Assignment 2: Point Of Sale Display

At the end of part 2, it was time to bring everything together from the previous exercises for my second assignment. I had been asked to create point of sales displays for a supermarket campaign featuring seasonal fruits and vegetables that represent summer and autumn. There were no limitations to the choice and arrangements of objects, other than the illustrations had to be objective based to be used on 12x12 inch display boards in the fruit and vegetable aisle.

I started by brainstorming with spider diagrams for each season and by splitting the words into groups based on fruit and vegetables and the seasonal objects I could find associations with. I bounced back and forth between them to avoid getting stuck with ideas.

Mind mapping for each season and the associated fruits and vegetables.

Using visual shorthand to sketch out simple images of some of the more visually distinctive words across the bottom of the page, I tried to separate out what makes each season unique. Summer is mostly a time for relaxation and holiday, with blue skies and cool, refreshing food and drinks being favoured during leisure time, whereas in autumn as the nights get colder, hot drinks are preferred and attentions turn towards warmth and cosiness. There was a divide between the foods also as summer became weighted towards fruits and autumn towards vegetables.

Produce display images found through pinterest.

While thinking of words I also went searching for images of produce displays and divided fruits and veg into collections based on what is typically within season. I dug into my own photos from past summer and autumn events and gathered everything together to form a mood board for each season.

In maintaining consistency per season, I printed out the images onto half of two A3 sheet and used the other half for material and texture explorations. It became quickly apparent just how important colours were at representing each season, so I made colour swatches to constantly refer back to as I made my final design later. I had considered painting directly on to coloured background but had difficulty as the colour showed too much so I decided adding background colours in post would be the best choice in this instance.

I wanted to makes sure that the mediums that I used could create fresh and appealing depictions of fruit, so after my experimentations I concluded that coloured ink and watercolour pencils seemed versatile enough to make the lines around summer objects well defined in a way that would make to make my food "pop out" in the summer selection,

The same watercolour paper, but with alternate textures on each side.

I opted for a cold pressed watercolour paper to draw on for it's roughly lined texture that I felt suited autumn best and I was about to find a hot pressed surface to use for summer when I made a small discovery. The reverse side of this particular watercolour paper is much smoother and the ideal candidate for the consistent lines that I had in mind

Now that I knew what materials I wanted to use, it was time to consider what compositions and arrangements of objects that I would need. There were certain foods that stood out to me as having colours and shapes that represented the context of each season the best so I noted them down into a list, although at this stage I didn't have a clear idea forming for exactly how i wanted the full images to look.

I consulted my mood board again and the more I looked, the more I wanted to make each design reflective of the other as a seasonal pairs with matching object layouts featuring a medley of food. If each design roughly followed the same visual language and arrangement, I felt that they would make an interesting change to notice for frequent shoppers as the familiar displays changed slightly in time with the seasons.

I returned to my designs using square note paper to experiment with the overall composition, but I still didn't have a clear arrangement in my head as to where each item of fruit and veg would sit specifically in relation to each other, except that I wanted for the largest objects such as the pumpkin and watermelon to act as centrepieces at the back and for items and objects to get smaller in size towards the front.

Sketchbook planning.

To solve the issue on where to put the large array of food before sketching, I decided to draw each fruit individually and to stage them how I wanted digitally, along with the backgrounds and any supporting elements. This would give me the flexibility to scale and arrange them freely in photoshop.

A selection of my own photos of food taken as references.

As reference images for my drawings, I took my own photos of arrangements any fruit and vegetables that I could find. When there was something on my list that I couldn't found myself, I sought out public domain and creative commons stock photos to use instead.

Creating individual drawings using watercolour pencils, ink and pencil crayon layering.

All together I had around 16 sheets of card with illustrations on for each food item for both seasons. I scanned all of them in to edit digitally for the rest of the process by first removing the backgrounds and isolating each item. There are a few foods that I cut here, such as the potato that had become overworked and almost rotten looking and I was prioritising food quality in appearance and I already had a wide variety to choose from so it wasn't a large setback.

From left to right: 1. Scanning and removing the backgrounds from each drawing. 2. Arranging the food into matching compositions. 3. Background and lighting adjustments 4. Border and sign additions.

Now that I was in the digital stage of creation, I could at last fully see what I was working with and arrange the food in a way that made sense felt like puzzle pieces falling into place. As I did in my planning, the melon and pumpkin acted as centrepieces as I played around with the positioning of the other objects until I found something I liked. Once the first season looked appealing, I made the layer transparent and roughly matched the positioning of the other season's foods to make a pair of complementary compositions.

For additional details, I placed soft backgrounds of blue for summer and golden brown for autumn that represent the colours of the season without distracting from the food in the foreground. During my moodboards I really liked the varied wooden textures that i had found, so I reused these as backdrops for two handwritten signs. I didn't want anything too flashy in terms of information as the display boards would not be overly large, but I having some text does give that added bit of context to the image when seen in a supermarket.

Although I did have plans for a custom designed border, before starting I wanted to see how it looked with a 1cm wooden texture that matched the sign background and found it to be complimentary enough to consider the final illustrations finished.

Summer Display | Autumn Display

I enjoyed this assignment and felt a significant change in my workflow from having completed the exercises before it. Rather than instantly trying to come up with a final design, I let the ideas from as I went through the process by changing and adapting the idea until the very end. When writing this log entry I actually found it difficult at times to arrange a linear order for how I conducted myself, as I frequently went back and forth between my designs and mood boards throughout the process.

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