Exercise: Point of sale display

This brief calls for a design for a green grocer’s  point of sale display that will go above the fruit and vegetables in their shop.

What I know about the shop:

[It is] in a small precinct which also houses a baker, a newsagent, an independent shoe shop and is on the route to and from a well respected primary school.

The final size needs to be 2 x A1 landscape, in order to be displayed and seen from the street through the shop window. The display will go above the fruits and vegetables in their shop.

Here is a rundown of how I approached this brief:

  1. Find the target audience: This shop sounds like it could be in my very neighborhood. My street is lined with various mom-and-pop shops, such as bakers, butchers, and green grocers. The type of people in this neighborhood are in their mid-thirties to early-forties, and are generally young parents who send their kids to state-of-the-art elementary schools. They shop organically and locally, which means that a lot of fruits and vegetables are only around seasonally, and not year-round. I imagine the customers to be somewhat in tune with the hipster movement. They are very granola.
  2. Set up a mood board on Pinterest: A mood board will help me collect ideas in one place and gather inspiration for the project I’m about to commence.
  3. Gather notes from mood board: What I seem to notice during my research and creation of a mood board is:
    • lots of hand lettering contrasted with sans serif fonts, such as Arial Narrow
    • the shops have mostly wooden facades, which gives a more organic and natural feel
    • the shops are not over-crowded with aisles and bins
    • darker colors on the walls contrast with the bright colors of the fruits and vegetables
  4. ThumbnailsTake notes and go to sketchbook: I took my notes on the target audience and from my mood board and internet research to my sketchbook and began making thumbnails to get an idea of the visual layout that would look good from a distance (making thumbnails makes it easier for me to visualize what something would look like composition-wise from a distance.
    After drafting up 13 thumbnails, I found at least one I wanted to go with: in the second row from the top, far right – the pile of cherries.
    The vegetable composition will be decided on / drafted to complement Thumbnails2the cherries.
    Edit: After a few attempts with the cherries, I decided I was unhappy with the composition / idea and drafted up a second set of thumbnails.
  5. Decide on design style: after deciding on my composition, I have to choose how I am going to approach the actual design of this project. Do I want to illustrate? Do I want to take photographs? I definitely know that I want to incorporate hand lettering into the style, which means I will be doing some of this poster traditionally (adding to the feeling of community and local goods, as well). Since I personally feel that there are too many signs in Berlin that use poor and too many photographs, I really want to try my hand at making an illustration for this poster. The medium I will use is undecided at this time.
    Edit: After my failed attempts with the cherry idea, I decided to try for a more geometric / modern style using Adobe Illustrator.

After all the decision-making and research, I finally went into Illustrator and began to play around. I found a few stock photos of fruit that I traced, broke down into geometric forms and colored.
I then took those shapes into photoshop and began playing around with the poster layout, based on the thumbnail I chose. Not too surprisingly, I ended up going with my very last thumbnail.

The final posters came out like this (click to enlarge):

The next step was to place the posters on a mock-up. I took a picture of the store in my street that I felt matched the description in this brief with my iPhone and then photoshopped the posters onto the storefront. I feel the posters blend in lovely and really match the feel of the store:


The most appropriate software to complete my poster, I found, was Adobe Illustrator for the vector graphics, so that I could enlarge / decrease the size of the illustrations without any pixelation. Photoshop was the best for the hand lettering design, and I ended up completed the rest in Photoshop, as well. Although, I do feel as if InDesign would have been better for the text layout. However, due to my hand lettering design (which was also done digitally), I needed to stay in Photoshop. I still feel I got the results I wanted and that my layout didn’t suffer from not being completed in InDesign.

I asked around and posted the images on my social media accounts for feedback, and so far, the responses have been very positive, especially amongst German audiences. The posters bring a certain “hipness” into the store, which I feel relates to the target group I pointed out at the beginning of this project (hipster-like millennials).

All in all, I’m currently happy with my end results, but there’s always room for improvement.


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