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Digitiser cover process 1 - layouts

Blog posted by Ste Pickford on Wed, 09 Jan 2019

Ste Pickford

I was commissioned to design a cover for the DVD release of series 1 of the Digitiser YouTube show, which is a reward for backers of the Kickstarter for the show. The design also needed to double as a poster.

I completed the artwork over the Christmas break, and here's a short series of blog posts showing my process from initial idea to finished artwork, for people who like that kind of thing (I like that kind of thing!).

(Follow the link at the bottom if you haven't seen the YouTube series.)

I'd already watched every episode of the show when they were first released, so I was familiar with it, and watching each episode a second time in preparation for this job I was struck by the idea of Mr Biffo being a kind of circus ring master, and I loved the way he stalked around the set in some of the game show segments. So my first ideas were all built around Mr Biffo in the centre, with his stripey pants, capturing a full body pose (I love the way he walks around in the show, and talks to the camera - it looks great), and kind of introducing the show, which would be represented in the background somehow. I also considered little circular portraits of each of the other panel members, with their names underneath, like on the covers of old EC Comics.

I checked in with Mr Biffo after doing the first four layout ideas, and he *really* didn't like the idea of having himself be so prominent on the cover. He wanted the various Digitiser characters in the show to be more prominent (which to be fair, I hadn't even included in the sketches, even though I planned for them to appear in the background), and would probably have preferred if he wasn't on the cover at all.

I did a couple more layouts, sketching out a detailed background of all the characters, worked a bit more on the panel members and some colour ideas, trying one with just Mr Biffo's face, and one without Mr Biffo at all. We both agreed that #5 was the best layout. As Mr Biffo is a reluctant presenter I can understand why he didn't really want to be on the cover at all, but I think he recognised that it would be a bit odd if he wasn't as he's the main presenter of the show.

This part of the process was done on A3 layout paper, then in Photohshop (only the Photoshop sketches shown here, but I messed about with the poses on paper first, before scanning and tracing them onscreen).


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