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Designing A College Sports Poster - Court Vision Creative

Designing A College Sports Poster

Hey there, thanks for checking out the first official blog post and you’re in luck because it’s not just an update but you will also get to see some of the steps we go through when working on certain projects. As you may or may not know one of the posters we designed this year for the University of Wyoming’s Athletics Football Program was recognized by Bleacher Report (bleacherreport.com) featured columnist Tom Perry as one of College Football’s Top 50 Team Schedule Posters. The Bleacher Report is a sports network driven entirely by fans and writers who publish over 500 new articles every day, many of which are syndicated to CBSSports.com, the L.A. Times, NHL.com, and other leading media outlets. So our poster was ranked #8 out of 50 to be exact but who’s keeping track right?

So a little history, Mr. Perry came up with the idea to contact the media relations offices of all 120 D-I Football Subdivision teams and ask for their 2010 poster. Out of those that had posters and/or responded, Mr. Perry, with the assistance of an art director, individually graded each poster with the following criteria: Clarity, Schedule, Photo Quality, Uniqueness/Creativity, Eye Appeal and “Coolness” Factor. They were rated on a scale of 1-10 then broken down with an overall category score, individual ballot score and then finally best overall score, which was maxed out at 120. I’m proud to say that Wyoming’s Football Poster had an overall score of 101, good enough for 8th so I’d like to take a few moments to thank Tom Perry and the Bleacher Report for taking the time to recognize some of the things that these schools do to promote their programs, promote school spirit and of course recognition of the behind the scenes people (graphic artists!) who make the visions of these athletics media relations departments a reality.

I give you the Cliff’s Notes version of the 2010 Wyoming Football Poster design (it would be about 20 pages if we went step by step) Enjoy!

The original Photo was actually taken inside the practice stadium with some lights set up for contrast:

University of Wyoming Football Team Photo

The first step was to isolate the players from the background. Using the pen tool in Photoshop, and a lot of patience, the entire team was traced around and then copied and pasted as a separate layer from the original. There are a number of ways to do this sort of thing using layer masks, and channels to the magic wand tool but generally, the pen tool yields the best but most time consuming results for detailed images. Fast forward and voila the team has been isolated from the background.

University of Wyoming Football Team Photo

University of Wyoming Football Team Photo

Time to start getting creative. To get the image to pop we need contrast.

University of Wyoming Football Team Photo

Through a combination of layers, color and contrast balancing and effects, we achieved the desired look for the athletes. Subtle difference but strong.

University of Wyoming Football Team Photo

Fast forward, fast forward, fast forward…with the new suites for War Memorial Stadium still under construction at the time, we had to improvise and use an architect’s rendering for the background stadium shot. Notice the incorrect angle as well. Transform function, scale, skew, repeat…until it looks right. Before:

University of Wyoming Football Team Photo

Fast forward, fast forward, fast forward…effects, layering, feathering edges, desaturation of images, blending of foreground and background images, and addition of artificial stadium lights for effect plus poster content, headers, logos, etc. in accordance with branding scheme and voila…

University of Wyoming Football Team Photo

I hope this was a fun and interesting look at some of what Court Vision Creative does on a regular basis. Feel free to add comments or contact us if there is anything in particular that can be done for you!

1 Comment

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