This one took awhile to complete, but I'm happy to present it now. It's a poster with the behaviour rules of the Da Costa School in Rotterdam. Since September of this year each class has this poster on the board. I got the assigment through my mother who works there as a school assistant.
Next to the Instagram pictures there is also a making of video on YouTube. If you look at the video you will see that there are two sketch versions for each picture. The first sketches are very rough. They were more of a reminder of the ideas I had for each rule. The second sketches come closer to what the final drawing would look like. You will also see geometric shapes in the second sketches, like circles, squares and triangles. It seemed like a fun addition as this was a poster for a primary school. But the shapes distracted from the text and some shapes drew more attention than the others. The text was supposed to be the main focus, so I settled on blue squares for all rules with a prominent position for each rule.
I gave myself some more extra requirements. I mean the client would probably be happy already if each rule had two characters interacting, but I thought three was nicer. It gives the feeling of the rules being not between just two people, but a larger group. For those that look closely at the video, you will see small letters with each characters in the sketches. I tried to have a diverse group of characters, so that was my way of keeping count.
Iedereen is welkom & mag meedoen (Everybody is welcome and can participate).
One of the few changes I had to make was the order of the rules. This one was moved to the top left. Taking into account reading order, it makes sense to move the rule about feeling welcome in that position. I guess it was an opportunity to draw a certain brand of plastic bricks, but it's a safer bet that more schools have the wooden blocks. The towers on the sketches looked to be more prone to be knocked over. They also looked complete already, I prefer the final about to be finished tower.
We houden ons aan de afspraken (We stick to our agreements).
The ball is present, because you can make all sort of rules and agreements when you use it in a game. But even if the ball is absent I think the scene fits with the rule.
We gaan vreedzaam met elkaar om (We get along peacefully).
Perhaps we treat each other peacefully would be a better translation, but you get the point. The original rule put the emphasis on talking. After simplifying it, it covers even more ground. Friends or at least class mates hopping along cheerfully. No doubt some comic or cartoon influence slipped in my mind. I know if I leave myself unchecked I'll get a whole bunch of characters with their eyes closed, so the one in the center got open eyes in the end. Somewhere between the first and second sketch I realized I could go wild with the hair of the character on the right.
We helpen elkaar (We help each other).
I think the example I saw for this rule involved an injury, so I thought of a happier activity that involved helping. I guess it's not so likely to sit between two ladders getting balloons ready, but the scene felt unbalanced to me in the sketch versions.
We hebben respect voor elkaar & de omgeving (We respect each other and the environment.
This rule was simpler at the start: We are nice. I think the final rule sounds better, at least it's not just about people. In a way it's funny that I already gave the characters on the left a flower and watering can before the text change. With the addition of the environment it made sense to replace the scooter with a shovel. When I was growing up there was project at school called 'schooltuin', where we would walk to a patch of land and we all had a small piece of land to grow vegetables and flowers. So I made this a refelection of time. A friend of mine gave me the opportunity to experience that joy again this year on a smaller scale.
We zijn open & eerlijk (We are open and honest).
So at first it was just being honest. I don't know, I guess it sounds better. I'm not sure if cookies at school are frowned upon at school, but these characters are outside. I thought about marbles at first, but I guess that's more something you win. The same thing with certain cards or stickers that are traded. I think most people can relate to cookies combined with honest division.
So this project took a few months, while I finished quick it took awhile for me to get feedback. I kept in mind that things were hectic at school, so being patient wasn't a problem. It was funny to finally arrive at the school in person and hear that there was going to be one more delay. The school was getting a new logo. So it made sense to wait for that new logo and replace it in the poster. This let to one more change. The title was blue, because it fit with the old logo. But the new logo has purple letters, so I thought the poster would look better with a purple title. The client agreed. In the end it was a fun project to work on and I'm proud of the end result.