The making of the Immortality Roadmap series of posters

Overview   Process  

Getting a huge amount of material from the client, reading and trying to systematize it.

Trying to imagine how it might be represented. Rejuvenation with the use of modern technologies? Maria Ivanovna turns from an old woman into a young girl at the age of 72?

What if there are dudes moving up the stairs of evolution becoming more and more technically advanced with each step and ultimately achieving immortality?

Or it can be a graphic illustration which can show how human body evolved over time. First it’s a normal man, then he gets a clone, then the body is augmented by mechanical parts and then it all turns into a hologram.

Art director: Let’s write some popular science texts. As if we’re looking from the future which has already happened.

History from the beginning of the 21st century up until today, meaning at least year 2100.

Thinking about the best way to show the texts, and also how to show the flow of time and highlight important scientific achievements.

Showing the sketch to the client. He is not excited about the dark background and the whole idea of evolution of the human body, it’s too common of a metaphor.

We need to look at it from a different angle. What if we divide all ways to achieve immortality into two plans: plan A is the development of medicine and plan B is technological progress.

Dividing the information into two posters and drawing a sketch.

Nope, the letters don’t attract as much attention as we want them to. Meanwhile, the client tells us that immortality and life extension are not only about health, but also about beauty and attractiveness and asks to put an interesting woman’s face on the poster.

Designer: What if we slightly modernize the antiquity? Like ideal canonical human bodies in a new reading?

Art director: Yuck, they’re marble and cold.

Designer: Or hipster-like, an object table with different body parts, specimens, brains, technological gadgets? Here’s a mood board.

We can also put a girl there, connecting her by tubes to a computer and artificial organs.

The art director approves, the client does too.

Working on the details. First, assembling a composite photo of the future android girl. Trying out different hairstyles.

There is too much information, so we create two posters: one on biological and medical ways to extend life, the other on technological ones. Dividing the girl in two halves across the posters. Approximating placement of text and illustrations.

Photographing the model and working on the pictures in Photoshop to achieve an unrealistically ideal result.

Combining the texts and illustrations into two posters.

Art director: The headings suck.

Artistic director: The layout is boring.

Client: There is now wow effect.

Quickly sketching up some alternatives.

Nope. Inviting another designer to join in.

We need to start over and discard the established images.

Art director: It doesn’t make you want to come up closer to read it :-( Also, the text is too small.

Trying to feel for another direction.

It’s all good, but a wall newspaper is hardly the best solution here. We need to get inspired by the right pictures.

Getting immersed in the topic, studying the structure of cells and their types. Reading articles about nematodes, experiments and cryonics. Gradually starting to understand how dendrites are different from axons, what cryoprotectants are and what they do. But it’s not enough. Asking the client to explain the obscure parts. This will later help us to get rid of the years and a large portion of the text. Leaving only the main points and promoting pictures to the foreground.

Finalizing the sketches and showing to the client. Deciding we can remove even more text and concentrate on the pictures.

Art director: The circle has to be more circle, otherwise there’s too much chaos.

Deciding that all the pictures have to be drawn by our illustrators in their own techniques. And the girl faces will remain photographs. Giving instructions to each illustrator to get them inspired, provide enough information and avoid problems later on.

Since there are seven posters, deciding that the head of each girl in the center should reflect the idea behind each poster. Asking the technical designer to bring this idea to life.

Putting together the illustrations, fresh texts and photographs and sending it all to the typesetter. We also must print out the result to make all mistakes visible.

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