Monday, September 12, 2011

Project - Hot Fuzz Birthday Card

This project has lived in a little bit of infamy here, with a short story before I get into the actual design blog...

Most of my projects begin with wanting to do something special for someone I love. I've designed jewellery for my fiance, tattoos for friends and co-workers, but what I really love doing is birthday cards. These often start off with me saying "ok, give me a theme and I'll make you a card". This is how the Hot Fuzz birthday card began, with me wanting to try something new, and my sister choosing Hot Fuzz as the theme. The trick was that this happened sometime in August 2010, intended to be a card for her birthday early the next month, with me eventually finishing the project about two weeks ago! The delays were a combination of losing my job shortly after I started, deciding how I wanted the card to look, and eventually having to learn all the techniques to create the card that I wanted. I'm happy with the results though, and I hope my sister will be to!

So the initial concept of the card was extremely simple: have a basic pop-up mechanism of the cathedral with the character of Tim Messenger in the foreground, his head crushed in by the falling spire. Right off, I thought this was way too simple, even fancying it up with an image on the inside and outside. Then I had the idea of adding a pull tab of Const. Angel and Const. Butterman chasing the missing swan, taken right from the movie:
I sat on this concept for the longest time, because I didn't know what else to add to it. I opted at one point to add a flip panel of the dead bodies found in the caravan, but now the project was a number of disjointed movealbe paper gimmicks, and this made me sit on it for a bit while I dealt with other concerns.
Eventually, I had the inspiration of giving the overall card the theme of illustrating all the deaths caused by the Neighbourhood Watch Association. I already had the idea of Tim at the cathedral and the dead bodies, all I needed to do was build on that and organize my ideas.
Needing to learn more about pop-up books, I went to Chapters and took some ideas from The Harry Potter Pop-Up Book and The Pop-Up Book of Celebrity Meltdowns for some more interesting pop-up ideas (this was after weeks of reading library books and just not finding the right applications).

In the end, I decided to have Tim Messenger spin his head to reveal the crushing spire (pop-up with spinning image), Martin and Eve becoming decapitated from the welcome sign (combination pop-up and pull-tab), Leslie being stabbed with her shears (a sliding French window), and the central piece of George's house exploding (combination pop-up and some pull tabs for effect).
Here are some images of the works in progress (a special thanks to the images of the characters, likenesses, and all that, but in general all final designs were created by me using Illustrator and Photoshop):

In the end, they all came together to form this:

The doors and pieces of brick on the house expand out, and pull tabs raise flames in the house windows. The car is pulled out under the sign (which pops-up) and underneath reveals the severed heads. Leslie's French window changes scenes in the movie. Overall a success! I really really wanted to include some music playing when you opened the card, like the movie theme, but I couldn't find a small enough playable electronic device (I did find a recordable Hallmark card, but it played a short music clip after that I couldn't get rid of).

That's all for this project. Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

  1. I have the privilege of being the new owner of this amazing artwork!... Thank you, thank you... and it's still blows me away how detailed and interactive this card is!
    Hallmark step aside, there's a new fuzz in town.