Occasionally I get asked to provide work outside comics. This year I was approached by Glasgow University to create four educational display banners to help promote the fine work done by the Wellcome Trust Centre for Molecular Parasitology. The finished banners are to appear at the Glasgow Science Centre this weekend and will hopefully travel around the country to further educate and inspire other school kids to learn and follow in the footsteps of the students and doctors at the University.
Professor Michael Barrett asked my fiancee Doctor Mhairi Stewart if I would be interested in contributing to the event by producing four banners. The original layout sketches were done by two students, Eduard Kerkhoven and Isobel May Vincent and all the relevant information was included with referenced pictures from the internet. The brief was simple. Make this poster more interesting and focused for school kids. We very quickly decided to create comic page layouts with a couple of characters to 'lead' us around the subjects. Ed and Izzy (as our characters became known) were designed to reflect the target audience. I kept a simple cartoon style of the figures. Nothing too flashy or distracting.
Izzy was our 'older sister' for the project and the mature member of the team. Ed was the 'little brother', looking up to Izzy and eager to learn and follow in her footsteps. Michael's suggestion of making Eddie younger helped tremendously.
The tone of the banners is light and playful (especially desired since the subject matter is quite serious in parts!) The colouring too had to be clean and unfussy. The compositions uncluttered. The type legible at a distance. And yes, I chose Comic Sans as a typeface. Normally avoided as a design cliche, it worked perfectly in this case. No regrets! Educational posters have to be approached differently to most other poster designs (films, games, comics) The primary purpose is to inform. Not sell.
Delighted with the end results. Thanks to the staff at Glasgow University for giving me the opportunity to work on these posters and a special thank you to Dominic Regan for helping me with the colour on a very tight schedule.