Dr Maggie’s Grand Tour of the Solar System

written by Dr Maggie Aderin-Pocock

I designed this 120 page title for Buster Books. Part of the job was all picture research and also the creation on diagrams and collages, using a mix of stock photography, Chelens lovely backgrounds and spaceships and a little photoshop magic! I was to create a ful book that felt illustrated whereas I really had approximately 15 spreads plus icon artworks, like Maggie and the ship.

Picture research was done using the approved sources such as Nasa and Shutterstock. This meant smartly enhancing NASA’s low res images and creating images, of quality for print, sometimes using live tracing, sometimes filters and changing levels on photoshop to make them more graphic and appear illustrated. This was required where resources were limited or the kind of detail we wanted just weren’t possible with satellite photography.

Some images just didn’t exist and as there wasn’t budget to illustrate everything, it was a case of me researching and then creating photo/art collages, such as the Venus and Slushy landscape you can see here below. Again the spot arts by Chelen really anchor everything together and her backgrounds and textured are included as part of the landscapes make it feel cohesive.

To tie the whole book together, I created graphic elements, a complimentary palette for blocks which corresponded and defined each planet/subject. I used some rebalancing of colour levels and effects that made the artwork from various sources appear consistent.

I also designed the diagram sections at the back with a hologram feel, including the graphic timeline to show distance information in the simplest way, as if referring to a tube map.