Exercise: Abstract Cities – Montreal

I didn’t really know where to start with this, but seeing as I couldn’t afford a trip to Montreal and have not previously been there I knew primary research was out of the question. My next thought was to try and find out more about visiting Montreal and therefore find out about popular landmarks/attractions that might form the basis of my abstract design.

I did something sneaky – I went into a travel agents and said I was interested in holidays in Canada and could I have a brochure. They were kind and here’s the evidence:

Scan of p.74 of '1stClassHolidays - Canada the complete guide 2014'

Scan of p.74 of ‘1stClassHolidays – Canada the complete guide 2014’

The page wasn’t packed with information but it gave me a starting point in terms of names of places to search for: Notre-Dame-Basillica, The French Quarter, The Olympic Stadium, Old Montreal, St.Joseph’s oratory.

I then searched the web for images and pinned them onto a board on pinterest to come back to:

http://www.pinterest.com/ariseandshine/abstract-cities/

I found that there were certain colours and themes that kept coming up and found one photo of the French Quarter fascinating I used this as a basis for an abstract design. It felt apt creating something based on the French quarter as Montreal is the second largest French speaking city in the world.

French Quarter - Montreal

French Quarter – Montreal

I began working in Illustrator CS6 on a design, this was my first version:

Abstract Montreal v.1

Abstract Montreal v.1

Whilst I was happy with the shapes of the buildings and trees/bridge I wasn’t sure about the colours I’d used. The blue sky background was supposed to subordinate but was really dragging the image down.

Abstract Montreal v.2

Abstract Montreal v.2

Here the background colour was a bit better but still not quite right…

Abstract Montreal v.3

Abstract Montreal v.3

Satisfied by the new blue coloured background I started playing around with fonts and position of the name Montreal:

I felt the city suited a more script or handwritten based font due to it’s French heritage and some images of signs I’d seen above shops in the city:

Abstract Montreal v.4

Abstract Montreal v.4

The white works better here I think because it stands out rather than hides.

Abstract Montreal v.5

Abstract Montreal v.5

Abstract Montreal v.6

Abstract Montreal v.6

The final version blue, is the best of the bunch. I think the white lettering works well in terms of standing out against the subordinate colours but I’m not exactly sure about it’s positioning. In general I’m pleased with the balance of subordinate and dominate colours, perhaps I used the orange red (supposedly an accent colour) to frequently? My main concern though with the finished version is that it may not be abstract enough!?

Final version

Final version

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