This blog is about Graphic Design, Vector Art, and Cartoon Illustration

Designing a collage

When most people look at the poster above, they see images of the movie "The Force Awakens". But designers see a collage.

I've always been fascinated by this type of design, which is especially used on movie posters. It's all about combining multiple images, with varying scale. When it's done right, it's spectacular, like this poster is. When it's done wrong, it's just kind'a sad.

The trick, of course, is to make the various elements work together in a dynamic composition without making it look like character's heads are growing out of spaceships, or that the smaller scale images don't look like a bunch of toys.

Of course, the best software to use for a collage of this type is Photoshop, as you can manage the images on multiple layers, changing scale, etc. But it all starts with design.

Step back for a moment, and squint your eyes a bit. The design is essentially red on one side, and blue on the other. It's all about design progress. You start with the basic colors, darks and lights, and work up from there. The bright lines form a zig-zag pattern that guides the eye up, back down, and then around again. This is brilliant design. Now you can start to see how the individual elements create a circular pattern that keeps your eye moving towards the center.

Collages are a lot of fun, from movie posters to scrapbooking. And it's all about giving a dynamic first impression, keeping the viewer's eye from straying outside of the composition, and giving a lot of wonderful details, in different scale, for visual enjoyment. A great collage like this one brings you into the space, and encourages you to look again and again.

When you see it, it's astonishing. The design force is strong in this one.