P6 Vector Portrait Illustration

Course Competencies from GWDA 103 Syllabus addressed by this project:

Demonstrate vector graphics through technology
Generate technically accurate digital drawings and illustrations.
Create and optimize graphics for print and web
Learn to identify the most effective illustrative techniques to obtain desired results.
Define and apply design terminology according to industry standard
Identify and use appropriate electronic vocabulary.
Select and apply appropriate visual elements
Skillfully apply principles of design, composition, and visual hierarchies.
Apply appropriate software solutions to design problems for varied media
Use multiple software applications to solve design problems.
Articulate and defend concepts
Critique and evaluate design solutions
Develop the ability to effectively critique your own and other students’ designs.
Meet deadlines according to project specifications
Demonstrate effective file and time management skills in the production of projects.

Vector Portrait Illustration Concept:

A national magazine is doing a feature article on or interview with a prominent person. You are to choose a photo of a public figure- entertainment, political, historical and reproduce it as stylized vector artwork. Emphasis is placed on reproducing a convincing likeness and to some degree, photorealism. The use of graphic effects and further imagery in the background is to be explored.

This image will be the dominant element in  in a two page spread. The portrait will be combined with compelling title using custom display typeface(s) which complement the subject and body copy. Display type and columned body copy are a requirement for this project.

Due Week 8:

You will bring in at least three photo options for discussion with the instructor. Make note of the image source so that can cite your source later.
The photo you choose must be appropriate for this medium: It must provides sculptural information about facial structure of your subject. Explore many options. Don’t be ‘safe’. 
Don’t create a “why bother?” project- a project you’ll not be showing in your portfolio. 
Don’t worry about what you think you can or can’t do in Illustrator today.
Properly challenged, you will surprise yourself with what you can accomplish.
NO LIVE TRACING is to be used in this project.
This is a project that shows your work.
You are to use Illustrator, employing your skill with closed paths, various fills, vector and raster effects, transparency, blur, gradient mesh fills. Pen and pencil tracing, and the vector reproduction of the image, the placed raster file is made invisible. No portion of your illustration may include your reference raster based file. Though you may use raster effects, the resulting project will be entirely vector based.
You will be assessed on:

  1. Resemblance to the subject of the photo(s) – capturing the essential.
    Your ambition- stretching beyond your comfort zone.
  2. The effective use of Illustrator tools and functions.
  3. The effective use of type, typeface choices, layout, custom type in headline, subhead, title, pull quote. Does the designer demonstrate appropriate choices of body copy typeface versus display type. Does the designer demonstrate technical competencies with the type tools, panels and functions?
  4. Color composition- are color theory concepts being applied? Is color being used to set up hierarchy? is color organized and composed using the structure of color scheme?
  5. Background- is the designer making use of the foreground, mid ground and background to include further images/information/expression about the person or to communicate the character/history of the person?

Final Vector Portrait Illustration submission:

The project will be submitted both as an Adobe Illustrator package folder and as a pdf case study.
It will include these items in the file, each on its own artboard:

  1. Cover page. Project title, your logo. 8.5 x 11″, portrait format.
  2. A creative brief/project statement: client, problem, solution. 8.5 x 11″, portrait format
  3. Illustration Inspiration. At least on page of placed images of inspiring illustration- vector and otherwise.
  4. Spread Inspiration. At least one page of placed images of inspiring magazine spreads. Place text object next to each which contains the URL to the original image. Where possible, cite the designer.
  5. The photo you are reproducing alone on its own artboard. Make sure that it is embedded. 8.5 x 11″, portrait format. Include at text object with source URL
  6. The final magazine 2 page spread including the illustration, headline and body copy on 11” h x 17” w artboard.
  7. The illustration in Outline View as a screen grab on its own artboard. Placed and embedded. 8.5 x 11″, portrait format (or 11 x 17″ landscape if appropriate).

Timeline:
Due week 8:

Find at least three strong possible photos for this project and bring them to class for review. Remember, having many choices is power. We will discuss which is the best choice for you in class. Your photo will then be placed into an Illustrator file, embedded and traced with the various tools covered. Three strong options earns a ‘C’. (4 points week 8, at least 3 strong options due, failing grade after week 8)

Due week 9:

Progress check at the end of class. (1 point)

Due week 10:

Screen grab of Outline view in class.
Graphic Styles for tint and shade objects
Display type versus body copy font choices. Using Blend for Display type (option).
Inspiration Artboard page.
Greyscale printout and peer critique in class. Progress check at the end of class. (1 point)

Due week 11:

Final Vector Portrait Illustration case study, due at end of class. (30 points)

Final Vector Portrait Illustration submission:

The project will be submitted both as an Adobe Illustrator package folder and as a pdf case study.
It will include these items in the file, each on its own artboard:

  1. Cover page. Project title, your logo. 8.5 x 11″, portrait format.
  2. A creative brief/project statement: client, problem, solution. 8.5 x 11″, portrait format.
  3. Inspiration. (At least) One page of placed images of inspiring magazine spreads. Place text object next to each which contains the URL to the original image. Where possible, cite the designer. Focus on the way in which the designer addresses the same problems: layout, the gutter, display type, body type, columns, shape text areas, page number in the footer, magazine title in the footer, etc.
  4. The photo you are reproducing alone on its own artboard. Make sure that it is embedded. 8.5 x 11″, portrait format. Include at text object with source URL
  5. The final magazine 2 page spread including the illustration, headline and body copy on 11” h x 17” w artboard. Present the name of the writer of the article which your Illustrations supports. The illustration must be entirely vector based, no live tracing. Margins, gutter, type considerations must be evident in your design.
  6. The illustration in Outline View as a screen grab on its own artboard. Placed and embedded. 8.5 x 11″, portrait format (or 11 x 17″ landscape if appropriate).