Adventures in Graphic Design

Design, Illustration

Adventures in Graphic Design was a personal project to create a piece of self-promotional material, meant to assist me in transitioning back to full-time design work after several years of freelancing. Adopting the aesthetic of early 20th-century pulp covers, 25 watercolor paintings were illustrated and then composited to create a tableau describing both the triumphs and challenges of being a graphic designer.

Big Impressions

The poster was offset printed at 36" x 48", and either mailed or delivered to recipients in tubes with an attached letter. It outlined the design process as a journey of semi-connected scenes, all of them riffs or inside jokes about common design challenges.

The Process

A composition was first created using pieces from pulp art or photographic references. That composition was then re-painted as a watercolor painting for consistency, combined with a watercolor backdrop, with graphics applied as the final step.

Practice Makes Better

I started this as a watercolor novice, but through iteration and refinement I gained a good amount of proficiency over the course of the project. This project helped me understand the importance of exploration, and the cumulative effects of practice. To make truly worthwhile work I needed to leave room for experimentation, and failure.


Harry Chapin