In January 2021, I was lucky enough to be alerted to a graphic design competition run by Lindsay Marsh Design. Lindsay Marsh was one of the tutors leading a graphic design course I studied on Udemy, The Complete Graphic Design Theory for Beginners Course, so this felt like a great opportunity to try out all i’d learned.
Over the course of a week, we were set a series of diverse briefs that were similar to the sort we might be assigned in real-world client situations. On completing each task, we had to share our work on Instagram using the hashtag #5daydesignchallenge.
Monday : A Photo Composite
For this challenge, I made a composite using free images sourced from Unsplash (credits below). This was a great way for me to practice my fine selections, with the main subject needing work on selecting details such as the hair so I could replace the background, alongside selecting clouds, buildings, and even sheep! I also played around with colour replacement tools and applied various filters to introduce a dreamy feel. One thing I learned about composites is that simply plonking an object into the picture will not do; lighting is extremely important in order to ensure a sense of the real in the surreal. I finally finished the piece of with a small amount of my own illustration work to create the sheep and fencing in the foreground.
For this challenge, I made the top ten!
Tuesday : A Quote for Social Media
The second challenge of the week was to create – or rather curate – a favourite quote designed to be easily shareable and recognisable on social media. I chose my favourite philosopher Alan Watts, and a quote from one of his lectures that I have always tried to live by when feeling that classic imposter syndrome…
However, this challenge was not about the content but rather about the presentation, and specifically typography combinations. I combined three different typefaces including contrasting colours on the words of emphasis. The typeface selected for the ‘Acorn’ and ‘Oak’ words — Krungthep — was chosen as a nod to Alan Watts roots in Eastern Philosophy. I also finished the piece with some of my own freehand illustration work in the form of a loosely inked tree created on Procreate.
Wednesday : A Vector Illustration
Wednesday’s task was to create a vector illustration. This was a great challenge for me to practice my illustration techniques with the pen tool.
Unfortunately at present I only have access to Adobe Photoshop, not Adobe Illustrator, so creating vector art is somewhat of a challenge working within the limitations of the software. Therefore I decided to keep this one simple, choosing a fun subject matter that would translate to various sizes easily. Although it did make me have quite a craving for sushi!