It’s not destroying… It’s making something new.

Click to see a mutating world.

When I decided to do a poster on the movie Annihilation, I knew it would be quite challenging. The movie itself is fascinating and remarkable. The overall concept of this movie is related to mutation. There are lots of weird-shaped flowers, strange animals like the deer in my poster, and mutating human beings.

The first object I drew is this mutant deer. There is a scene in the movie in which a mutating deer with flowers on its horn is duplicated. So I found a picture of the deer and traced its outline. In order to create an effect of duplication, I added the drop shadow so two deer may have some contrast that allows the viewers to distinguish them.

The second object I drew is the lady with flora on her head. This idea is inspired by a scene in which the character played by Tessa Thompson has grass growing in her body. It’s hard to explain the scene but the concept is that the lady is transforming to human-shape plants. So, again, I looked up a photo unrelated to the movie but has similar concept, and traced its outline.

And for the background, I tried to recreate the “Shimmer” which is a huge “bubble” covering a forest. The “shimmer” functions, according to the movie, as a mirror but it refracts not only lights but also DNA. The original “Shimmer” has a relatively cold color tone. But as for me, my skillset is far from creating the effect of a bubble. So, I just created a large ellipse and gave it a gradient mixed with those colors from the original “Shimmer”. I also added an effect call ocean ripple to it, trying to show those mutating and duplicating cells.

In the movie, lots of the scene take place in a forest which is also mutant. So, I drew a very dark forest with some weird-shaped branches flying out.

Color is a very difficult element in this whole poster. Because there are too many elements in the poster, I decided to focus on the lady which is supposed to be the CVI. I tried different ways to color it such as giving it gradient, painting it, or making it purely white but none of these worked out. Somehow, I made it transparent(exclusion) and it generated this mainly pink color. It was surprisingly good. The yellow was just around the lady’s brain which was correspondent with the text “FEAR WHAT’S INSIDE”. And the “cells” from the effect of the ocean ripple are also shown in the lady’s brain area. Her hand has different layers of color which is again accidentally indicating the process of transformation.

For the text, I think my choice of typography is a very serious mistake. I focused too much on those drawings that I ignored the typography. For the title “Annihilation”, I tried to create an effect of annihilation. It looks not so bad but I’m kind of worried about the readability. I once thought I could fill in those gaps with illustration of leaves and branches but I didn’t think I could color those leaves well, so I gave up this plan.

And lastly, I left a so-called “Easter Egg” or “spoilers” using a symbolic typography. It’s just a meaningless decision of mine because I just watched Ready Player One recently.

Overall, the drawing is very interesting. I really enjoy the process. And the most difficult part of this whole assignment is color. I struggled a lot. And also, because of the different displays of color in AI and in PDF, I’m really confused and hesitant to make decisions. But again, I really enjoy doing this assignment.


Yiwei Bo's Magazine Design
Click here to see a Fallen London

This is a real challenge for me so far in this course. I’ve struggled a lot during my design and tried a lot of different themes. As I reviewed the works from previous students, I decided to do something radically different. So I came up with this dark theme.

For the cover, I decided to use this Queen’s guard since it’s the symbol of England. I wanted to show only half the face of the guard while display his gun but the position of the texts would be so strange; so I gave up this design and make this cover. I transformed this image into b&w to foreshadow the dark theme following. I tried various different types of the fonts and forms for 463; yet, all these previous attempts didn’t work well with my dark theme – the scarlet red font color, the evil-like font, etc. Therefore, I used a font with high weight and stretched it with a half transparent “463” under the name of the magazine. This is the most creative title I could do. And the yellow font is one of my mistakes – I should have used red to correspond with my later pages. I thought yellow is kind of alarming and attention-grabbing.

For the ASF, I tried to adhere with my cover and the overall theme. I tried to find an image about a golden disc to correspond with the yellow font on the cover. The golden color disc seems to not fit with the yellow, but I failed to make the color of this golden disc even with the “tear drop” tool (?). The text “EVER” is also one of my mistakes. It’s just so ugly and inharmonious.  The layout of the body texts of the ASF is somehow crowded together so I have to extend those text boxes to the very bottom.

For the full spread, I again transformed the main visual into b&w to indicate a darker theme. Since the headline is “Edge of Madness”, I decided to move the text “edge of” to the edge of the spread and created a drop shadow to imitate shadowy sculpture in the background. I chose to use red for the text “madness” to create a tension or anxiety. I think it works well.

For the last two pages, I still tried my best to adhere with my dark theme. The red color for “Torment” and the artist’s name. And again, the yellow color is quite unsuccessful. It’s so inharmonious. Since I’ve already finished my cover and ASF at that time, it was too late to redo the ASF and cover. And for the self-portrait of Alberto, I used his name to cover up his eyes to correspond with the Queen’s guard on the cover so that both of them would not show their eyes. For the visual in the lower-left corner, I put it there merely to add more yellow to reflect the previous yellow. Again, that’s the chain-reaction because of the mistake I made at the beginning. I added lots of black boxes to reflect my dark theme. The two boxes on the last page work fine, but the other one is somehow messy with the texts. And for the eyes of Alberto I placed on the last page, It’s just another way to make my design darker and creepier. And the “madness” I placed was intended to reflect the headline “edge of madness” as you may see I only showed half of the “madness”. And for the sidebar, the texts were again too much so I had to squeeze them. But the space left for sidebar was so tiny so I had to remove the portfolio line in order to fit all the texts there.

Overall, I made a mistake for my font selection. Two of my font families were too similar and the other one was dramatically different. It made the design more difficult. And as I mentioned above, the color selection is also a mistake. Moreover, I’m not sure my dark theme is suitable for this article. I’m quite uncertain for my dark theme. But it is my style. Besides, the display of the design inside InDesign is somehow different from the PDF exported; for example, the black rectangle I placed under the name Alberto to cover his eyes is not the same with the bigger black frame for some reason, so I had to delete the black rectangle. It is quite confusing. Maybe I messed up with the color.


Yiwei Bo's fake newspage
Click this page to see a fake newspage.

Here is my reflection for my newspage project.

This is actually the first time for me to design a newspage. It’s hard indeed. I’ve never paid attention to newspaper closely before; I’m shocked that there are so many rules and components in a page. I  struggled a lot on the layout at the beginning. Given five stories to use, I was hesitating on where each story should go. My first intention is to get rid of the gerrymander story since it’s kind of irrelevant. But after I began to put actual texts and pictures in InDesign, I found that I have too much space left; so I have to put all stories in it. But again, there is a chain reaction following. Besides layout, I think typography is another most difficult element in news design. And at the last moment before handing in the project, I found there are some unintended typefaces mixed in the story. I’m not sure I cleaned then all out. I also intended to create something interesting for the centerpiece, but my creativity was just dead. The software is not that hard partially because I have previous experience with it in c226. Overall, after seeing other classmates’ work, I think I really should work hard in later assignments.