For this exercise you are going to make up a poster list for yourself. It is intended that you keep it pinned to a noticeboard or wall to remind you of the dates and, as it will be there a long time, it needs to look good. Design your own ordering the information that best suits you and including as much additional information as you would find useful.
I am hopeless at remembering people’s birthdays and I always feel bad when I forget or when I know a card will arrive about three days late because I haven’t been organised to post it early enough. Social media has helped by sending prompts on days when friends have a birthday but there are some people close to me for whom I really need to make more effort than a quick ‘Happy Birthday’ post on their Facebook timeline.
Therefore, a wall-mounted birthday chart would be a good idea for me! However, I wanted my personal birthday list to be designed as a reproachful reminder of how bad I feel when I forget a friend or family member’s birthday… a ‘memento mori’ style of design. I decided to base the decoration of the chart on a skull, but so that it didn’t look too morbid, I decided to include flowers into the design.
My design ideas and thumbnail sketches are below:
I drew up the wall chart in Adobe Illustrator. I made it 400mm square as it was easier to measure the position of my data entry boxes with a number that was divisible by 10. Positioning and sizing the boxes was a very fiddly job!
For the decoration, I created a pencil drawing of a skull.
I did attempt to paint my own water colour flowers for the skull’s garland but my painting skills weren’t quite up to the job, so I decided to leave the painting to the experts and purchased a set of water colour flower PNG files from Creative Market.
The final wall-chart Birthday List is below:
Thoughts on this Exercise
Laying out repeating boxes like this in Adobe Illustrator is quite time consuming and fiddly and requires both patience and good reading glasses. I also found it difficult to get an idea of the actual scale of what I was designing without being able to see the printed version. I resorted to mocking up a quick piece of paper of roughly the correct size, sketched data entry boxes on them and then measured them as a way of gauging the size that they needed to be on my final document. I had fun with this exercise in drawing the skull and decorating it with flowers… a bit of light relief after the frustration of measuring and positioning the boxes.