Changing Colour Scheme and Gradients

To take the next step with my poster, I added gradients. It did not take long though until I realized that I could not keep up my previous colour scheme. Just blue and white did not look good and also, it did not work with the white clouds. So I experimented with green, since I used that colour for the trees anyway and a lighter blue instead of white. After all, I was satisfied but not completely happy with the result.

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Another thing I did was removing the lines in the third quarter and colouring the clouds depending on how close they are to raining from white to dark grey.

Tracing: Trees and Clouds

For the little forest I planned to do in the second sector of my poster, I needed trees.

I created them using what I learned about tracing in my seminar session. First I found a picture of a suitable tree online. Then I used the tracing tool to recreate the shape, so I would end up with a vector graphic. Then I used the same tree to create more of them by changing size and some details.

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I thought about tracing the clouds as well, when I remember how in our sessions, we created difficult shapes by using normal circles, rectangles, stars or triangles Illustrator allows you create very easily. So, I tried making clouds out of a lot of white circles and ended up with that.

I considered using the same form for all of my clouds like I did with my tree but in the end I created everyone on its own. This way they looked nicer and more natural.

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In the end, I grouped all the parts of my clouds, so I could move and change them as one. The same thing I had done before for my tree.

First steps (basic version)

After I picked the topic as well as the basic design for my poster, I sat down to create the very basic version in After Effects (first picture). I cared less about the colours and the details as the positions and shaping. I liked the idea of using blue and white to create an hourglass like look. After all the water cycle is all about time and I figured that the hourglass would be a nice way to underline that. Another thing that I liked about my design was the part about the water being in a constant flow, like it is in reality (second picture). I visualized that, connecting the water from each and every part of my cycle by a different kind of flow. Looking at it closer, you realize that the rain from the first quarter flows into the lake in the second one, which again, ends up in the ocean. From there, it vaporizes into clouds which float through the fourth quarter back into the first where the water rains back down.

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Then I took the basic design to my seminar session, to get some advice about further developments and a little bit of feedback about what I had done so far. Together with my seminar teacher, I talked about the use of space and the possibility of removing the blue frame lines to either resolve the problem of it being too crowded or maybe adding a small amount of information in form of text. Also I realized that I had to change the “space holder sun”, I created into something more fitting and that shading and details were needed. I experimented with gradients and I considered using them for the background.


Session: To find the right inspiration for our own work, we used todays session to look at a number of examples of infographic posters. To do that, we used this website:

Since I had already chosen my topic, I tried to focus a little more on posters relevant for my own development. At home, I revisited the site. I could not find any examples that covered my topic, but I could draw some design inspirations from some.

First because of color schemes:

J&J sketch 20130522 MLP E a2

Then because of the cycle-like design:

a3 a1

And also, because I found some that already visualized water:


The last one defiantly was the most inspiring one. The way the illustrator shaded the land as well as the water in some parts seemed interesting. Since I knew that I would use vector graphics and I had to be creative about shading, it was interesting to see a way it could be done. I am planning to come back to that poster later in the development.


First Draft (Water Cycle)

I decided to pick the Hydrologic Cycle, also known as Water Cycle as the subject for my A2 poster. From the very beginning, I had some basic ideas about its design. I knew that I wanted to centre my colour scheme around shades of blue and green, since those two are the most water related colours. Blue because it is the colour first connected with the idea of water, green because to illustrate the cycle of water, I would need plants and trees. Also, I had some ideas about how to design my layout and how I wanted to use the given space. I thought about splitting the screen into four parts, one for each step of the cycle, and connecting each part with an arrow. This way, I would create a never ending cycle, much like the water cycle itself. Also, I wanted to design my poster, so the viewer could start the cycle everywhere with the same result of following it around back to the start. Doing this, I considered that my poster could have viewers from all over the world, not just people from western countries. For us, it is normal to start looking at a picture from the upper right part, a lot like reading a book. For others, this might be different and if my poster would not be designed the planned way, they could have issues understanding its content.

Even though I was sure about the four step part, I still had not decided on the specific layout. To sort the ideas in my head, I used my graphics tablet. I sketched out some possible ways to use the space, hoping that the process would make the decision easier.

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Of course, my results still were miles away from a proper design, but sketching out actual ideas helped me a lot getting there. From the four sketches I did, I liked the lower right one the most. So, I used that concept to draw another sketch, this time bigger and with more information.

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Making a decision

Today, I started the research for my poster project. In our brief, we were given multiple options of what the poster could be about. I took my time to read through them all, considering what I could do for each and every one and which one would be the best for me. In the end, thinking about possible designs and my personal interest, I picked the two that I liked best. In the following, you can see a list of all the options, the ones that I decided to take a closer look at are underlined.

  • Where have you been and when?
  • What is your social network?
  • How many documented meteor impacts have there been?
  • Who lives the longest?
  • What is the fattest country?
  • Where do different genders shop online?
  • Who knows each other and how in Star Wars?
  • What type of music is the most popular?
  • Who has the largest carbon footprint?
  • How does the hydrologic cycle (also called the water cycle) work?

The first one, I liked because I thought that I could probably visualize a number of different places, since I have lived in three different countries so far. I thought, it could be nice to design the poster in form of a map, connecting all the places I have lived and the ones, I have visited in two separate ways.

The last one, I liked because I had a very different option of how to go about it. Unlike the first topic, I did not have to stick to a certain structure and I felt, that I could be more creative about it. I could add details like plants, rocks or clouds or I could stick to a simpler design. The other thing that I thought, I could use to my advantage was the form of the cycle as a never ending, ongoing thing.

So even though I liked the first idea as well, I decided to pick the water cycle.


Today, we had a tutorial about tracing in illustrator. The reason for tracing is simple: turning raster images into vector images. I knew that that would be an important part of my poster design, since I would need pictures of plants or trees that I could not create otherwise.

After we played around a little to get used to using the tool, we all completed the little task of tracing a picture of the Starbucks logo. In the following, you can see how it turned out for me:

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