One of the assignments in my Print Production class at Sessions College was to design a postcard promoting a fundraising gala for an eco-conscious nonprofit.
This was a really enjoyable task, and I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the source of my inspiration: Mike Campau at Seventh Street Design did a 3D poster back in 2008 that has stuck in my mind ever since. Take a moment and visit their site. The portfolio is simply incredible.
My design is so far from his awesome work, but I knew that style was the overall feel I wanted for this postcard.
For the front of the card, I pulled out all the stops, using Illustrator-rendered 3D lettering, which I then enhanced in Photoshop (no true 3D software used). I sat down and mind-mapped the project, building the design around such words as eco-friendly, environmental, bright, clean, green, water, trees, foliage, butterfly, ladybugs, etc.
From there, I began to rough sketch a couple thoughts and then scoured the web for photos to use. I got my images from another fantastic website: CGTextures.com. In fact, the only image I didn’t get from that site was the sunflower.
For the ground, I poured some topsoil onto a piece of Gator Board, set up some lighting, and photographed a few angles to get the correct perspective.
With such a complex concept planned, I scaled back some of the text originally planned for the cover and used it on the back instead. I think using the name of the event along with the images used in the design provides the reader with enough information to decide whether to keep reading (and I’d like to think a design of this type might at least make it to the fridge or stay out of the trash long enough for someone to consider finding out more information about the gala).
I think the design really conveys the spirit of an eco-friendly nonprofit and of promoting environmental awareness: a mix of foliage, a giant sunflower to act as the sun, three ladybugs (find ’em), a butterfly, wood, and topsoil. I chose to leave it on a stark, white background to allow the brilliant white of the paper to frame the photo collage and to put the focus squarely on the message. There’s so much going on that I felt a complex background or even a solid color or gradient would harm the design and its message.
The back is fairly straightforward: Simple sky-blue gradient leads the eye down the card as the reader scans the information, set flush left. The giant sunflower is repeated on the back, offering a bit of repetition and design cohesion from front to back. The right area is reserved for addressing and labels.