29/11/2016 – 9/01/2017
Brief: To use given content to produce a successful design solution for the KULI-KALA production. This design solution has to then also be formatted to four different specification sizes. The aim of this project is to improve my understanding of design hierarchies through the use of font size, weight and spatial arrangement. As well as to develop a sensitivity towards composition, balance and harmony, and finally to apply the knowledge I have gained through the production of my typographic archive.
I began by researching posters that display a confident understanding of hierarchy through the use of typography and limited graphic rules. Below are some examples that I found to be successful, especially due to their of rules and the alignment and spacing of the text fields, and all of which I have gone on to include within my typographic archive.
Prelude Music Festival Poster by Mercedes Bazan
Prelude Music Festival Poster by Mercedes Bazan
Montreal International Black Film Festival by Sarah Dufour
Japanese Architecture A History by Sabrina Scott
After concluding my research I took the content that we were given to include in the design and split it into text fields, then I assigned these fields a hierarchy; primary, secondary or tertiary. These fields and hierarchies were not permanent but acted as a rough guide to follow when producing my hand drawn thumbnails of various design solutions. Once I had some ideas sketched out I digitally rendered four which I thought were the most successful in order to see how they worked within a digital space. I judged my most successful thumbnails on how well the use text size, weight, spatial arrangement.
Above I am using graphic rules to frame the text, however the brief states we may incorporate minimal use of graphic rules and my use in this image may be too decorative.
A reduction in the amount of graphic rules present and the introduction of inverted rules with type.
Experimenting wth the orientation of type and the use of dynamic rules. Although this is a technical project and not conceptual, the use of dynamic rules could be seen to represent swords or slashing, which relates to the samurai storyline of the production.
A variation on the previous design however with the addition of another rule to represent clashing swords. The additional rule however creates an awkward interception with the inverted rule on the left, despite the reduced opacity of that rule.
From the above images I decided to further develop the 2nd design. In comparison to the other designs it is less cluttered and there is a clearer hierarchy. Before going onto develop my design I did have to resolve an issue that I encountered once digitally rendering some of my designs. In the brief states it states that we are restricted to two typefaces, these are the serif font Garamond and the sans serif font Meta, both of which I did not have available on my device. I was able to find Garamond available online and install it onto my device, however I was unable to find Meta for free therefore I substituted it for the san serif font Arial which is readily available.
In the above image I have gone on to develop my design by changing the tertiary text fields from Garamond to Arial. The serifs on Garamond reduces readability of the text when the text is set to a small font size, especially on screen, therefore a sans serif font would help to increase readability. Furthermore the use of a serif and sans serif font in one design creates a contrast between the two.
I have further developed the design by kerning the characters in the main heading. I reduced the space between the K and U in the first inverted rule, and the K, A and L in the second inverted rule. I did this to reduce the negative space between the letters cause by the diagonals present in the letter K and A.
Final 210 x 210mm Design
Above is my final design for the 210 x 210mm format. It has been developed from my initial design by making the tertiary text at the top of the image fit onto one line, this is because by having the text on two lines like it was before it created an unbalanced composition at the top of the image. Furthermore I’ve adjusted the length of the inverted rule for the date to be aligned on the left with the text and the inverted rules of the main headline. I also adjusted the length of the tertiary text below the inverted date rule to be shorter, this is so that the text frame height would matches the tertiary text on the right, and so that there is space between the left and right text fields. Finally a graphic rule was added above the text field in the bottom at 40% opacity in line with the bottom of the date inverted graphic rule. This was to fill in the negative space and balance the composition.
90 x 125mm
100 x 210mm
297 x 105mm
Above is my design transferred to the three other formats; 90 x 125mm, 100 x 210mm and 297 x 105mm. Throughout the various formats I have made sure to maintain the inverted rules and graphic rules, as well as making sure the layout remains consistent where possible. Furthermore I ensured that the elements in each image remained consistent in their ratios.
Digital Presentation Board
In InDesign I assembled created an A2 document and assembled all of my formats on that document to scale. This digital document acted as a mock up for my physical presentation board for my final outcome. It also allowed me to view all of my formats against one another to check to make sure all of my formats had a consistent design.
I believe that my final outcome was successful as they all contain a consistent design as can easily be recognised as being part of the same series. All of the same main elements of the design are present in each format, for example the inverted rules, graphic rules, layout etc. Similar layout and font sizes are also maintained where possible. As well as aiming to maintain consistency I also aimed for the designs to successfully work on their own, therefore each design has a clear hierarchy of primary, secondary and tertiary information, all the text is legible, and I have employed techniques such as scale to put emphasis on the important design elements. Initially I did struggle with this project as my existing knowledge of typography was limited, however as I developed my typographic archive and worked on my typographic emphasis exercise I furthered my knowledge of typography and was able to cement this knowledge by putting it into practice through this project.
During my critique I was informed of many areas I had to improve within my design. My design was praised as being super clear and easy to read, but it was too formal without enough drama and dynamism. To combat this I was advised to give it a stylistic twist. Other feedback specific to the elements of the design was that there was not enough empty space, the serif font is hard to read in inverted rules and a sans serif font would be more legible, and that the use of the large rule at the top was distracting.
Post Critique Amendments
To rework my design I went back to one of my earlier thumbnail sketches and began to digitally render some compositions based upon that, keeping in mind the feedback I received as well as the feedback given to others during the group critique. Below are some of the designs I produced and sought out additional feedback on.
Text fields in the bottom left abruptly disrupt the flow of the piece
Very flat, dynamism is lost without the cuts in the title
Text extending down disrupts the balance of the piece
Larger title helps to balance the composition more despite the text still extending downwards
My personal favourite design, and the design my tutor agreed upon as the best, was the design below. We agreed that it was more dynamic, however small adjustments could be made. The large black diagonals on on top left and bottom right corner could be removed from the design, the bottom left text field about the composer and writer / director could be wider or altered slightly to remove the thin section caused by the “action by” line, finally the alignment of the text fields in the top right should be more precise.
Design after feedback
Below is my final reworked design applied to all of the formats. Overall I am very pleased with the final outcome. At the beginning of this project I researched many good examples of visual hierarchy with type in graphic design and began implementing those stylistic approaches within my thumbnails however during the designing process I believe I sacrificed too many of these features in favour of making an easy to read and understand design. Therefore for my final design I revisited some of my earlier thumbnails and brought some of those stylistic approaches back (e.g. dynamic cut through the lettering and stepped text fields), which ended up producing an easy to read and understand design that is also dynamic and visually appealing.
210 x 210mm
297 x 105mm
100 x 210mm
90 x 125mm