Little White Lies: Evaluatioin

Firstly i arranged myself into a group with another one of my class mates (James Andrews) then we started to discuss which brief we should do as there were a number of briefs that appealed to us. The briefs we initially considered were The channel 4 challenge  brief which was to create a campaign  promoting a new channel which required us to have to come up with a name, design and TV campaign that will appeal to an older audience. The ministry of sound brief required us to produce a set of three typographically focused posters (landscape or portrait) that act as a three-month advertising campaign for Ministry of Sound’s iconic London event ‘Saturday Sessions’,  the Pitch & Sync brief asked us to create a campaign that engages innovative new clients with the unique offering that is P&S. We would’ve had to identify a successful method to portray this using any medium available.

In the end we ended up choosing the magazine illustration brief where we were asked to create an original cover illustration for the Little White Lies magazine, depicting the main characters of one of their five favourite films of 2011.The films they had given us to choose from were Drive, Black Swan, The Tree of Life, Super 8, Tinker,Tailor,Soldier,Spy. Myself and James originally wanted to create an illustration for the movie Tree Of Life simply because we immediately knew that Bradd Pitt has an archetypal face that once seen anybody saw would instantly know who he was, however it proved difficult to find a decent image (from the film) of Bradd Pitt to create an illustration from, so we decided to choose another film. The second film we chose was the Black Swan and we decided to stick with this one because we didn’t want to waste too much time
selecting a film, so me and James watched the film to gain a valuable insight into the character Natalie Northman plays in Black Swan, after watching the film we looked at existing Little White lies magazine covers just to see what sort of illustration style they have used is it sketch, is it painting, is it a pastels etc illustrations take a lof of forms and we wanted to make sure we got the right style for this particular illustration. Me and James had a few ideas of how we wanted to illustrate the black swan but the strongest idea we settled on revolved around a cracked mirror, because in the film the cracked mirror represents the white swan’s metamorphosis into the black swan and we both felt this was an accurate way to depict the black swan in the illustration. The first image we found of Natalie Portman wasn’t strong enough to make the front cover for our magazine, so we ended up using the image of her full portrait that is on the movie poster because you could see her whole face which would be more ideal for the front cover of a magazine illustration.

The things that particularly went well for us was the development of the concepts and the production of the work, after emailing Tom he was able to give us constructive feedback that would ultimately improve our ideas as a whole and make them stronger for developing the illustration, i feel we benefited greatly from his input. Although we were in a group me and James worked separately within the group, this allowed us to concentrate on each of our ideas and then essentially combine the strongest ideas from each of our illustration to make an even more capable illustration. I enjoyed working with James because he was strong in areas that i wasn’t (for example sketching) and i was strong in areas he wasn’t (for example concept generation) so we basically complimented each other in terms of our skills and i felt that , that was very useful because i could rely on him to take care of one aspect of the task allowing me to focus on other affairs.

The areas that didn’t go so well would probably be the communication and meetings, the lack of this meant even though we worked as a group the fact that we worked separately within the group meant we had two completely different ideas and it would be harder to combine both illustrations accurately which is why we eventually decided to seek further help from Tom. We got to a point where we couldn’t choose which illustration to use and what to combine so i decided to email Tom so that he could help us on our way and with his help we were able to advance on the illustration. Although Tom gave us his feedback our outcomes were still always different even though we were working on the same image at the time, but that is down to the fact that we both think differently so not much could be done on that perspective, however after all the struggles we were able to settle on an illustration. In the end we ended up submitting James’s design because his features were a bit more delicate than my own which made it look a bit more classy and elegant which partially represented the white swan aspect of Natalie Portman’s personality and the cracked mirror depicts the black swan transformation part so ultimately we decided to go for his illustration.

If i was to improve anything i would say, me and James should’ve met up more or our communication should have been more consistent because if one partner doesn’t know what the other is doing there is more likely to be a communication breakdown because concerns are not thoroughly discussed meaning solutions on the task at hand are pretty much useless.

Overall i enjoyed this task because i felt i was able to input a sufficient amount when i originally didn’t think i would be that good at this specific brief because of my lack of accurate drawing skills but this did not hinder me i think it pushed me because it meant i had to work a lot harder at other things improving my overall work ethic which can only help produce a positive atmosphere for both me and James to thrive under. I enjoyed working with James because as i mentioned previously we worked to each others strengths and weaknesses making us both that more determined to produce a fitting illustration for the Little White Lies magazine. I felt the illustration we created was a nice way to characterize the white swans metamorphosis into the black swan without the front cover looking so congested with primary and secondary images and blotches of exuberant colours because it could have easily taken that route considering its an illustration but thankfully it didn’t.



Me and James both got a to point where we were ready to submit our final designs but as we both had made illustrations using James’s image we couldn’t decide which one to choose mine or his. After discussing i decided to go for James’s illustration because i felt that his detailing on the face was a bit more delicate and elegant which represents the white swan’s personality and the cracked mirror effect represents the black swan’s personality due to one the last scenes of the film where she finally loses the battle and transforms into the black swan before her performance. I think James’s illustration was a bit more accurate in depicting that concept so we ended up submitting his illustration for the D&AD.


My Final Designs With Type

Where i got the typeface

After my final design of the illustration i started trying to see what sort of type would fit the illustration but this proved to be difficult because i couldn’t find a type that would accurately suit the illustration, and previously looking at James’s blog he seemed better at picking the type so i left that to him. These are the type layouts that i thought of for the illustration.



Here i made adjustments to the cracked mirror effect on her face, i changed it because i thought that the cracked mirror effect on her face previously was a bit too much, i noticed it drew too much attenti on the face and i wanted the whole cracked mirror effect to be balanced on both the foreground and the background.

Background Texture


Once i had settled on the background colour and mirror effect i decided to add a bit of texture to the shattered mirror layer because even though it had a gradient colour i felt it was still a bit to plain to look at so i chose to add a texture, of all the ones i was playing with two the ones in the print screen were the best ones; once playing with scale, depth and opacity i felt the texture added some excitement to the image, i also adjusted the cracks on her face to draw more attention to it.

Background Experimentation

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

After adding more details to the face of the Black Swan i started to add different effects to the image. The cracked mirror effect is the one me and James settled on so i just took the layer (i created from the James sketch)that was on my own illustration and added it to James’s one and put it into the background as Tom had also suggested as it could carry on from the cracks that show on her face, i also added the cracks to James’s version.

Here i was experimenting with different background effects, with two of them i made the background white and added an inner glow and a drop shadow just to see if i could enhance the shattered mirror effect i thought it looked alright but i felt the white background would make it look a bit too plain considering the Black Swan’s face is also a pale white. The other two below have a gradient background using black and grey (i thought that would be more suitable than just plain white) i added a grey outer stroke and a bevel and emboss effect to the shattered mirror layer once again i was just experimenting on how i could improve the cracked mirror effect layer in the background. I think if i was to choose one background and one effect i would choose the gradient background with the bevel and emboss effect, after showing this to James he also agreed with me.