Exercise 31

Travel guide

The brief was to create a book cover for a travel guide for 3 specific cities, but the mock up would be for just one city.


Key words:  City holiday, escape, guide, travel, sight seeing, key places, food, eating, shopping, fun, unusual, enjoyable

Respond to key words:  a city break must have ‘go to’ places so the front cover needs to draw you in.  Photography is usually best for this but how could an illustration do the same thing.

Generate ideas: surface patterns attract people and give you an instant sense of a place, along with the colours that mimic the land, sky or buildings.

Milan – blue, white, soft sand and golden colours with a soft burnt orange glow.

Helsinki – strong vibrant yellow and pale blue with a white and slate grey and strong lines.

Istanbul – strong reds and blues and very aged sandstone colours with a hint of green

Research:  This was swift for this exercise as I felt I had a good sense of the places after visiting trip advisor, reading about the experiences of people and finding out where to go if I was to visit these places myself.  I considered places to visit during the day and places to eat and any unusual shopping experiences.  Sight seeing was a prominent feature in images.

Pinterest board – https://www.pinterest.ie/Superhilbo/exercise-31-travel-guide/


I used my bamboo slate again as I find I use it as a sketch pad quicker than my book as I know that I can send the images to my email straight away.  This is one way of completing exercises but I know that it would be a better idea to vary this and not rely on it all the time.  However, for right now, and with the commute that I have, it is really really helpful.

I created a number of images that I felt represented Istanbuls patterns and designs from the various images that I have seen and from my own experiences of having visited the city.  It is still a very alien country and the older parts of it are in stark contrast to what we’d be familiar with in Europe.  It was a long time ago when I visited so no doubt a lot has changed.  A recent documentary on Istanbul featured the arts prominently and highlighted how the city was almost divided between progressive and past traditions.  It is definitely a city that is changing.

images board

My own experiences were that the markets and the areas of interest were amazing feats of design and the rich blues and reds stood out with a rich green to compliment and a burnt yellow gold highlight the richness.

I wanted to express that in the cover, but wasn’t sure how to do that without photography.  I tried sketching out the key things that stood out for me when I was there.  The Hagia Sofia was the most amazing building to experience.  The richness inside was only a fraction of what it once was and it stil blew me away.

The delicious tea was sweet smelling and delicious in the heat while the turish sweets were just a fantastic mix of textures to have with it.  So a combination of smells, patterns and tastes were my take home from the city.

The font was something downloaded from a free site – source for font – https://www.dafont.com/theme.php?cat=202&page=2

https://www.urbanfonts.com/fonts/handwritten-fonts.htm for second font

A pattern was created in PS using the assets created in png format and I then used these as a background for my image.  The bigger features were the tea, sweets and building that represented my impression of the city.  This was all dropped onto the rich colours that echo in the designs from Turkey, but the blue was left out to cater to a complimentary colour scheme.

A paper texture supported the colours and gave it that older worn out effect.

I think it works as a book cover, but not necessarily as a travel guide.  A history of the city perhaps but the patterns and textures and colours may be deemed a little too heavy and historic for anything other than a guide to the buildings.  It doesn’t represent the city fairly, as the modern side isn’t featured on the cover and it could be misconstrued as something else on the city.

I was successful in meeting my brief in completing the steps but the pinterest images I had collected were mostly bright and fresh looking for a travel guide.  They did have a lot of images on the front and the text was light and hand written.  This font is very old style and traditional so I don’t know that it would encourage people to pick up the book.

So I went back and adjusted the image so that it was less imposing and more refined.  After a while in PS I found a simpler approach worked better.  The final draft is more in keeping with the current trends on the market for travel guides, and feels like it is something you’d pick up quicker.


There is still a little issue with the layout but I couldn’t figure out what exactly so I was happy to go with this for the mock up and would then discuss what work for changing it.  Maybe a lighter font or a fainter background, not sure, I just know it doesn’t feel like the right hit for the brief just yet.

It’s definitely more on track though!