Too much or not enough information

Starting this exercise I was really interested in the concept of Occam’s Razor and that the simplest most scaled back option can be the most successful outcome. I began to think about the History of Poster Design and did some research. The Poster was one of the earliest forms of advertisement and began to develop as a medium for visual communication in the early 19th century. They influenced the development of typography because they were meant to be read from a distance and required larger type to be produced, usually from wood rather than metal. The poster quickly spread around the world and became a prominent feature of graphic design. The principle task of a poster is to attract attention and is a tool to promote a product/ event or cause. They were used to promote various political parties, recruit soldiers, advertise products and spread ideas to the general public. The artists of the international typographic style of design believed that it was the most effective tool for communication and their contributions to the field of design arose from the effort to perfect the poster. The poster as we know it today started to develop after 1860. Before Alois Senefelder’s discovery of the process of lithography in 1798, most posters were produced as monochrome wood or metal engravings. Even in the early lithographic prints, colors were seldom used and the illustration was never integrated with the text. This changed with Jules Cheret, the undisputed father of the modern poster.  He introduced vibrant, direct designs, combining illustration and text and using minimal bright colors in large coherent shapes.

Jules Cheret poster

Well-known artists, including France’s Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec (1864-1901) and Italy’s Leonetto Cappiello (1875-1942), were commissioned to create promotional posters for everything from Paris’ legendary Moulin Rouge music hall to men’s hats and trans-formed the poster into a sought-after collectible. In the 1920s in Europe, the combination of graphic design and illustrative art brightened the streets of Paris, London and Milan. Aside from billboards and movie posters, advertising posters were never quite as important, or as ubiquitous, in the United States. The rise of rock ’n’ roll in the 1960s, however, generated a particular genre of poster art in this country. One of the most iconic posters is Milton Glaser’s 1966 image of singer Bob Dylan. Milton is also responsible for the iconic NY symbol which helped to revitalize the publics interest in the city. milton glaser bob dylan6 Sources Sign of the Times: Bob Dylan; Owen Edward, Smithsonian magazine, June 2010 Online article Accessed 26th August 2013 The latter decade of the 20th century have seen graphic design through use of computer design and digital images and texts. Posters are being created every day for all sorts of reasons including to advertise products and services, for artists and musicians, events and concerts and to advertise movies and TV.

You need me

I came across the work of Christopher Scott an award winning internationally recognised social awareness poster designer from Northern Ireland. His work has been exhibited all over the world and his designs communicate a strong and meaningful message.

Earth love - Christopher Scott

Earth love poster

Online images accessed 26th August 2013

I then began to move on and think about designing posters for events and how with poster design, as any design project its crucial to stick to the brief and make sure the piece is appropriate for its intended purpose and communicates its intended meaning. I decided to design posters for an upcoming Hogmanay ceilidh which is taking place at Citation in Glasgow a popular restaurant / bar venue in the city centre. For the first poster the idea is to include all relevant details about the event and make sure the audience is as informed as possible.

Event – Hogmanay celiidh Time – 31st December 2013 7pm for dinner onwards

Location – Citation The Merchant City Official Ceilidh Details Dance the night away with John Carmichael and his Ceilidh Band. Tickets to the Ceilidh alone are priced from £15 per person. 3 course dinner dance tickets priced £45 per person. DRESS TO IMPRESS Book early to avoid disappointment call now on 0141 677 8729

I had a look at some Ceilidh event posters and like the silhouette styles in the one below

Ceilidh poster

Online image Accessed 29th August 2013

I also looked at some posters in general and came across some very simple effective minimal movie posters which were very effective. I had a look at a few in particular which were focused on dance.

The Princess Bride by Matt Owen

Online image accessed 6th September 2013

Pulp Fiction 12x18 inches movie poster

Online image accessed 6th September 2013×18-inches-movie-poster

I did some sketchbook work just thinking about typical ceilidh images that I could include like dancers, the ceilidh band etc and also thought about having the venue in the image as Citation is housed in a big old brick building which looks great at Christmas/NY all lit up.

I then moved to Photoshop and began thinking about some of the sketchbook ideas I had. I sourced some images of the venue, images of dancers etc and set about experimenting. I also decided to draw some items myself to see how they would compare to a photographic image namely a fiddle, some dancers and an outline of the building.

I settled on a few styles of font which I liked fairly early on and used various combinations of these throughout my experiments. I tried to keep some rules when experimenting based on some of my reading to date – namely not to use too many different fonts within each piece and that often combining a sans serif and serif font in a piece works using one for the header the other for main body/additional info. I also thought that the name of the venue would perhaps be different as it could be based on their original logo.

The first poster which included as much event info as possible experiments/ workings.

Although I had a lot of ideas for my first poster I settled on this one as the most successful/favourite. I like the colour scheme and layout although there is a lot of info on the page.

Final poster 1

For my second paired back poster I considered almost just having text and no image and thought about having some traditional tartan coming through words.

I asked my friends advice on the images and poster and I decided then that certain info probably wasn’t appropriate. He also pointed out that the fireworks would look better being behind the building and he much preferred the building illustrations to those with the dancers. He also thought that a flatter representation of the venue rather than the angled version worked better. I quite liked both so decided to do an improved version of both. Key info to include – event date, price, location

As I had some images I liked I decided not to completely redesign the poster. I worked with some of my building images and the fireworks. I’ve included the most relevant event details but taken out additional info including the address details and band details. I think the fonts are appropriate and the colour scheme is quite eye catching. I think for an event like this it might be appropriate to have a number of posters some which have a lot of info and others more image based giving a quick snapshot of the event.

Overall I feel I’m getting to grips with more of the software and am really thinking about the placement of items within a project and how all the elements – type, image, colour etc work together for the intended purpose. I feel that my poster reflects the upmarket Scottish venue but as my design skills and eye develop I hope to improve my ability to design for events/posters.


After tutor report

Revised tweaks to tidy it up make it cleaner. Changing the wording at the bottom to avoid repeating the word “Ceilidh”. Selecting a sans serif type – left aligning content.

Minimal with more words


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