After producing a mindmap of the main terminology used to describe the water cycle, I thought it would be a good idea to start sketching some illustrations that could represent each stage of the cycle. Whilst sketching, I tried to think of ideas that could be represented in flat design (or similar) so I aimed to keep the designs relatively simple. This actually proved challenging with certain keywords, as I found it difficult to think of one, simple image that could sum the whole process up in flat colour.
Although at this point I had only drawn a small amount, I was curious to see how I might produce these ideas in vector form. Working with vector software is something I am fairly new to, so I thought it would be a good idea to start playing around in Illustrator. Having missed the Illustrator workshop due to being ill, I am experimenting with the software to see what I can and cannot do before looking into Lynda.com tutorials.
As a test, I decided to try and create the mountain sketch that I produced to represent ‘snow melt’ on the water cycle. As you can see, the outcome looks quite a bit different to the sketch, as it is less symmetrical and the shading is at a different angle than originally planned. I realised that this was because of how I manipulated the anchor points of the snow, which caused it to spike off in random directions rather than a clean cut across the top of the mountain. However, I have to say that I actually prefer this, as it looks more like a mountain rather than a rounded triangle with a white tip. I wanted to keep the design as simple as possible, though I am aware that the mountain could be mistaken for something else. My class mate remarked on how it reminded them of a dorito, so I will need to refine the design idea before using it in my actual poster.
As for using Illustrator, it is apparent that I need to experiment a lot more with the software before I will be able to start producing my ideas in a decent quality. In the meantime I plan to do some more research into design styles that might make flat design look a bit more engaging.