WordCamp Europe 2017 Postcard Design

This year’s WordCamp Europe was held in Paris last June 15-17. A few weeks prior to the event, my co-worker, Tammie, messaged me on Slack asking if I were interested in creating a postcard illustration as one of the merchandise we were selling at the pop up WordPress Swag Store. When it comes to illustration projects, I always jump at the opportunity!

However, my team and I were busy working on other projects that I absolutely had a difficult time squeezing this one in. The deadline creeped up on me. I never miss my deadlines so I panicked a little bit after learning I only had a couple days until the final artwork had to be sent to the printer.

The requirement was to create a design around the subject “Traveling Wapuu”, but since the location of the event was in Paris, I was also asked to focus on France as a subject. Other than that and the postcard dimensions, there weren’t any rigid requirements which makes it even harder. Full creative freedom is great, but having no contraints and boundaries can also be a challenge.

I was struggling to come up with a concept. I hit a wall and I do not have the time to wait for that eureka moment. For the most part, I also believe it’s a myth because a lot of times, a certain concept would look good in my head, but it fails during execution. Although for sure, Wapuu was going to be in this artwork so in order to at least get the ball rolling, I quickly illustrated Wapuu wearing a beret. There were a variety of resources from the Wapuu archive, but none of them matched what I was looking for.

I normally start out jotting down ideas; as many words as I can pertaining to the subject. What are the first things that come to mind when I think of France? The Eiffel Tower, The Louvre, wine and cheese, baguettes, Arc de Triomphe, Champs-Élysées, Tour de France, etc.

Now that I have all these ideas, what’s next? I was looking at my daughter, Olivia, in her baby gym wearing her flamingo rompers. This inspired me to explore the idea of patterns.

I also then began exploring a variety of color combinations, none of them seemed to be working. It was already late at night. Le sigh. I went back to looking at my daughter’s rompers again and hey, a similar color combo could work!

After a lot experimentation and playing around with the concept, this is the final design. I’m quite happy how it turned out especially considering the fact that I didn’t have much time to work on it. It also was made available as a poster!

Want to check out more awesome swag my talented co-workers created for the same event? My co-worker, Cristel, wrote about it here.

By Jan Cavan Boulas

Jan is a designer and illustrator whose work has been featured in several publications online and offline. When not trying to help make the Web a better place, she can be found taking off on an impulse adventure, experimenting in the kitchen, or playing badminton.