Communicating COP26

1 min read

One day brand project for an important event.

It's Tuesday and I receive an email from the Wildscreen team,

They are launching a new one-day event called 'Communicating COP26', and they need a brand for the X. And they need it fast.

Wildscreen is a world-known film festival that celebrates the best in natural world storytelling. They are a regular client of mine, and I have worked with them in past to produce the brand illustrations for their virtual 2020 event, and laurel for their film awards.

So I always get mixed feelings of excitement and intrigue when they reach out to me with a new job opportunity.

It all starts with a sketch.

Playing With circles and the letter C. There was something in this. Negative space.

2 concepts based on the global circle - one more led by an icon outline style, the other

WildScreen loved it. Preferred route 2. onwards and upwards! Got to the fun part - developing the illustrations…

Sketchbook, pencil and laptop. These are my three essential tools of the trade. I usually develop my ideas physically in a sketchbook before moving onto the computer.

As soon as a concept is formed I dive into Adobe Illustrator and start creating my Document Of Messy Things (DOMT). This is my digital judgement-free space where I pull together photos of physical sketches, shapes, colour palettes and Google reference images. I drop them all into one working doc and start pulling ideas apart and putting them back together. As things start to take shape I create a new Document of Refinement (DOR) where I begin to develop and refine the strongest ideas. Duplication (copy + paste) of designs is key.

I make sure to dupe any ideas I like along the way, just so nothing gets lots in the ether. It's important to not get fixated on one end result too soon, whilst not getting overwhelmed by the amount of variations possible. The thing about design is there is no right or wrong solution to a problem, so there is a delicate balance between squeezing as much potential from an idea and becoming stagnated and overly fixated on one thing. Most of the time I swing from one side to the other. And when it's not working at all I have to take a break, throw my imaginary laptop out of the window, and start all over again. In general, it’s all a big old messy process so don’t be deceived by the clean, crisp outcome of my work. Like the scrawl of my handwriting or clutter on my desk, my artwork is not a direct reflection of the imperfectness of my process.

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