Catherine Sergeeva

Graphic Designer

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"Les Fleurs du Mal" - Digital Collage with Vintage Botanical Illustrations and Typography

The Inspiration

I started my project with a quick search for some inspiration on Biodiversity Heritage Library on Flickr. Among tons of beautiful images of flowers, birds and etc. I saw this image:

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That reminds me that real nature is not about beauty only, but also about danger and temptation sometimes. Just as in live. So I decided to pick the title of french poetry book «Les Fleurs du Mal» for lettering and tried to show this in my collage.

The original images

I picked these original pictures as a base for my collage:

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The Floral Composition

Working with images, I kept in mind, that the final picture should be dark, nice at first glance and dangerous if you look at it closely. Nevertheless, first I worked with color fragments, because in that way it was easier to see borders between different parts of the collage and control the position of all elements. 

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When I was satisfied with the final composition, I converted all the parts into smart-objects, desaturate and invert them. So I’ve got this black-and-white image:

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But it hasn’t look like a single unit yet. So I made some adjustments of levels and sharpness for each part of the image. I applied filters for smart-objects in case I would like to change something in future. 

Adding Text

During my first research I noticed, that the most of collages with letters and flowers use sans-serif fonts with simple, geometric shape of letters. It makes easier for a viewer to read the message. So I used Futura font for the main words in my title. 

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I think, it’s ok. But I decided to try an option with Zapfino font. I think, it suits better for my purpose (I wanted to show, that something elegant and beautiful could have another side if you look at it closer) and, as for me,  it’s more about french poetry.

The Final Result

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