How to be a…

The Brief

The name of this project is “A Guide” or “How to be a…” First, I had to pick a random animal from a hat. From there, I had to research distinct features of my animal and then had to create guidelines around how to be the animal in question. Finally, I had to make an A3 poster holding this vague information to create an interactive experience in which a group would guess the animal.

So *Drumroll* the animal is….

Red Kangaroo, Australia. Image obtained from Envato Elements

The Red Kangaroo

I drew the red kangaroo as my creature, the next stage for me was to research facts about the kangaroo picking out the interesting facts that I could use for my guide.

Facts about the red kangaroo:

  • These are the largest species of kangaroo, with males ranging from 5ft though there are often reports of them reaching about 7ft standing whereas females can be around 4ft.
  • Found in Australia’s open grasslands and deserts. 
  • They gather in groups which are called a mob.
  • They are considered a pest in Australia.
  • Red Kangaroos are herbivorous and can survive on little water.
  • A kangaroo fight is also known as boxing.
  • The males are reddish, whereas the females have a blue-ish hue.
  • Their legs work like elastic bands, which means they can bound 25 feet in one leap and reach the height of 6ft.
  • They are Marsupials
  • Their young are named Joeys
  • Reach around 23 years old.
  • They are strong swimmers and can drown predators threatening them.
  • There are more kangaroos *not just this species* (50 million est) than people in Australia (25 million)
  • They are a national symbol.

Info sourced from National Geographic, Wikipedia, Australian Museum, Kiddle, Racine Zoo.

One of these facts took the lead in my mind: groups of red kangaroos are called a mob. I felt that I could create a very distinct style poster that merged propaganda and recruitment posters. I played between using a pre-made graffiti font or drawing one out myself. I wanted to use bold colours, such as red, to reference their name.

Below is a rough outline with the base facts and style that I was considering at first.

A rough outline of the poster.

Whilst the content of this piece stays reasonably consistent from here onwards with only a few copy tweaks. It’s the overall style and background that evolve the most.

I considered taking this style further by keeping it looking very rough and handwritten like the poster was done in a rush.

Taking the piece a step further

The first step was working out the typeface style. Whether I wanted a chunky spray paint style font or not. After a few test runs of different types, I reached the one I liked the most. I took forward the general shape of the type, I wanted to keep considering how thick the outer stroke ended up being.

I decided that my next step was considering the background first and foremost. I wanted to use visual elements related to the facts and the habitat that the red kangaroo reside. First, I wanted a giant cacti dead centre of the poster sitting directly behind the text.

In an effort to update this project I have created a website page if you are interested then click the website page below.