Art · Graphic Arts and Design

Creating a Visual Representation of Contagious Ideas

I’m not usually one for contests. I guess I always have in the back of my head “I’m not going to win,” or “It’s a waste of time.” Sometimes though I just don’t have the time to make something great really quick and I end up forgetting about the contest all together. This contest though, to create a poster for The Contagion of Ideas, an event coming up at school, ended up sticking with me, and I felt the want and need to give it a try even if I didn’t win.  I had a month to create the poster and submit it. While I was very busy with classes, I ended up getting a small window of opportunity to work on this poster, and I was able to turn my ideas into a submission.

I started off by writing down different ideas of how I could visually represent an idea and how it could be spread.
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I used my phone when I didn’t have pen and paper to gather quick ideas. One of my ideas was to have rows and rows of people touching the shoulder of the person in front of them. In each person’s head would be a light bulb representing an idea.
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Another idea was to have a bunch of light bulbs with wings flying away. This felt too Red Bull and seemed more negative than positive. 
Screen Shot 2018-03-31 at 10.18.15 AM
I had another idea of a river of water being like spreading ideas
ideas 5
Sometime later I started drawing roots and then I drew a light bulb on top of it, making the bulb look plant like. I remembered an image of a light bulb turning into dandelion seeds and I drew them in as well, essentially creating a light bulb plant that spreads seeds that represent ideas.
ideas 3
I imagined the seeds being orb like, glowing and floating away.
ideas 2
Idea of people talking to other people that are connected and sharing ideas. I tried making this idea in Illustrator, but it ended up looking strange to me and I dropped it. I also started thinking about using colors that symbolize creativity.
ideas 4
I started thinking about the light bulb being held up by hands instead of a stem. I also thought of the light bulb spreading light onto a dark background.

Once I had my idea, I sat down and used Illustrator to create the poster.

Contagion of ideas 2
Initially I made the background gradient dark and this gave a nighttime appearance. I really liked it, but as I thought about it I felt that if this were being hung up to attract people the colors wouldn’t be bright enough to garner attention.
Contagion of ideas 1
This ended up being my final submission. I felt the colors overall were pretty, attractive and bright.

To create this poster I found images online of a light bulb and hands and then used the pen tool to trace over them.

I drew the filament of the light bulb on my tablet in Procreate, imported it into Illustrator, and then Image Traced it.

To create the orbs, I made a circle and in Effects put a Gaussian Blur over it. From there it was copy, paste, resize, repeat.

The background is a radial gradient.

I’m so glad I gave this poster contest a try.  It was fun, and I was able to be creative with it.  I also got the chance to work and reacquaint myself with Illustrator, which I hadn’t done in a while.  I see how much I’ve learned and grown from going to school, and I hope I continue to do so in the years to come.




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