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Halloween Challenge: Battle of Light vs. Dark

PROJECT: Halloween Challenge

Through my mind-mapping process, I got to thinking about the various monsters, ghouls and horrors associated with Halloween and thought it was interesting how we've been entertaining thoughts and ideas of these myths and legends for centuries. I've always been fascinated with the Middle Ages, particularly the beliefs held about good and evil and the countless stories about a band of righteous knights battling the forces of darkness. With this in mind, I decided to make an iconset of medieval weaponry that might have been used in the 5-6th century (think King Arthur) to fight of the undead and what-not. 

Here's my mind map and some initial thoughts:

And so, with a few ideas flowing, I set about creating a mood board and sketching some heavy-duty weapons. Ready your arms, brothers!

Mood board, a mixture of simple iconography, some ideas for frames/badeges and some chilling imagery to keep me focused on the horror of this holiday. :)

A handful of sketches:

I actually sketched more than this, and even did research on different heraldric symbols. They were so many options, but I was really keen on making the weapons as simple as possible. I wanted the challenge of bringing them down to their most essential form.

As few design elements/principles I was pretty firm on:

  • Portray objects in their most essential form
  • High contrast - I wanted to echo the battle of good vs. evil in my illsutrations with sharp lines/divisions and strong shadows
  • I didn't want to detract from the weapons themselves with too much superfluous detail. 

Colour pallette:

Avoiding orange and black, I drew on the English flag (red and white) as a guide and opted for a colour palette with mostly shades of grey and then framed with white and red. It's simple and I feel it really suits the content and style I was going for.

Moving into Illustrator, things flowed quickly, proving once again that sketching is definitely worth it. 

I tried to establish  a visual language early on, which really helped with the creation of my remaining three icons.

Here's my final set, which I'm really happy with. Not sure about the header, but I look forward to revisiting this with some fresh eyes in a few days.

Great challenge! Many thanks!

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PROJECT: Infographics & Data Blog Icon Set

FINAL (Kind of)

Well, I wouldn't call it final, but here's where I'm at with 6 of my 8 badges.

I opted for a bookmark/tag shape in the end, and envision them sitting below each blog post. I really wanted to challenge myself to work with two tones and simplify the inner part of the icon to the point of being able to represent it monochromatically. I think some are more successful than others and I definitely need to work on unifying the overall style. That being said, I had so much fun working on them and learned A WHOLE LOT from Dominic's video lectures and teaching style.

Thank you to a fantastic teacher and a wonderful group of classmates!

UPDATE

I've been working on a few of my icons in Illustrator and have had such fun with them. Here's what I've got so far:

I think it's time to take a step away from them for a day. I'm hope that once I look at these with fresh eyes, I'll be able to refine them more and more. 

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After much deliberation (and two mind maps!), I've decided to create a set of badges related to infographics and data visualization. My husband and I recently launched a blog where we re-post great graphics we've seen around the web, publish original visualizations we've designed and share insights we've gleaned from our limited, but growing experience in this domain.

It's a new-born site and there's very little content up there, so it doesn't feel like the right time to be sprucing it up with custom-made design elements. That being said, I like the idea of my project having some utility and real-life use, so I'm giving it a shot.

We'd like the badges to help categorize our content into the following categories, to name a few:

  • Tools
  • Insights
  • Global Data
  • National Data
  • Local Data
  • Interactive
  • Infographics
  • Trendsetters

I love the style of Ty Wilkins and Tim Boelaars, along with so many others. 

Here are some initial sketches.

I was really unsure about how to structure the badges, but I'm leaning towards having a bookmark-type tag that could sit on the side of each post, as shown in the second set of sketches.

Thoughts/suggestions are most welcome!

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