For this exercise, I have chosen an illustration used on a full page advert in Vogue for Vivienne Westwood's perfume "Cheeky Alice" (fig. 1).
In order to prepare my brief, I researched the Vivienne Westwood brand, as well as the concept behind this perfume and made notes around the brand identity and the characteristics of the perfume. I then considered the role of the illustration, who the audience would be and what "flavour" the illustration should have, as well as other details that the Vivienne Westwood creative team may have specified in preparing the brief for this illustration (fig 2).
Here is the brief I prepared:
Vivienne Westwood will be launching a new perfume for spring, called "Cheeky Alice". As the name suggests, the perfume is feminine (with fresh and floral notes) but also sensual and a little bit provocative. This is a perfume that might be worn by a women aged 18-30, confident with her femininity, who wants to show that she is sexy, cheeky and a bit naughty. The Vivienne Westwood customer is one that is daring, pushes boundaries and is not afraid to be different from the rest of the crowd. The perfume will be promoted in fashion magazines, websites, beauty counters of the major department stores as well as traditional advertising billboards. For our advertising campaign, we need an illustration of a 50s style pin-up girl, vintage looking, but with something that indicates this is a modern-day girl (for example, she could be wearing Vivienne Westwood shoes). The pin-up girl will, of course, be sexy, but with an air of innocence - fresh and fun, like the perfume itself. A photographic image of the perfume bottle, with it's signature double red hearts and look of a bottle of magic potion will need to appear prominently in the image and there will need to be room for the Vivienne Westwood logo. The only text on the image will be the word "presents" under the Vivienne Westwood logo and a subtitle "a new fragrance for women". The brand colours for this perfume are a peachy red and gold and therefore the illustration must incorporate these colours. Above all, the image needs to capture the attention of the viewer, to draw them in and inform them immediately of the character of the perfume.
What I learnt:
This exercise was actually harder than I thought. Putting myself in the shoes of a creative director or art buyer of a fashion organisation really made me think about the multitude of things that need to be factored into to an illustration for an advertising campaign - the corporate identity, the branding of the goods to be advertised, colours, feel, layout, what text would need to be incorporated, who the audience would be. It also got me wondering about how much direction the illustrator would get for this type of commission. I imagine the illustrator's artistic freedom would be quite restricted and that the advertising team for Vivienne Westwood would have had a clear idea about exactly the image they wanted to see. I could imagine briefs for other commissions would be a lot less detailed and provide more scope for the illustrator to express his or her own creative style.