An empty screen – a challenge that can make anyone weak in the knees. Creative jitters are the start of the journey; when we have no idea where it will lead. New work has arrived on our desk and we know this is exactly what we love to do.
Forbes Czech magazine asked us to collaborate on a project that addressed the practical risks of cybersecurity. Our task was to create a visual style for their online special report that would illustrate the given topic well, but also meet the standards of Cisco, the project partner.
1. In search of the general mood and dead-ends
Hackers. An infected computer. Stolen data. IT apocalypse. Define visual themes that will evoke this mood while not falling prey to clichés that pander. Determine the dimensions of unexplored landscapes. We put together a mood board: a collage of relevant images, fonts and photos, so that we can search it for the right way forward. We discuss our ideas with the client so that we can make sure we're on the same wavelength.
2. Sharpen your pencils
We know where we need to go; we’re just not sure how to get there yet. We’re not looking for specific terms, but rather our own language. We create the initial object that we will turn into an illustration. We try out colors, textures; we layer gradients based on the moods on our mood board. Ultimately, we find that even darkness has its limits. We leave the dead-end in search of the light apocalypse.
We've got something that suits all partners’ manuals and that works; even if we engrave it in the actual article, we still need to spice it up with the anxious feeling of cyber danger. The bustling of bright colors and subtle destruction create a mood of sought after unrest. We found our way!
4. Defining rules and constants
For any illustrator to work better, they carve into stone all their necessary constants: from their color palette and the radii of their rounded edges to the thickness of lines and the angles of gradients used.
With our headphones in place, we get to work. Read the theme, extrapolate the point and turn it into an image. Clicking, steam rises from our coffee, sipping tea. Drops of rain patter on the window and give rise to the thought of bringing all the compositions to life with animation. A several-hour dive outside of space and time.
To impress our moms, kids and potential girlfriends, we edited a short video about cyber-problems:
6. And now... the reveal!
All that’s left is to put everything together; with some fine sand paper we polish the last little details and send it into orbit. You can see how high we’ve flown at kyberbezpecnost.forbes.com
You can download the portfolio of our illustrational styles here.