Exercise: Travel guides


Your brief is to produce three illustrations for a series of books jackets, at the size of an existing travel guide, for the locations Istanbul, Helsinki and Milan.

I was asked to write myself a brief:

“The client requires visuals for three travel guides. The size needs to be 6″x9″ and text needs to be in the style of a handwritten font. The client has also requested to show multiple elements from the country’s architecture and culture, so please research these sites and use the most popular for tourists. They will need to be displayed in a way that fits in with today’s modern literature and reach a broad demographic. The final publication will be printed on matte silk paper so the colours used will have to prominent. The client would like to see a mock-up for one of your proposals”.

After I created my brief I started to collate images for the selected cities.

I generated some rough ideas using the images I had found and mashing them together in photoshop in order to get a visual idea for my layout. My initial idea was to take a famous skyline from each city and then have popular tourist sites oversized and placed within the skyline. The thought was to tie in all of the sites to look like one exaggerated skyline of the city.

Below are some illustrations I found on the internet that share the same vision for my initial idea.

After looking at these more closely, I decided they look a little dated, and in my brief, I specified a modern look. So I began to sketch up some template ideas in which my illustrations could be arranged within.

Below are some rough sketches of some design ideas.

I decided to create the travel guide using the segments idea. I started by creating some templates that I could use to uniform each design.

Using my previous research of images, I created some grayscale client visuals.

I chose Istanbul as my final mockup. I had to slightly alter the number of segments due to the shape and detail of the structures and there was too much detail to fit into such a small space. The final images I used in my illustration were the Blue Mosque, the Galata Tower, Maidens Tower and some traditional lanterns from the Grand Bazaar.

Below is my final line work and then the final artwork in colour.


All though I was reasonably happy with the end result, I would like to revisit this upon tutor feedback and rework some parts. After making the decision to cut some of the tourist images, I felt that I had only been concentrating on typical buildings and less on the culture of the cities. My original thumbnails would look a lot better taken forward to final design, and I feel that I lost too much visual presence from cutting these segments. Also, I created this in photoshop, and I think that the final style would have been better created in illustrator so that I could maximise the detail.