Assignment 1 – Postcards

I started this assignment by mapping some ideas in my sketchbook. I’ve got into the habit of using thumbnails and spider diagrams to brainstorm ideas so felt this was a good place to start.

The assignment asked that I should create postcards that say something about who I am , my interests in graphic design and my cultural influences.

Ideas that I considered were using some form of calligraphy or lettering as its something I’m interested in.  Something which shows my past, present and future. Post its or notes with lots of ideas as I have a pinboard which I use to record and collect things. Something which shows my love of photography and taking pictures and travel.

I also considered showing how I’m really interested in illustration particularly childrens illustration which got me thinking about creating some sort of character of myself.

I also remembered about some shots I’d taken on holiday to various destinations and one in particular which I took from a reflection on holiday.

I’ve always loved writing and receiving letters and over the years have accumulated and kept the most special ones. I had a batch of cards/ letters from my aunt and since she died I’ve treasured them even more and feel that these in a way give an insight into my life at that point and the person I was. Likewise, I’ve kept cards from when I was in hospital and looking back I can see that they really got my through a hard time. I decided to photograph the cards/ letters in different layouts then experimented with different colour combinations and filters in Photoshop.

I then broke these down into different ideas for each postcard.

Idea 1 – Postcard style with image of me

I had some shots of myself I took whilst on holiday in Vegas and some other pictures of various places I’ve visited.

2011 07 15_Las Vegas 2011_2802

2011 07 13_Las Vegas 2011_2937

2011 07 15_Las Vegas 2011_2836

I decided to put these together in a sort of montage style making the images black and white with myself in colour. I also have a favourite quote by Dr Seuss and it means a lot to me at the moment so I decided to include it in the postcard. Purple is one of my favourite colours and I selected a handwritten style of text which I think looks quite modern.

Postcard idea

Postcard idea

Idea 2 – Cartoon childlike image – to show love of kids books and nice wee illustrations. I’ve recently completed the OCA illustration module and as part of that I’ve really developed a love of childrens book illustration and have created characters for a few books. I also want to learn and develop my skills with colouring digitally and in particular adding textures and learning to use Illustrator. From some of my sketchbook ideas I decided to create a little Laura character which I sketched out by hand then added colour and texture using Photoshop. I found some textures to add (lace to show my favourite top)  and a wood effect for the backdrop. I was thinking of having this as a postcard on it own but then thought about having it as part of a larger illustration.  I found some little Royal Mail books I had which have some lovely illustrations in them and I love the innocence of them. My favourite one is focused on plants and nature and I set about creating a little illustration in a similar style.

Royal Mail letterbox – nature and plant book

Coloured photoshop sample

Laura cartoon image




Sketch of kids style illustration

I decided to include some trees, a paint palette to show my love of painting, a rainbow to show improvement and change and strawberries as I love strawberries, and pink lady apples on the tree. I added a moon because I always like the calmness of nightime.

For this one I tried to add some colour with Photoshop but felt it was looking really messy so reverted to painting it by hand and then adjusting some colour settings with Photoshop.

self tree coouredphotoshop



darker scan0103

Darker version

Idea 3 – Letters to Laura idea – love of stationery, calligraphy – tells a bit about me as a person – experiments in Photoshop with colour/ filters / black and white with colour coming through.

black and white

black and white

Stamp effect

Stamp effect

little colour

colour sample


Postcard Idea 4 – Letters from the past – hard times.



Final postcards with reverse

darker scan0103

Postcard backs childlike psd

Postcard backs travel


Postcard backslettersp

Overall I’m fairly happy with my postcards as I think they do convey something about me as a person and my interests in graphics, illustration and photography. I’ve started to read some of the Graphic Design Essentials book as recommended in the reading list and am hoping to be able to be able to convey my ideas in perhaps quirkier, bolder ways perhaps simplying my ideas by using Photoshop/ Illustrator and Type to create stronger and more attention grabbing graphics. From what I’ve been looking at so far I’m really interested in looking at the elements of design – line, colour , shape , texture etc to make more considered choices with my work.


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