing expanded. The poster also had a line separating the text, so I also inserted that.
To create the buildings, I drew a variety of overlapping rectangles, and “eyeballed” them until they resembled the overall shape of the Columbia Tower and the Smith Building. Since the Columbia Tower has curved façades, I chose to insert rectangles to resemble the different floors, and rounded the corners to give an artistic impression of the rounded shape. The Smith Tower is a similar melange of rectangles in the general shape of the building. To create the diagonal line of motion, I sized the building to create not only a hint of an “up” arrow with the building but to balance the form of the piece as well.
I then started building the Space Needle, using the ellipse tool to create a single ellipse, that I then copied and resized to create the profile of the top of the Space Needle. I added a triangle to simulate the spire, and then went about trying to create the legs of the needle. This was the most difficult part, as I had to warp a rectangle to resemble one of the legs. Once I had one made, I copied it, and then used the reflect tool to create mirror copy. I then had to adjust the tilt of the legs, as the real Space Needle’s legs meet much higher up than the center of the tower. With that adjusted I made one additional rectangle leg made the cross pieces and lower observation deck that go lower on the legs. I placed a light stroke around the shapes to offset them against the background in some of the versions.
With all of the buildings made I resized each one to create the diagonal line I had originally intended, starting with the caricature of a homeless man, and moving up to one of the tallest buildings in the world. Then I started adjusting the color of the background, and of the buildings to look at the various options, from stark black and white to a more muted grayscale.
For the final draft, I took the image of the homeless man into full silhouette, added a light drop shadow, adjusted the color of the silhouette to about a 90% gray to get a good contrast between the man and the buildings. 100% black seemed to make the silhouette pop out more than I preferred. I also added the same light drop shadow to the buildings and was happy with the new result.
Going through the steps outlined in “Inside the process of professional graphic designers,” I originally brainstormed some ideas, thinking I wanted to use a silhouetted figure, and then sought out some images for visual reference of Seattle Buildings to see if I could do a stylized version of the buildings. I made a rough sketch of what I would like it to be, and then set out designing a few draft designs as seen in the draft post. Using feedback I got, I modified the image. Reflecting on the overall design, I feel that this is a simple yet effective improvement on the original draft.