I’m definitely over the “hump” with this poster. In other words, I have fleshed out the look I was searching for and I am surging forward with the idea that I will be completing this in the near future. (You’ll get a better idea of what this poster looks like if you click on the larger image above.) Since I was going back and forth with the appropriate look for this illustration for a couple weeks, I had a few realizations that helped me out. First, I realized that the food did not have to be 100% accurate. I had gotten hung up with making the food look right in my drawings. After scanning the drawings in and adding some color to them, it was apparent they did not have to be super recognizable just as a line drawing. Color added the right dimension to them. Plus, the food was not standing alone. The name of the restaurant would be right next to it. Plus, I came up with the idea to add small flag dots next to restaurants with specific cuisines. French food does not have a specific look, so putting a small French flag next to it made a big difference. Second, I started from scratch with the map. I was trying to force the map of Chicago too hard into the final illustration. Since the concentration of restaurants is downtown and the North side, I needed to expand this area. So, I took some liberties with the roads on the map. They turn at places they don’t normally turn, but I still made sure it all makes sense. Even though the map might not be accurate in look, I made sure roads intersected where you would expect to see them intersect…I tried to not veer too far off from a traditional Chicago map.
I do have a few more decisions to make. I’m still not happy with the font choice. I had the lettering over the images, but it was distracting. I moved it off the image and simplified the lettering, but I’m not completely sold. This is going to be an important decision. Also, I need to work with the background more. I’ve tried to beef it up by adding the train lines and the Chicago River, but it still has too many open spaces which make it seem a little dull. I might try to add more roads, but I’m afraid that might make it distracting. I thought about pointing out other landmarks, but those will still be concentrated in the areas that are already populated. I’m thinking a simple pattern or design might add some interest without taking away from the main feature…the food!