Back in October I was required to give an informative presentation for my public speaking class. Seeing how I was fortunate enough to design an award-winning poster for the 2008 BYU Baseball team, I chose the design process as my topic. Having all of the information on hand, and after receiving positive responses, I figured I would publish my process.
Establish Your Poster Idea
The start of every good poster comes from an initial idea. This idea can come from any source of inspiration, whether it be other designs, associations in life, dreams or even pure accident. With this situation, my idea came from looking at many different ads, magazines and movie posters. By using a combination of these sources, I was able to come up with an idea in my head related to “keeping your eye on the ball”.
Find the Perfect Photo
Once that idea was formed, I needed a quality photo. We scheduled a photoshoot with Kent Walton, who was the 2008 star of the baseball team, so we could get that perfect shot. From working at BYU, I have learned the best way to create a quality design is to have the photos shot specifically for you or use a stock image, but the most important part is to get the shot that you want.
I have the luxury of working in the athletic department of Brigham Young University, with many great resources, such as the BYU Photo Department, and they did a great job providing me with the image I needed. It is much easier to take a shot than to manipulate it. If I would have cropped an action photo and then worked on the lighting by myself, the results could have been disastrous.
Design the Poster: Adjust, Manipulate and Create
After I selected my photo, adjusted the color, and cropped the image just right, I began the fun process of manipulating the photo. No no offense to Kent, but his eyes are just the wrong color for a BYU poster. I recolored the eye while also removing the catch light. Because I knew exactly where I wanted people to look when they saw the poster—directly into Kent’s eye—I darkened the face paint, blurred the outside and sharpened the eye. Doing this direct the viewer’s eye to the point in focus.
Next, I added in the rest of the necessary details to make the poster visually appealing. The gradient was added to help direct the poster viewer’s attention, and pitcher Jordan Muir was added to the eye to replace the catch light and give the viewer a reason to look twice.
Now, I know that he is on the wrong side to be the new “catch light”, but I failed to recognize what hand Jordan throws with. I also specifically asked for the Kent Walton photoshoot to capture the right side of his face because that was my original vision. Here’s a big pro tip when it comes to photoshoots: Always make a list of all the shots you want and could potentially need.
As for the vector baseball in the corner was not what I wanted, but that is how business goes when the final decision is not up to you. According to BYU’s marketing department, the face paint below the eye said football, even though there was obviously “baseball” written across the front. Because I was not able to defend my case well enough the baseball was added.
Finalize Your Work
Finally, once everything regarding the design up to that point was approved, I took the file into Adobe InDesign and added the schedule and “Brigham Young University” at the top. The final step was to color correct the file for printing.
In the end, the result looked fairly close to my original idea. The poster went on to earn the 2008 NACMA Silver Award: Olympic Sports Promotional/Schedule Poster. While this was one of the best designs I created for the BYU Baseball team, there was a lot more I worked on for the team. View more of my BYU Baseball work.