APP1: Inspiration for Land Speed Record posters

For this blog post I would like to cover the inspiring designs I have come across during my research into this project that I did not cover in my last blog post. I will be looking into areas such as why I think the design works well and what I can learn for my designs.

The search for inspiration:

I have found that my search for inspiration, while rather wide, usually ends up focusing on work found while looking through Behance, Creative Bloq and Pinterest.

Aside from finding inspiration, I find Pinterest useful to save images to boards, collating all my inspiration in one place, like I would have previously done in a scrapbook. Another website/app I came across recently that has helped me is Pocket. I find it very helpful to be able to save webpages for reading at a later time, especially when I am at college.

Inspiring Designs:

I was thinking about some ideas for the background landscape, when I discovered an article on the Creative Bloq website looking into geometric art, and the first example from Liam Brazier really caught my eye. The way the shapes are sized and positioned, as well as the combination of this with a suitable colour scheme, makes for a very interesting landscape composition.

Liam Brazier - Landshape
Liam Brazier – Landshape

Seeing this built on the idea I talked about in my last blog post, where I experimented with an abstract shape brush set with motion blur. I conducted some further investigation into this style below with an extremely quick experimentation. Obviously the colours are muted due to the fact I need a subtle effect as the vehicle is the dominant feature of the poster, and there will need to be further experimentation on the sizing of the shapes, but I think this really has potential.

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 13.22.28

Another Creative Bloq article I came across was looking into creative calendar designs, and this design by Ben the Illustrator was deeply impressive in terms of form and especially for this project, how transparent elements can form such recognisable and characterful shapes.

It is also interesting to note how by using a simple black background, it allows the colours to appear more vibrant and for the viewer to better appreciate the transparencies of the illustrations. It is a beautiful example of how minimal looking illustrations can dominate the viewer’s experience so comprehensively, without them becoming bored.

Ben the Illustrator - 2014 Fluid Animals Calendar
Ben the Illustrator – 2014 Fluid Animals Calendar

Thinking about how to represent motion, I have turned to photography in order to see how motion is represented in that format. Being interested in Formula 1, I looked through some photos on the F1 High Res images page on Facebook, and came across this photo. This image really stood out to me as the car is relatively ‘still’ apart from the wheels, but the surroundings are totally blurred. While I feel the blurring is perhaps a touch excessive for the effect I want to create, I think this is a technique I will need to experiment more with.

Giancarlo Fisichella - Jordan - 2003 - Formula 1
Giancarlo Fisichella – Jordan – 2003 – Formula 1

Thinking about how to display the information, I have had some ideas about enlarging more important parts, such as the top speed achieved, as can be seen in the app design below by Eric Hoffman.

By prioritising important information, it enables the viewer to get what they need/want at a glance. On a display level, this technique still gets the information across, fulfilling one of the objectives a good poster should do: to pull in the viewer from a glance, and then hold their attention for a “short, but usually intense stage.” I discovered that quote by Margaret Timmers while researching for my dissertation into Soviet propaganda posters, and feel this is highly relevant to this project.

Eric Hoffman - Kelvin weather app design
Eric Hoffman – Kelvin weather app design

Looking through Behance I came across some business card designs by Oscar Ramos Orozco, with the monochromatic minimalist style standing out to me as the information is very legible.

Behance business cards by Oscar Ramos Orozco
Behance business cards by Oscar Ramos Orozco

The qualities of the above design stands out to me as I have been experimenting, as will be seen in my next blog post where I start to sketch out some ideas in my head, one of them will be an information bar. I did another very quick experimentation below to see what the results were, and was pleased with the result. It is something I can build from.

Screen Shot 2013-11-17 at 13.27.19

We die for beauty – Gold Edition by Mau Morgó & Carlos Bermúdez, apart from being a stunning visual representation of how to use paper stock successfully and to use one colour in particular, caught my eye because of the limited edition it has been produced in. From there, I have had the idea of stating my conceptual poster set would be produced in so this will need investigating into how I perhaps represent this.

We die for beauty - Gold Edition
We die for beauty – Gold Edition
We die for beauty - Gold Edition by Mau Morgo & Carlos Bermudez
We die for beauty – Gold Edition – limited edition

One element of the landscape that will most likely form the background to my poster set will be the sky. A little while back, I came across an amazing series of sky photographs by Eric Cahan, which show skies with amazing gradients. Below I have selected one to show that most represents the desert atmosphere I will be aiming for. When thinking about illustrating the sky before, I never thought about it in too much detail, but this has really made me realise that the sky will become the ‘mood’ for the piece, so more experimenting will need to take place once I create the designs.

Eric Cahan - Sky Series
Eric Cahan – Sky Series

The contrast of course to the sky is going to be the ground. With the ground varying from beaches to salt flats depending on where the record was set, this will be an interesting opportunity to subtly highlight the texture of the ground etc. One such way this could be achieved is by looking at what Guy Allen has achieved in his prints, the one below of an Auto Union, with what looks to be loose, drawn out brushstrokes replicate motion as well.

Guy Allen - Auto Union A3 print
Guy Allen – Auto Union A3 print

I have known about Jesús Prudencio’s CarsAndFilms project for quite some time now, and it was the inspiration for this entire project as it was this design that made me think about the gap that needed addressing with the Land Speed Record. In design terms, this has been an inspiration because of the style of vector illustration that he has used in order to create each vehicle with their being a great balance of detail and realism. How he has manipulated gradients to create vehicles is very inspiring indeed.

Cars and Films
Cars and Films

Another form of vector illustration that has intrigued me is Luggage by Donghyun Lim, for many of the same reasons as the above design, but what caught my attention was the little details included throughout such as the lock and fixings for the luggage to the highlights and shadows that create form to stop this design being so flat it could be considered boring, especially with a rather pale colour scheme.

Luggage by Donghyun Lim
Luggage by Donghyun Lim

Personal Favourites:

Sometimes I come across designs that are totally amazing and resonate with what I aim to achieve when I am designing. While these do obviously become inspiration for me to aspire to, I wanted to separate these two designs from the rest.

One is Discover Australia by Jimmy Gleeson, an Australian souvenir map with Australia created from the great elements that make it famous. Examples include the Sydney Opera House, Uluru and a wombat! The clean, simple vector shapes makes this a joy to look at, and as I have found because there is so much detail, I have lost much time looking at the fine details. I think it would be great to own such a map!

The colour is another element that jumps out, due to its vibrancy and balanced saturation, which also highlights the colour of the area, with the Outback’s red soil and the vegetation of Queensland and New South Wales.

Discover Australia by Jimmy Gleeson
Discover Australia souvenir map by Jimmy Gleeson

Looking at one of the vector illustrations in closer detail below, it is clear to see how tasteful and restrained the designs are, being minimalist but having more than enough detail to identify the characteristics of what it is, in this case a kookaburra.

The typography used is also very well judged, with a thin sans-serif display typeface for the title, with a description (body copy) in an oblique serif typeface. This contrast works excellently to give information priority.

It also struck me how the background has an ever so slight texture to it, and how this has changed the feel of the image, contrasting the smoothness of the vector illustrations and providing some texture to the design.

Discover Australia by Jimmy Gleeson
Discover Australia by Jimmy Gleeson

The second design that falls into this category is a poster for Dave Matthews Band by DKNG, which balances so many complex elements and gets them just right.

One thing that immediately jumps out at me as something I want to achieve with my posters is to get them so when hung side by side, the designs flow into each other as well as this example. That way, it helps to make a set really feel like a set, rather than just a collection of posters grouped together merely because of their common subject. However, the contrast in colour palettes really helps to build an atmosphere, something I mentioned earlier with Eric Cahan’s Sky Series. By contrasting colour schemes, it helps to give each poster its own individual identity.

The texture is excellent throughout, examples that I particularly noted are the steam and the wooden texture of the ship. It helps to add an element of realism that I have felt a lot of vector design recently has avoided, and this can make it look surprisingly bland.

Dave Matthews Band poster by DKNG
Dave Matthews Band poster by DKNG


Design elements I have found that make a good design great are as follows in no order:

  • Range of colour = good atmosphere.
  • Texture = tactile element.
  • Detail = pick out the small elements.
  • Layered content = A glance will push the viewer to look further.

To conclude this blog post, here you see the designs that have really inspired my thought process so far and pushing me to create my own professional looking designs. Now I will sketch some more ideas, and once I’ve settled on a rough plan, start to build up the vehicles I will need for the poster set.