GDS 273/274 Illustration I & II
Project 7: Biography Book Cover Ilustration
Instructor: Paul Young
To develop conceptual thinking skills. To explore illustration styles. To apply composition and illustration skills to real-world visual communication problems.
To utilize the Adobe Creative Suite as an illustration and production tool.To learn about the tradition of portraiture in our culture.
Create an illustration for a book cover. The book is a biography; the subject of the biography will be chosen by the student. The client is University of Illinois Press.
- an original illustrated portrait of your subject
- title of book (use the subject's name)
- byline (your name)
- spine art and type
Your illustration must communicate the personality of the subject. Your illustration will emphasize one aesthetic tool (without totally excluding the others). You must pick from the following (make your decision on which best helps you communicate the subject’s personality):
- viewer position (up, down, close, far)
- line (bold, soft, poetic, harsh)
Your final design must show an understanding of unity, emphasis and balance. When appropriate, utilize rhythm and depth as well.
1. RESEARCH FOR INSPIRATION: Research existing book covers. Look at all biographies, not just illustrated ones, for good typography and composition. Be sure to review trade publications (Print, How, Communication Arts), annuals (Workbook, Society of Illustrators), and web sites like I-Spotor Altpick. Scan your favorite examples and publish your research on your personal process page for critique (be sure to caption each image and cite the source). Be prepared to explain why these examples are successful.
2. PICK A SUBJECT: Choose a person with whom you have a connection with (he or she can be dead or alive, famous or unknown). If approriate, interview the person (see questions). Alternatively, research the subject in the library or on the Internet. Summarize your research in the form of a memo describing your choice (see sample). Use this information to develop your concepts.
3. INCUBATION: Absorb the information you have gathered and sleep on it. Allow your unconscious mind to make connections for you.
4. DEVELOP THE CONCEPT: In your sketchbook begin to conceptualize ideas for this project (see examples of sketches). Make at least 10 sketches of all possible directions you might take this project. Edit your concepts down to your best three ideas and redraw them on 8.5 x 11 white paper using a felt tip pen for critique. Scan and publish your concepts on your personal process page. Test how successful your concepts are by presenting them in class for critique. Be prepared to talk about your decisions.
5. PROOF: Based on the critique of the above, use the computer to translate your sketch into digital files using the appropriate software. Generate a web-ready JPEG and publish your proof to your personal process page for critique. Be prepared to talk about what design principles are utilized in your layout.
6. FINAL CRITIQUE: Based on the critique of the above, produce a fully conceived "comp" of the finished design. Add revised JPEGs of your design to your personal personal projects for final critique (do not delete older versions). If necessary, make refinements until you are 100% satisfied with the project. Print a color "comp" for your portfolio. Be sure to save all your files for future editing.
7. GRADING: Submit two fully conceived "comps" for grading. One proof will be returned to you after grading. File the graded proof in your Process Book for individual review along with all the preliminary work you did for the project (research, brief, sketches, preliminary proofs, final proof). You will not receive credit for this project if any of the above elements are missing.
8. EXTRA CREDIT: Submit your project into next year's student show by printing an art gallery quality proof and mounting it on foam board. Also prepare an archival quality JPEG (800px wide, no larger than 200K) and submit your project using the online entry form at gds.parkland.edu/show. Your project may win a cash prize and be published in a showcase of student work on Parkland's website.