From the Sketchbook: Drawing Dogs

Here is a look at the drawing and editing that Ellen put into the creation of the 2018 Northeast Dog Parade marketing materials.

 
 The final poster design for the 2018 Northeast Dog Parade hosted by The Heart of Northeast

The final poster design for the 2018 Northeast Dog Parade hosted by The Heart of Northeast

 

The creation of the dogs:

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The original dog drawings were done simply with pencil in a sketchbook.

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In order to experiment with color and texture, I printed out several copies of the dog drawings that I could color on.

Eventually I decided to go with a flatter look for the dogs, to keep them from becoming to distracting or eye catching individually. The reduced texture allowed them to work within the greater image of the poster more seamlessly. I also changed the direction the dogs were facing, because rightward facing illustrations tend to be read as more positive, forward moving, and also fit better with text that we read from left to right.

The creation of the buildings:

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For the buildings, I went out with a pencil and notebook and strolled around the neighborhood. My sketches were quick and small, with the goal of conveying the most basic shapes and details that captured the essence of each building.

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Later in the process, I refined the drawings, improved the line quality, and experimented with color and texture.

The layout:

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A print out of the neighborhood with Tom's sketch of what route the parade would be following, which sparked the inspiration for a poster that showed the off the neighborhood and the parade route.

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An early draft of the layout showed sketches of the landmarks and considered options for where to put copy about the event. On the left, an early draft used different fonts, had a map key, and scattered the dogs all around the image frame. We felt that this draft didn't give the viewer enough of a focal point, and there were too many scattered elements making the poster feel out of focus.

The final results of this sketching and editing process were illustrations that could be used together or individually, but retained a common identity that would be recognizable to viewers. This translated well into the different printed materials as well as the digital marketing pieces.

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Images that were used to promote the event on Facebook.

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Front and back of the final printed postcard, which was left in local shops and hung on bulletins around the Heart of Northeast neighborhood.

 
 The design also adapted well to use on a button, which local businesses handed out to promote the event.

The design also adapted well to use on a button, which local businesses handed out to promote the event.

 

Illustration adds personality and life to any promotional materials, and also allows the client to have creative imagery that is unique to them and their communication goals. You want an bright red dog with a pointy nose, leading a parade of dogs? No problem, illustration can make that happen.