Assignment 3: Colour Me

The brief

To produce a poster (297mm x 420mm) that celebrates a colour of your choice.

Choose a colour that has a meaning that you want to explore and celebrate. Think about what the colour you have chosen means both to you and to other people and create something that celebrates that meaning, for example you may choose a golden brown because you like real ale, a vivid green because of a particular landscape, green to celebrate Irish identity or the yellow sandstone of Bath’s architecture..


Work only with your chosen colour, its complementary colour and black and white. You can include text, collages, illustrations and photographs. Use black and white to help establish a range of tints and shades with your chosen colour. These limitations are to get you to work with colour thinking creatively about how to make a limited palette work for you.

This project is as much about visual dynamics and contrast as it is about creating something with meaning. Make full use of it to show off to your tutor all the skills and processes you have learnt so far.

You need to submit at least three variations of your poster as well as the finished artwork.

My chosen colour is blue for the reasons I specified in my diary. My problem is I love blue but do not like orange, its complimentary.

Blue is a primary colour, on the cold end of the spectrum but its compliment is on the hot end so they balance.




This is the ‘true blue’ (0,0,225). The tints and shades will be created by adding white or black.

Orange (225,165,0)
Orange (225,165,0






This the complimentary of my blue – orange (225,165,0)




I am looking for inspiration on the colour blue. Thinking about the Donovan song:

Blue’s the colour of the sky
In the mornin’ when we rise,
In the mornin’ when we rise.
In the mornin’ when we rise.
That’s the time, that’s the time
I love the best.

Read more:  Donovan – Colours Lyrics | MetroLyrics

Blue (1)
  • In ancient Rome, public servants wore blue. Today, police and other public servants wear blue. In Iran, blue is the color of mourning.
  • Blue was used as protection against witches, who supposedly dislike the color.
  • If you are “true blue,” you are loyal and faithful.
  • Blue stands for love, which is why a bride carries or wears something blue on her wedding day.
  • A room painted blue is said to be relaxing.
  • “Feeling blue” is feeling sad. “Blue devils” are feelings of depression.
  • Something “out of the blue” is from an unknown source at an unexpected time.
  • A bluebook is a list of socially prominent people.
  • The first prize gets a blue ribbon.
  • A blue blood is a person of noble descent. This is probably from the blue veins of the fair-complexioned aristocrats who first used this term.
  • “Into the blue” means into the unknown.
  • A “bluenose” is a strict, puritanical person.
  • A “bluestocking” used to be a scholarly or highly knowledgeable woman.
  • The pharaohs of ancient Egypt wore blue for protection against evil.
  • The “blues” is a style of music derived from southern African-American secular songs. It influenced the development of rock, R&B, and country music.
  • “Blue laws” are used to enforce moral standards.
  • A blue ribbon panel is a group of especially qualified people.

Yves Klein was an Artist who worked mainly in blue he even had a pigment called after him (IKB). His work is extraordinary. He had models painted in blue and then they lay down on the canvas. He loved the colour. I can understand that.

I also looked for graphic designers, using blue, on Google and Pinterest and I found many designs which I liked. Among them are the following:







night_on_th_tiles_smI have just discovered the work of Alan Fletcher with which I am obsessed….

Field of Blue Flowers
Field of Blue Flowers







I have looked for material in magazines and newspapers. My first poster will be a collage.


In google I did screen snaps of pages of patterns which I printed out to use in my collage:

blue_6_sm blue_5_sm blue_4_sm blue_3_sm


blue_2_sm blue_1_sm





I cut these up into small squares. I then made a rough sketch of my proposal.

collage sketch

I liked the way the light (or lack of it) caused this to appear blue even though the paper is white!

I placed my cut outs on the sketch to see how it looked.

pieces of blue paper for collage

I realised the small squares were still too big so I cut these up randomly into tiny pieces for the collage. I debated about a cloud in the top right but decided against.

collage pieces stuck on to paper

I then had to decide on the text to indicate global warming and climate change. Time is ticking by, hence the clock, pollution is represented by the bottle and the fish being ejected from the sea by the tsunami. To capture this in a headline… My designer friend recommended that I should use the top right hand corner. She suggested a sans serif type aligned to the right. I decided to introduce the complimentary colour.

This is the final poster:



Secondly I made a photomontage using some of the following material.

The Crossing by Madge Collins O'Neill
The Crossing by Madge Collins O’Neill

This is a painting by a lovely friend. It concerns crossing from our island to the mainland. The port where we arrive supported 400 fishing boats at one time. Today there are two which lie tied up for most of the month. Their quota is so small they need only to fish for two days a month. This makes NO sense as far as I am concerned.

Fishermen scuppered their boats when the EU quotas were fixed as they realised there was no point in continuing to fish. The government offered to remove the rusting hulls for 2€ but the owner of this boat refused. He wanted the world to be reminded every time they pass that this boat used to fish out of Baltimore.


I used the fish from the publicity in a magazine.


This is the first poster I created from the above images in Photoshop:


I tried a second using my family story as background.

our story
our story

Finally I created posters in Illustrator, using the skills I learned in creating the abstract cities. I made a repetitive fish pattern based on the fish from the magazine illustration above.

This was the result:


The next one I produced was the following:


For my final illustrator poster I used an image of the following map which hangs in our bed room.


I added the surreal fire…. Not sure if it works in various orange shades:




I settled on the following three posters having received comments from a couple of friends (see below):

Poster 1: Burning the World
Poster2: Global Warming Consequences
Poster3: Selling out our national resource


SANDI: Graphic artist/artist
The first, burning the world, I would make the type bolder and maybe a chunkier sans serif font. It’s not immediately clear what it says, it should hit you in the face! The fire might be better with a gradient. Or it doesn’t necessarily have to go all the way across.
The second I would axe if there is one to go, it’s too simple.
The third collage is really great, I love it! Careful any type is not too close to edge.
Of the two fishing industry posters, use the first. The page covered in type is too confusing. The first is good. To improve it I would change the font. Don’t make it a script, bold and strong. Split the type, the “Irish gov…”at the top and then “200m loss” at left under ship, still big and maybe different colour than top type, doesn’t have to that different, light blue or something.
I wouldn’t use last as I think you have to cut another.
Hope this helps!
Jo: oil painter:
Wow – you are hard at it! A great variety of image.
My favourites are the burning the world, the fish out of water and the one with the narrative written across the whole page. 
I’m not so keen on the same actual fish and boat image used in each one, but that may have been a requirement too. Personally, I think a more context appropriate image/species may be better, but they may not be blue!!! 
It’s hard to comment on those bits without you explaining the further details of the task and requirements, so I feel a tad uncomfortable making further comment, if you know what I mean.
I hope this helps….
DEIDRE: A graphic Designer
You have been busy 🙂
I will happily give my opinion, for what it’s not worth!! I love the collage, the textures and structure of the layout. My next favourite is the boat, for the same reasons as above. My third preference would be Burning our world, for exactly the same reasons as the other two. There is something interesting in the geometric patterns in number 6 as well. 
As to why that order, I’m not sure, subjective choice, so I’m no help on your critiques!
Best of luck 


I feel like I am only winding up to this exercise after so much reflection and trial and error. I found it interesting that both friends, I asked to comment, liked the collage. I liked doing it but was not sure about the result. I want to try more collage with my photography now.

I took into account what the graphic designer suggested and hope this improved the end result.



  1. My first task is to research Peter Saville as recommended by my tutor and to add this to my Visual Literacy file on designers.
  2. Following the recommendation of my tutor I need to push my design beyond the boundaries of the page. Not sure I have really done this in Assignment 4 – something to keep in mind for Assignment 5.
  3. Research other artists creating collage for homelessness.
    1. I found these very powerful: They are such simple ideas.








I could not find anything specifically for homelessness at Christmas. I will think about creating another poster.

4.For Abstract Cities my tutor felt Manchester was weakest. She suggested looking  at Lowry’s paintings and using this idea as a base. I followed her advice and came up with a ‘new’ design. I think this is an improvement. I away the tutor’s comments. It is on the abstract cities page

5. My tutor suggested that I use the Lightbulb exercise to create thumbnails for my posters. I took the burning the world poster to rework. I set up some thumbnails in my log book and asked my husbands opinion of which worked best. He liked the egg timer one.


So using an image from the net I traced it and filled it with orange in Photoshop. Then I took it into Illustrator. I placed the world in the top part and tried to make it look like it was melting by using my newly learned ‘skill” of selecting anchor points and using the up and down arrows to manipulate the shape. It looked totally amateurish. I then made a shape using the ellipse tool. Then using anchor points and the up and down arrows on my keyboard I reshaped this. I made a copy and turned it through 180 degrees. I added a rectangle between the two shapes and selecting them all I used pathfinder to join them together. I then added the ‘melting’ world. I added drips and filled the bottom with the pen tool. I made a mesh gradient and added colours by selecting anchor points on the mesh to create a liquid type puddle. I think this is a good improvement.



  1. What Colors Mean. 2016. What Colors Mean. [ONLINE] Available at: [Accessed 20 December 2016].