A Peek Into My Design Process

Design Process: Grande Finale Poster

As an International House alum, I often volunteer my time and services to them. I love supporting a residence and an organization that had such great impact on my life, plus, it’s fun. La Grande Finale is the final event of the year in International House, it’s a celebration of the year with great food, music and dance, and awards. It’s a lot of fun.

Events transpired in such a way that I got asked to design this year’s poster. Being the 10th year International House University of Alberta has existed, this Grande Finale marks a major milestone for International House. Leslie (advisor to the International House community council and Global Education Coordinator) wanted the poster to echo and make people think of the milestone (we’ve got major 10th year celebrations coming this year). I started to suggest a concept idea and Leslie cut in, “Why don’t you design it?”

Happy to, Les.

International House Grande Finale ticketsThe tickets were already printed so I wanted to use some design elements from them. What stood out was the ribbon in the background. So I created something inspired from it.

Swirly Background for International House Grande Finale - Designed by Aurooba AhmedFun looking right? I liked it so much I made a version of it my wallpaper.

That was the first step. Then I selected some group pictures from past Grande Finales and Soirée of Welcomes (the first event of the year in International House), edited the pictures for contrast, and put them in a simple grid on an 11×17″ document.

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 10.39.33 AMNext step was to fade them out strategically, add in my swirly lines, add a few bands for the text to rest on, the event details, the International House logo, and the bones of the poster were complete.

Screen Shot 2014-03-14 at 10.41.53 AMSome tweaks and back and forth discussion with the ladies at the Global Education office later, the design was finalized and on brand.

International House Grande Finale Poster - Designed by Aurooba Ahmed
(click to see a larger and better quality version of the poster)

I spent 4 hours (give or take) on this poster – that’s from brainstorm to completion.

The most challenging part of the design was figuring out an elegant way to highlight the details of the event without making them too in-your-face or too tiny to be useful. The final result pulls your eyes to the event title first and then the details that frame it, which is just what we want for to happen.

The element I spent the most time on were the pretty swirly lines; they are subtle but they were my inspiration for the feel of the poster. They add that extra oomph to the poster. We compared the poster with and without it, and the winner was unanimously the poster with them.

I’m thrilled with this poster. Thanks for letting me share a peek into my process. 🙂