Pratt BFA Communications Design Thesis

Francesca Mahaney Illustration

Experiments in Editorial AR

Augmented Reality
Character Design
Digital Product Design
Editorial Design
Education Design
Environmental Graphics
Game Design
Publication Design

My thesis explores how I can use augmented reality (AR) and my own visual language to illustrate articles across various platforms. For this project, I illustrated two different articles and created three experiences for each: a layout for a magazine, animations for online use, and an AR experience.

For the first article, “11 Body Language Mistakes You Didn’t Know You Were Making” (by Charlotte Hilton Anderson for Reader’s Digest), I designed eleven superheroes whose actions and powers illustrate different body language faux pas. Next, I animated these spot illustrations for online use. Finally, using Adobe Aero, I designed an AR experience where readers can use a mobile device to scan each spot illustration and the animations would appear as an overlay.

For the second article, “Steps to a Better Backyard” (by the editors of Fine Gardening Magazine), I illustrated and designed a full-spread map. Next, I animated different assets and built a 3 version of the map using Blender. In Adobe Aero, I created an interactive experience where readers can tap on different assets to play the animations.

Due to technical difficulties and unexpectedly large file sizes I was unable to share the actual AR experiences. However, I hope to resolve some of these issues as the technology advances and I become a better user. That being said, my experiments have motivated me to build more AR illustrations and, in these future experiments, I aim to utilize audio as well.