How I created The Dazzling Trip Festival Artwork

My friend Paula called and asked If I could help with her project, The Trip Festival. The Festival is a family-friendly folk festival in Anglesey by the sea. Paula wanted to know if I could help with the festival artwork.

A monster called Boris

How to start a music festival poster? I had this idea of a sea monster. A giant octopus with scary eyes. Around him were islands and rainbows, flying chunks of land and waves of the sea.

There were clouds and other items relating to the sun sea and sand. Sun sea and sand were the thematic colours. I traced out the shape of an octopus in illustrator. He was a space octopus. I made the eyes take on a shiny effect and we decided to call him Boris.


Hi Boris!

I began to create shapes in illustrator and extruded and bevelled, altered the hue and saturation in the land and rotated them so they floated around the monster. I learned this technique from computer arts and it gave some really awesome effects so I went wild with it.

Boris 2
Boris in Space

Next, I started to create waves. Then, I added different gradients for variation and arranged them around the monster. At this point, I hit a barrier because I didn’t like the way it looked. It was too much.  It was the first thing Paula said, although I knew it myself already.

The monster was too focal and I needed to rearrange the composition of the image in general. I went back to the drawing board.

Boris in the sea
I think I went too far

The Trip Festival Goes Back to the Drawing Board

I Spent a few days in Wales in the New Year, out in the good old open air, I got some inspiration back again.. I ditched the sea altogether and just made some new waves that looked a lot like tissue paper and wallpaper.

You can see at this point we have one area of land and the monster has taken a much more distant place in the background. There was also the addition of the circus tent which was created by creating shapes with the pen tool, and then overlaying with paper textures and adding shade. Uh Uh RuPaul, throw some shade.

Trip Festival Poster In Progress
Starting to take shape

I altered the clouds and played about with the positioning. You can see here I moved the circus tent and put Boris in the background a bit. he was still too prominent, and no one likes that. Especially not your special guests.

Choosing Typography for The Trip Festival.

The next step of the festival poster was the type. The title typeface was a struggle. I don’t like Cooper and I was completely hung up on it so I couldn’t move on with the design. I looked at lots of typefaces but nothing stood out.

Trip Festival Poster In Progress
Some font choices. I know, I know. 

A New Background

I spent some time working on the background and made it much more intense and colourful. As you can see at this point, I also added a rainbow and the circus tent took on a flag.

I prefer the tent in this area now and the monster down in the sea. I altered the clouds and the background, added a rainbow, using polar coordinates and added texture to the tent.

Trip Festival Poster In Progress
Back to the drawing board

After a long hard look, I felt like the image needed more texture, so I overlaid paper and cardboard over many of the elements in the design to give it more interest. I found a website with free textures and a download of fully tiled images and more, at 15MB a day, I sourced the water and also a paper texture for the tent.

After trawling the site I downloaded some other interesting textures for later use. I added cardboard texture to the individual layers and experimented with blend modes to give more depth and intensity of colour.

Trip Festival Poster In Progress
Adding Texture to the illustration

A Big Bad Horrible Crash!

I’d spent hours at this and Photoshop just crashed. Just like that, I lost most of my file. My working file was 1.3GB and I think it just took its toll. I got back to work however and the new result was just miles better. I lost all the textures and I came up with this new design with fabrics and retro wallpapers. The colour seems much more vivid and real. It’s starting to look really pleasing on the eye.

I also decided on a final look for the title type using none of the previous fonts, I used Shagadellic, an Austin Powers-style typeface which in caps worked really well when laid out to write The Trip Festival.

Trip Festival Poster In Progress

Re Texturing the Elements

I used actual water and overlaid it on wavy shapes I had created with the pen tool. I loved the effect. – This is now more true to the way I want the final to look but with much more texture.

Wouldn’t You Like to Fly?

I made a gorgeous balloon from an image of a hot air balloon I sourced, I then traced each contour of the balloon and filled with various wallpaper patterns that I filled with various colours and blended. after a few layer blends, the result was quite vivid. It’s my favourite element of the design.

Trip Festival Poster In Progress

Paula asked if I could make some bubbles. I created these from looking at a few glass bauble tutorials. My favourite is the one with the tent in it, it looks surreal.

Trip Festival Poster In Progress

I made some alterations to the poster. the balloons and bubbles were added, also I added shading to the land mass, and some items of interest. A Mystery Machine, from a photo Paula took. There’s a Fender, a Welsh Dragon, the castle and some teepees.

The poster was finally ready to have text applied. This is the final Trip Festival Poster. This is my favourite creation, minus posh loos, comfy seating and a cocktail bar, I think it has everything a two day festival could need in a piece of design.

Trip Festival Poster Final
The finished poster. 

See more of my artwork here I can mostly be found at my desk at Made By Factory, a Manchester Graphic Design Studio I co-run. We specialise in Graphic and Web Design, PPC and Social Media. If you want to hire us to brand your big event, head over to our site and get in touch.

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