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Taking up the challenge inspired by the soccer tournament bracket featured on fastcodesign.com this week, I put my Total Production Geek hat on, plopped myself in front of Adobe Illustrator for several hours and created this radial format version of the 2012 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament bracket (updated to show Kentucky as the 2012 champion).
Click on the image to view it larger on a new page, or just check out this close-up of the South region:
One of the most time-consuming aspects of the project was looking up the official colors of all 64 schools (my apologies to the 4 teams that lost the play-in games). Only two or three schools didn’t have style guides posted on their Web sites so getting the official hex or Pantone colors was just a matter of 64 Google searches. When in doubt, choose a dark blue from the Pantone 270s or 280s.
As for my approach in Illustrator:
- I started with a 2,400 px radial grid with six concentric dividers and 64 radial dividers.
- I trimmed that down to just one quarter of the outermost ring to work on the sixteen teams of one region at a time.
- I converted the radial dividers into guides, locked the two arcs that formed the inside and outside edges, and then used the pen tool to create the dividing line between each game.
- After unlocking the arcs I converted the group into a Live Paint object to fill in each space with the correct school colors.
- Copy and paste that three times to complete the outer ring, and then create new arcs for each additional round.
- Because there are few things that frustrate me more than the Type on a Path tool, the labels from the 2nd round on are not laid out on circles. Instead I made a 32-sided polygon and rotated the labels to line (everything is by eye because I’m a lazy bum).
- Appreciate the fact that each round brings half as many games!
Would I make one of these again next year? Yeah, maybe. The hard work is done and because everything is set up a Live Paint it wouldn’t be too time-consuming of a project. This type of radial bracket really lends itself to smaller tournaments, though, and I think NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball playoffs would work better than the massive NCAA Basketball Tournament bracket.
Temecula Creek Inn hired me to create an invitation for an Engagement Party they are hosting for couples to visit the resort, see what it offers and meeting wedding professionals. The top banner was created by their megabucks design firm, so I don’t get credit for that. The layout grew from that element and a traditional, raised-ink wedding invitation style.
Click here to download a PDF of this engagement party invitation to get a better look.
Another blog has successfully launched! This one is for burlapandcrystal.com. The blogger, Julie, came to me with her logo already designed which made laying out the blog fairly straightforward, especially since she wanted the look to be somewhat reserved so her (excellent) photos would have plenty of room to shine on their own.
Here’s a two-sided invitation flyer created for Hands United for Children.
Designing a flyer to make attending a retreat at a beach-front resort look enticing isn’t necessarily challenging, but getting all of the information onto it could be. Here’s a flyer for a retreat from the author of The Zone diet at Surf & Sand Resort.
Here is a poster I designed for Temecula Creek Inn to promote their Christmas brunch last year. I liked the unusual stock photo which led to the clean, clear layout.