Monday, 15 December 2014

Animated Adshel Advertising Experiment

To gain a better perspective of how the animated campaign advertisement would appear in context, I did a mock up of my latest ad as adshel advertising. 

The image is from a secondary source:

As the original gif file could not be stretched to the size of the Adshel dimensions, I chose to solve this issue by placing static text above and below the moving advertisement. This allows the viewer to understand the animation but also enables them to gain more information through the use of a QR code which directs them to the RSPCA website appealing against badger culling.

As an experiment I believe this has been the most successful in conveying a message against badger culling. It is the most informative for the viewer and provides a link to more information. The animation turned out to be quite slow although I think this is due to creating the gif in Photoshop and the quantity of frames being too large. Finding a more suitable program should raise the quality of the advertisement and allow me to experiment further with even longer ad campaigns and a smoother, refined result.

Animated Ad Campaign Test

With a grand total of 298 frames (!) here is my latest animated badger culling ad campaign. Although it doesn't look much, a lot of technical skills went into this.

Created in Photoshop and saved as a low resolution gif.

Due to the number of frames, I was unable to save the file at a higher resolution. Therefore, I will need to find a program which can take much larger files and perhaps a quicker way to make the animation.

Even so, I do think that animation has a positive effect on the ad campaigns by simply keeping the viewer interested until the end. Movement has a greater ability to capture the eye, and with stronger imagery and colour the ad could become very effective.

Thursday, 11 December 2014

Development of Gif Animations for Campaign Advertising

After my initial experiment with Gifs in an earlier post (see here) I decided to explore this further in Photoshop as opposed to using an online generator to create my gifs:

I chose to use  a simple slogan 'stop the cull' which I have previously included in previous campaign poster designs about badger culling. Keeping the font and colours the same for simplicity works well and gets straight to the point. 

As I felt the previous gif wasn't smooth as an animation, I wanted to break the text down so it flowed better.

To create this animation, I saved each frame at different points adding one letter per frame giving the illusion that the text is being written. In total 11 frames were used to make this gif.

The same technique in Photoshop was used here though I added more frames (71 in total!) by including some experimental artwork that I had created. Changing the opacity allows a smooth transition into the next image. 

Photoshop screenshot of frames used to create gif animation

Although this implies that it is advertising against the cull, it would not work in a realistic advertising scenario as more information needs to be included. This gif explores the techniques which may be used in the animation to portray numerous images simultaneously. 

Personally I believe these techniques have worked effectively and make the illustrations more aesthetically appealing to the audience. Movement in the animation will capture the attention of the viewer for much longer than a still illustration as the changing images make it more interesting. More professional elements could be added for an advertisement against badger culling and perhaps a narrative of the badger cull could be portrayed to demonstrate the effects of the cull and why the audience should appeal against it.

Tuesday, 9 December 2014

Experimenting with Advertising and Gifs

Original charcoal sketch
Using an original charcoal sketch I developed the initial idea into an ad campaign designed for billboards. This was based on the fact that during the cull, the aim is the cull 70% of badgers. Therefore I chose a simple idea to get straight to the point and convey the message to the audience.

Animated Gif

I believe is effective for showing the capability of what I could achieve through using a gif format. It instantly brings my illustration to life and makes it visually more appealing. More frames should be used to create a smoother animation and the text could be gradually written rather than appear as one block.

Friday, 14 November 2014

Experimental Drawing

Influenced by natural mark making, I used this experimental technique to create this piece of work. The number 10 references Downing Street and how Cameron has a major input into the culling of badgers in the UK.

The badgers are caged, delivered straight to his door ready for the cull. Ultimately the government have the last say which is why they perform the final task of culling the innocent, trapped badgers. Blood on the door symbolises the violence and death of the badgers.

Saturday, 25 October 2014

Experimenting with Campaign Ad Ideas

Using the imagery I had created, I decided it was best to test them out in the appropriate contexts in order to convey a clear message to the audience.

Audience being the general public, I felt it was necessary to keep my ads simple and straight to the point even including well-known charities so people would recognise and understand the context and message of my illustrations.

With these ads, I wanted to focus on the decline in nature, using an image where the black space seemingly traps it into a small section, significant of how humanity pushes nature to the side and has complete control. The birds are reflective to the decline in wildlife population if humanity keeps abandoning nature in this way- without habitat there cannot be wildlife.

The text 'Don't let nature fade away' was used in an experimental way, gradually making the text smaller to give the illusion that it is in fact 'fading away'. The tag line is a simple message to help the audience become aware of the rise in habitat loss and decline in nature. Also, I have tested out two charity logos in the bottom corner of the advertisements in an attempt to create a sense of context.

Using an illustration based on badger culling, I wanted to use it in the best context to convey a strong message against badger culling, especially in the local area. The simple slogan 'stop the cull' is effective and straight to the point. Using a simple bold font (Ebrima) highlights the importance of the message. This tag line has actually noticeably been used in protest campaigns so will be recognisable to the activists already campaigning against this issue.

Initially I used a red tone for each word in the tag line, though as I wanted to make the word 'stop' stand out I decided to keep this red and make the rest of the text black. This seems to work a lot better than the original as it separates the text into the action and the issue.

Once again I have used a known charity logo in the corner to make to ad appear more professional and give the imagery context. However, please note than even though the charity is Yorkshire-based, currently there is no problem of badger culling in this area. Regardless, the charity has stated it supports the campaign against badger culling, as do all wildlife trusts:

Via Twitter:

As a budding illustrator, I feel that this new turn in my project fits the profession more adequately in the approach and the ad campaigns provide a realistic context for my illustrations. This idea of communication is important in illustration and previously I don't believe I portrayed this in the best way. 

My next stage will be to focus on badger culling as an issue and continue to research, develop and create illustrations which communicate a message effectively to the intended audience.

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Animal Rights: Badger Culling

As a new twist in my project and a desire to find more substance in my work I decided to look into current issues concerning animal rights. Through a short search I found out that the most recent issue in the UK seems to be the legalisation of badger culling and over the past month this has been occurring for the second year running.

An article struck me as shocking by the Western Daily Press as the culling was described in a casual, desensitised manner:

"The chairman of Gloucestershire’s NFU, Andrew Guest, said the cull was ‘a mixed bag’, but sources at the NFU said it was believed the marksmen had reached their targets of 70 per cent of the badger population killed"

This comment 'a mixed bag' caused me to think visually and need to create an illustration.

Original pencil sketch of idea

Badger portrait

After the initial ideas, I scanned the imagery into Photoshop for further manipulation. I decided I would set myself a rule to keep human/ man-made forms in digital media and nature/ animals in traditional media. This would highlight the vulnerability of the badger in comparison with the human form and bin bag which take control in the image.

Outlining the human form and bin bag with the pen tool in Photoshop brings in the digital side of the illustration whilst the badgers are preserved in traditional pencil making them appear vulnerable and innocent.

Overall, I believe that this new direction in my work in positive and more illustrative. These illustrations could accompany an article, campaign poster or book. Trying to bring more context in my work has definitely improved my understanding of where I want my illustrations to be placed within the industry.

I will continue to develop on this idea of badger culling and apply my illustrations to appropriate contexts to see how they can fit into the professional industry.

You can see more of my illustrations on my website at

Thanks for reading,