A learning exercise was handed to me

I was walking around Farnborough town centre when someone handed me a leaflet. People usually do one of two things with leaflets. 1 – they refuse to take it. Or 2 – they take it and throw it in the nearest bin. However, the leafleter was probably told not to return until all the leaflets were taken, so the least I could do was take one, right?

It was only when I got home that I realised that it was a gym leaflet advertising a membership I couldn’t see myself using. I was about to throw it away until I thought to myself – “How about I recreate the leaflet?”. I hadn’t done any DTP work for a while, so it was a good opportunity to brush up my skills.

Promotional leaflet from The Gym, Farnborough (22nd Feb 17)
The leaflet I was given

My program of choice was LibreOffice’s Draw. I used it as even though it’s an open source program, it’s a pretty powerful piece of software, which is part of a suite of equally great programs. I set up an A5 canvas and began my work. It soon became apparent to me that I wouldn’t be able to create the background in Draw, so I switched to MyPaint and used one of the airbrushes from the Kaerhon Brush Pack v1.

MyPaint window displaying the Kaerhon brush pack
Sometimes custom brushes are better than the stock ones…

I ended up creating 2 layers so that I could easily manage them individually, allowing me to lower the opacity of the lighter blue layer. To make sure I wasn’t creating too large an image (it’s easy to do with an infinite canvas size!), I used the frame tool to limit the image to 2687 x 2687 pixels. I kept the background white so that I could position it in Draw without having to extend the image to cover the whole page, which I found helpful later on.

MyPaint window with the frame enabled. The current layer has a 63% opacity
The lighter blue helped complement the darker blue in the final design

I found a transparent image of a woman in gymwear through a simple Google Image search, which I found quickly through changing the search settings to suit my needs. I downloaded the Boxxed Flat Social Media Icon pack so I could use the Facebook and Twitter icons in my design.

Changing the Google Image search tool to search for transparent images only
It’s a lot easier to find what you want when you know how to refine your searches

The fonts I used (Free Avant Garde and Tiresias Signfont) were already installed on my computer, which I found were closest to the ones on the original leaflet. I positioned the model so that she was “resting” on the blue bubble, which I felt brought the various elements of the design together.

To recreate the logo, I changed the kerning of the text for “gym” so that the letters would be touching as they were in the original. I found that the same dark blue used for the blue bubble was the same in the logo, which meant all I had to do was copy the hex codes across each time I wanted to use that same colour.

My version of the leaflet and the original side by side
Time to compare…

What did I learn from this spontaneous exercise?

  1. It would have been easier to get the colours correct had I scanned the image instead of guessing by eye
  2. Using gridlines makes it easier to get different objects on the same line
  3. Adding a shadow below the model would have made her seem more realistic than having her float in the space

Download my version here