WaRM illustration suite

Waste and Recycling Management (WaRM) illustration suite

Environment Agency
(CDS, 2010)

Adobe Illustrator

Brief: Create a suite of illustrations depicting waste all main recycling processes. Each process must be clearly identifiable, but still be completely generic, not favouring any particular brand or type of equipment. Illustrations need to be on brand, stick to colour palette, and work across all possible products. Must work as a complete set, and representations must be positive.

To make the recycling plants feel environmentally sound and non threatening, they are framed by a pleasant country landscape, showing nearby towns and farms. The buildings and processes are created using predominately white and blue tones, creating a visual association with clean, high-tech industry rather than waste.

Some processes are best represented by specific building exteriors, whereas others rely on the actual equipment. Using a generic factory backdrop and setting the internal processes in front of this, against a blue tinted strip, keeps the overall look of as consistent as possible.

To make the most of the client's budget, as many elements as possible are reused, including background scenery, factory backdrops, belts and workbenches. This also ensures that equipment is as generic as possible.

The scenery, buildings, foreground vegetation and 'interiors' are all kept on separate layers. This means they can all be included to create a 'pretty' scenic image, or can be stripped out for a clean, scientific looking diagram.

The images naturally lend themselves to a landscape format, but an extended sky and foreground allow scope to crop to the required shape.