The Overlapping Grid Collage uses overlapping images to create depth and interest, paired with a simple monochromatic palette. It is one style of collage that can be created using elements of the UVA brand. The following examples illustrate how this technique can be employed.
Figures 1 and 2
Creating Overlapping Grid Collages – like those Figures 1 and 2 – that reflect the University brand requires adherence to several unifying principles.
For example, use a variety of images and perspectives. Doing so helps collages become balanced and dynamic. This effect can be enhanced by using images, color overlays and design elements.
How To Create An Overlapping Grid Collage
The effects of the Overlapping Grid Collage can be created using different applications. This template and the following instructions for it use Illustrator and Photoshop to achieve the final result.
1) In Illustrator, open a new document and create a grid of rectangular shapes that fills your custom artboard. Use a variety: both large and small, horizontal and vertical.
2) Next, place the images you want in your collage across the grid using the shapes to create clipping masks (Object > Clipping Mask > Make) for the images. In this design, notice how the content and perspective of the images are spread out. And note how people on the left of the collage face mostly right and people on the right face mostly left.
3) Use Photoshop to adjust the color of your image files. First, convert the file mode to Grayscale (Image > Mode > Grayscale).
4) Next, convert the file mode from Grayscale to Duotone (Image > Mode > Duotone). Under Duotone options, create Ink 1. In this example, the color is Cyan (C 100, M 0, Y 0, K 0), which supports and enhances Jefferson Blue while maintaining the overall blue effect of the collage. Using Cyan as a secondary blue helps give the collage visual depth.
5) Still using Photoshop, enhance the difference between light and dark (contrast) by adjusting the Exposure levels (Image > Adjust > Exposure). Don’t forget to save the image as CMYK or RGB depending on the application of the final design.
6) In Illustrator, if the file name of the image you adjusted remains the same, a prompt in Illustrator will ask to replace the image in your artboard with the new modifications. If not, replace it with the new single color image.
7) Repeat steps 3 through 6 for the rest of your images. To create Jefferson Blue images in Photoshop, under Duotone options, create Ink 1 in Jefferson Blue (C 98, M 83, Y 12, K 46). Again use Exposure levels to adjust the contrasts of your image.
8) In Illustrator, continue to replace your images with the adjusted-color images, being sure to use a combination of images using Cyan and Jefferson Blue. Once all the images are adjusted in your grid, the ratio of Cyan to Jefferson Blue images should be around 1:3.
9) Back in Illustrator, now that the images are in place on your grid, give the collage more depth by pulling the edges of some of the clipping masks on top of each other.
10) Still in Illustrator, adjust the transparencies of the now top-level masked images to “Screen” (Window > Transparency). This adds visual depth and illustrates the shared energy of the images by literally sharing space between them.
11) Create a new layer on top of your photos layer in Illustrator. Using Cyan and Jefferson Blue, create new rectangular shapes randomly across the artboard. This will add depth and cohesion to the collage.
12) Adjust each color rectangle (or screen) using a variety of Hard Light, Soft Light and Normal transparencies in different percentages (Window > Transparency). To make sure the photos in the layer beneath maintain their visual value, move the rectangles around and adjust their height and width.
13) To add another level of depth, create another layer in Illustrator using words and graphics (Shapes, Dot Screen Aura, We Burst, etc.) from the brand art toolkit. Use Jefferson Blue.
14) Again, adjust the graphics to best work with the photos in the grid and the overall design. Move the graphics around and perhaps tuck them inside and underneath certain images. Then adjust the transparency of each element to “Color Burn” so that graphics will react to the color of the photos beneath them.
You can use this template to develop your own Overlapping Grid Collage.