Nervous Dove by Kiley Allen | Vector Paths

When I first worked towards designing this gig poster, I started creating word maps surrounding the type of music I wanted- a mixture between the groups AJR, Sheppard, MisterWives, and Will Jay which are electronic Pop sounds. I wanted my music, like the music of these artists and groups, to be fun and real and honest. I made many, many word maps surrounding these ideas and started sketching ideas:

I wanted something open and raw. I wanted the subject to be in touch with it’s surroundings and nature.

When I decided to put the woman figure in water but with the earth and moon around her. I experimented with textures in the water and on the moon. I toyed with sizes and colors on the planets as well as a the arrangement of them I wanted her to seem away from the world.

I also had a symbolic tattoo of a bee on the girl’s back which took a long time to design since I tried to focus on blending modes and very small details. I eventually decided the bee was just overwhelming and unnecessary, but I was glad I was able to understand the blend tool better because I used it a lot in my final draft.

I started trying to pick a name and turned to my word maps. As I listened to music that had a similar sound, I decided on the name Nervous Dove- two words that were on the outside edge of my wordmaps.

Once I started focusing on the girl, I liked the pose she was in because I felt like it embodied the band name. She seemed like an observer and as she hangs on her own shoulders, she seems nervous. I liked that you could see the lines of her back but the colors of everything were confusing and distracting.

I decided to take the woman and change her skin tone to unify it and make it a little more distant and unknown.

As I started to like the idea of simplicity that began with eliminating the tattoo, I also chose to eliminate the planet earth and work with just the moon. I decided to focus it on a solar eclipse because this was an idea discarded in the sketching stages but now seemed very intriguing.


I used a gaussian blur for the eclipse and I began to add the gig details as well as a more extraterrestrial hair bun.

I soon realized and was informed gaussian blurs were advised against for this project so I turned to my friend the blend tool. I was impressed and excited with the results I began to get using this tool and I liked the look it gave my design.

I realized around this time that the woman in my graphic looked alien and well-put-together and was no longer representing the type of music I liked. I wondered how I could make her look a little less put-together and less like a business woman and soon discarded the bun for a wavy, chopped hairstyle. I experimented with several of these and finally focused on one that made sense to me.

I worked at finding a textured font that would better represent my band and I rearranged it to underneath the design to fit with the flow and create a box just with edge of the water. 

The color scheme was unified and distinct and the design was simple but defined.  

I added stars of varying opacities, sizes, and blends and in the end I was very pleased.



Kiley Allen

Kiley Allen

BYU-Idaho Communication student.
Kiley Allen

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