Playtopia // Illustrated Event Poster

  • I had the incredibly awesome opportunity to create the official poster and logo for South Africa's first indie gaming, music, interactive arts and playful media festival, Playtopia!

    Here's an in-depth look into the final illustration and its creation process:

  • From initial concept (left) to refined draft (right). The idea was to create a doorway into a playful world, almost like stepping into another dimension where imagination is reality. There were quite a few initial changes, such as adding more framing elements around the edges, including a holding device for the event information, placing more characters (to make the event feel more welcoming), and scattering a few 'tech' elements to emphasise the theme. The final logo was still being worked on at the time, hence its absence in the refined sketch.

  • After testing a few approaches we settled on this logotype, which is playful and quirky, and not unlike a logo that could be used for a real mini game. The other options had more of a retro/arcade look, but felt a bit dated, and didn't really suit Playtopia's futuristic outlook towards gaming.

  • The chosen colours fall on a triadic colour scheme, which gives a fun and vibrant appearance to the artwork, but simultaneously lends itself to the intentionally limited colour palette, reminiscent of traditional poster style artwork. A total of 7 colours were used in the illustration.

  • A few primary and secondary characters were created for the poster.

    The initial characters were planned to be much younger, but after the mention of a possible alcohol sponsor for the event, we decided to make them a little bit older and added a bunch of tattoos and beards for good measure. The alcohol sponsor did not go through, but we decided to keep the tattoos as it seemed to fit the art style and attitude of the poster quite well.

  • Full, final illustrated event poster for Playtopia.

  • Detail close ups.

  • The design needed to be kept fairly modular so that elements could be easily repurposed for use by another designer or animator working on further branding and promotional material for the event, which resulted in this neat stacking of editable layers.

  • A quick mock-up was done prior to finalising the design, to get a sense of how it would look out in the 'real world'.

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