Graphics Style Inspiration & Experimenting

At first I tried simple tree designs on illustrator and came up with these:

The designs are simple but I wasn’t happy with them, especially the colours, so I tried a different approach. But I did like the shapes for the tree bush as children aged 4-5 are learning about shapes and circles/squares/triangles are the basic shapes they learn.

I looked at many styles and I really liked the style below:

Vector Tree

It feels free and not constrained, simple, pretty and fun. I thought It was the perfect inspiration for my pop-up book and appealing to children.


I used Adobe Illustrator to create the shapes and I love how they turned out. I like the composition and use of basic shapes for children to relate to and learn from. Next I had to add colour and I wanted to use a pastel colour palette due to the research on children and colour effects.

I loved the colour choice and I added the squiggle style as influenced by the inspiration image above. One of my supervisors said it reminded them of the solar system.

I started putting the designs together in the format of my circle pop-up piece and using the simple tree shapes I illustrated before, I re-used them and change the colour and style. The clouds were influenced by the Powerpuff Girls style.

I knew I wanted to include a cute little colourful fence so I illustrated the outside lines and coloured them in using Photoshop to experiment and decide on a final palette. I decided to go with the rainbow colours, again teaching children the basics of what they learn during Primary 1. I thought It would be more cute and appealing by making the fence have little animals on them.  

Next I added in the grass and I also included faded out trees in the background to add more depth.

I put the grass and fence on at the same time to see if they would work well together along with the trees. The fence will be a pop-up piece so it won’t be printed on the background.

  I created tree branches to stick onto either sides of the pop-up piece as one of my pop-ups. This piece is important as one of the cube extras will be interacting with it. I designed some bushes too which are pop-ups too.

Final Design Template

I included glue tabs to ensure enough space is provided for the glue and strength to stay in place.


Visual Diary Tree Style

After looking into many different styles to inspire me, I started a few quick sketch ideas in my visual diary:

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11

I’ve filled up my visual diary with images and sketches, all to inspire me and keep my ideas together, it has helped me a get deal on deciding on my final style.

Note About My Acetate Printing

As I want to practice using acetate I started to place some inspirational rounded tree leaves on a document in Photoshop to print onto an acetate sheet, here is what I decided to print as a test:

Acetate Tree Printing Test

The top two leaves are just origami leaves taken from the internet, copied and pasted into a round shape. The bottom trees are also taken from the internet and scaled up. I want to cut round the leaves forming a circle and I hope to layer the circle acetate pieces together to add more dimension in my pop-up piece. I need to figure out how I will stick them together, put I did buy ‘Stick it! Excel 3D Transparent Dots’ which may be what I just need.

3D Transparent Dots

3D Transparent DotsI love double-sided sticky stuff like this! It has come very handy during my time at university. I plan on using these 6mm dots for sticking my origami leaves and flowers onto my pop up tree.

Printing Test using Acetate

Following the help tips on using the acetate sheet I managed to print on the correct side, the rough side. I also changed the paper type in my printer settings to ‘transparency film’ and hit print. It came out really cool, the only problem is that the acetate sheets I bought today has a peelable glue strip at one end and I ended up printing over it. You can see the problem in the image below. Now I know for next time to change either the position of the sheet or reposition the images away from the edges of the document.

Sorry for the poor quality of the image, I don’t have my good camera at the moment!

Acetate Tree Printing

The effect from using acetate sheets are really cool!

Tree Inspiration

I want to include a tree in the scenario were a cube character falls off the tree and gets a cut/graze so I’ve been looking at shapes and structure of trees and help me.

More Isometric Inspiration

Isometric designs are really cool, especially the cute ones! I want to add an element of isometric style to the background of my pop-up pieces. Possible in the form of clouds, little animals, the sun, rinbow etc.

Mummy Bunny Character

After pondering whether the bunny will be a teacher or a mother I’ve decided to go for a mummy bunny. Why? Because I want to let the children know that they can get help from their parents, not just doctors, nurses and firemen. I want to let them know that grown ups can help them.

Inspiration for Mummy Bunny

When I was researching images for mother’s to define a prop my character could have, what generally came up was aprons. I want the character to have a clear indication that it is a mother but other than an apron it seems to be the immediate indication that it would represent a mother. I think I will go ahead with this approach. The apron will be textured onto the 3D bunny model, but I might have a look into making it out of origami. If I do model the apron I need to make sure the polygon count remains at 2,000 or below.

More Cube Characters Inspiration!

I’ve been looking at more paper-based cube animals for inspiration on making my characters out of origami and cute cube characters:





More Inspiration

Cute Character Inspiration

Looking at more inspiration ideas for my origami character, going to start sketching!

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