The Art & Science Behind the Anvil Award Posters

The Art & Science Behind the Anvil Award Posters

photo1Though the youngest on our ZGM team, her work is already turning heads of seasoned industry vets. It could be her illustration background, her innate artistic ability or her experience with web design and coding that makes her work so brilliant. Or, it could just be that her brain is bigger than the rest of ours. Whatever it is that makes Iris Wong such a creative genius, it sure is working.

The theme for the annual Ad Rodeo Anvil Awards Gala is Arts and Science, and Iris was tasked with creating this year’s artwork and poster. What one might assume to be a simple task – creating a poster – proved to be quite the creative endeavor. You’ll probably be baffled to discover that Iris didn’t pick up a paintbrush, or even touch any paint to create this artwork.

What was your inspiration for this artwork?

“When I was briefed on this project, I had to find a way to meld art and science. Leah (Creative Director) had mentioned that we could do circuit boards or mother boards, so I started my research there. I wanted to show the clean, technical lines and connections of a circuit board juxtaposed against an abstract piece of art. I originally tried ink as a backdrop, but it just wasn’t working. I hadn’t painted in a while, so I went home and found my old supplies. I saw a yogurt lid that I had used to create a colour pallete for a previous painting, and the paint had dried up to make this really cool effect. As designers, you are always looking to create the simplest shapes, and I am always playing with circular shapes because they have a nice way of tying things together.”

IMG_9295 paint-1

What was your creative process in developing this?

“I like to create my work in a series of collages. I like to cut up my work. It gives me the freedom to make mistakes. I usually start my thinking in a traditional way of doing sketches and drawings.

I was excited to do this piece because I like to merge traditional with digital. When I saw the dried up paint on the yogurt lid, I scanned it onto the computer and started playing around with it. I scanned in my sketches as well and started creating a collage of my ideas. I played around with a few different ideas before I landed on the final piece.

I worked with Kristen Thompson (Senior Designer) on the type and printing. We used gold for the circuit board lines because it added a dimension against the paint that black simply couldn’t achieve. It stood out and contrasted against the messiness of the painting, and it also made sense since motherboards are gold plated.”

poster-process1    sketchbook-2   tech-illustration_2poster-process3

How do you find the balance between art and science in your work?

“You need both to do your job well. Art is cool but you need the foundation. You can’t be a graphic designer without understanding colour theory, shapes and the psychology behind it all. Art is science. It is nature.

In my work, if I don’t understand coding and the technical side of it, then the design is useless. On the contrary, I can design something beautiful, but is it useable? You need to know why you are doing what you are doing; you need to understand your target audience.”

Did you feel you had more creative freedom when you were briefed on this?

“I don’t hold back when I am briefed on client work. I usually start with the same process of sketching and drawing, and then developing comps on the computer. It also allows my fine arts side to come through. I like to push the boundaries and see how I can pare down and simplify my comps.” 

Who knew such beauty could be manufactured from an old yogurt lid and some sketches.


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