Words – Cosmonaut – Developing a proposal

First of all I should add this is going to be a blog post looking back at the development I have made over the last few days, and to put it all in one place.

After the interim crit and some research, I decided to make a few more sketches to reinforce the ideas I had for this design.

What I decided on from these sketches was:

  • I have settled on a composition, which can be seen in the top sketch on the page.
  • Design elements would help if they were colour coded to red, white and black, something that was visible in many propaganda posters.
  • I think when I create my designs on-screen I will realise some of the elements in my small sketches will appear too large so this needs to be considered.

This has helped develop my thought process, but I knew the real test for whether this design could work or not would come from I could make it on-screen. Therefore, I decided to complete the Wegraphics tutorial about making a retro space themed poster I discussed during my research. Below on the left is the image of what the tutorial teaches you to make, and on the right is the prototype version of the design that I created.

I think the result of this came out very well indeed, and it has taught me a lot of new tricks and tips for using Photoshop.

From there I also decided upon the final elements I really think should feature in the design and will say why I think this to be the case:

  • Earth (with Russia being visible, showing the starting place of the mission)
  • Moon (to signify the end goal, what the space race was all about)
  • Vostok 1 (the rocket that took Yuri Gagarin into orbit around the Earth, a huge achievement for the USSR)
  • Sputnik 1 (the first artifical satellite launched into space, a huge achievement for the USSR)
  • Cosmonaut (to visibly show what one is, adds a sense of identity)
  • The text used should be in a suitable typeface, like the League Gothic typeface used in the tutorial, which matches the style of type the Soviets used very well.

I also think it would be beneficial to the design if the following elements also featured:

  • Distance between Earth and Moon (to signify the isolation present through travelling into space, to highlight what an achievement it is to make it into space.)
  • Monument to the Conquerors of Space (showing this picks up on a key piece of Soviet propaganda, marking their achievements in space, although this can be in an abstract format)

After working this out, I made sure I could find the suitable resources I needed, as some of the resources in the Wegraphics tutorial were not free, and focused on placing it into a design that was my own, which draws on my initial sketches, which can be seen here.

One thing I did change compositionally from my sketches were the corners I placed the Earth and Moon in. I did this because I tried different ways of placing things and felt that just looked the best. Later on I would find how well this worked for the positioning of the text for the word and definition.

At this point, I was pleased to see my planned composition was working very well. Things worthy of note at this point I wanted to change during the next stage of development are:

  • CCCP: Too small, not enough impact on the design. Should be larger.
  • Sputnik: Currently has a yellow-gold tint. Should be red to match colour scheme.
  • Lens Flare: This technique has created the light on the Earth, I would prefer it to be brighter though.
  • Rocket: Needs to be made properly as a vector as it is only a mock-up here (although at this size you can’t see that)
  • Addition of text: Needs to be fitted into the general composition now.
  • Addition of cosmonaut: I feel the design needs this element.

Making those changes left me with the below design:

I was very happy again with this and decided to progress it further would entail:

  • Addition of retro feel: This will be a powerful signifier as to the era of success for the Soviet space program and makes the design look very authentic.
  • Paper background: Something I did not do during that tutorial was to add in the paper background, so I want to try this design with it.
  • Slight addition of colour to the background: Although this will ever so slightly dilute the bold colour scheme I have created, it will add depth and texture to the space atmosphere as well as divide the space up between Earth, Moon, and the in-between.

Making those changes left me with the design below:

I have to say I am delighted with how this design has turned out, so I now plan on getting some feedback which I shall detail in the next blog post. This will allow for elements to be changed if they are not deemed to be suitable or could be improved upon. On top of any feedback I get, I will more than likely make a few small design changes and prepare the design for printing, like ensuring all the resources I use are at 300dpi for example.