For any given free form design assignment like this one, I always come up with at least one Pixar-themed idea. Iʼm a hopeless groupie. But the idea of an architectural homage to Pixar films was just too compelling to ignore.
It went from a complex and vast cityscape filled with every piece of Pixar architecture I could think of, to a single row of buildings made from just one edifice from each film. Crisis averted. But I wanted to keep the element of discovery it had, and I was afraid Iʼd lose that in the simplification.
My next pass left me with a black & white, lines-only illustration arranged in a centered, triangular composition. But Iʼd done exactly as I feared; I created a design that was glanceable, not discoverable. In black & white, it lacked depth, and became texture. And the symmetrical, triangular composition was a pleasing shape, but it was too easy to accept the piece as one shape and move on after a glance. Additionally it put one building at the focal point of the piece which created a sense of favoritism.
So, I added a dash of color to the sky which immediately helped to distinguish the buildings, and force depth. Then I broke the composition into three groups of buildings to do away with the single focal point, and encourage more exploration of the scene.
This design was also the subject of my inaugural Dribbble shot, and my 1000th tweet!