SCAVENGING! (Week 5)

This week, we were assigned to scour the city for posters that caught our eye. This didn’t mean firing up Pinterest and searching for beautiful posters, but actually going outside (gasp!), and capturing posters in their natural habitats.

I found myself gravitating towards the posters pasted on telephone poles at intersections, because they tended to be advertising less commercial events, and had a more raw and adventurous art style.

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POSTER 1: PHANTOGRAM
This was the first poster I found last weekend. I hadn’t even planned on looking for posters that evening, but when I saw this one, I really wanted to include it. It was located at the Broadway and Cambie intersection, which is not near the location of the venue, but it is right next to the Canada Line station and the 99 B-line (UBC) bus stop. The poster probably targets young adults, or college age students, so the location of this poster is pretty ideal.
What I think makes the poster itself so successful is the simplicity, and therefore boldness. It is the same size (tabloid) as all the other music posters on the telephone pole, but it clearly stands out from all the other cluttered, dark posters. The illustration is striking, as well as the use of white space/big blocks of colour. The bold sans serif type matches it really well and just brings together an all around memorable poster.

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POSTER 2: TIGHT SQUEEZE SATURDAYS @ BISMARCK

Similar to the previous poster, this event promotion poster uses a lighter colour palate which allows it to stand out from a cluttered telephone pole of dark/black posters, even if it is slightly covered by the surrounding posters. This poster was found near a 99 UBC bus stop too in Kitsilano (Broadway and MacDonald), which is populated by many young adults, whom this poster is targeting.
What caught my eye first was the high fashion art style (in contrast to the surrounding gothic style posters), and use of geometric shapes. With the target market being young, hip adults who are clubbers, the use of triangles and the colours teal and coral are really on target.

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POSTER 3: STARBUCKS PUMPKIN SPICE LATTE ADVERTISEMENT

This poster was found at a bus shelter at Broadway and Cambie. I don’t usually gravitate towards advertisements of large corporate brands like Starbucks, but this one was pretty successful in not being too “in-your-face” about promoting their product. Instead of stating a message like “BUY MY PRODUCT!”, it states a fact about their product (10 year anniversary of the Pumpkin Spice Latte), and leaves it up to the viewer to decide if it matters to them. It reflects the feeling of fall, and the tradition of the seasonal drink.  I like how it celebrates the consumer instead of boasting about the product. The assortment of “hand lettered” type appeals to what I call the “Pinterest Mom” (who loves mason jar crafts, DIY home decor, and of course, Pumpkin Spice Lattes).

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POSTER 4: VANCOUVER PUBLIC LIBRARY “WE MISS YOUR FACE”

This poster was found on a telephone pole on Broadway in Kitsilano. I love this poster because of the simplicity of the message and design. It’s uses a large bold sans serif typeface, but keeps it looking friendly and humorous. Similar the first two posters, it uses white, and overall lighter colours to contrast with the dark music gig posters. Because we tend to gravitate towards faces, using a large face as the main image is really smart and effective. The hierarchy of this poster really works, since the main message takes up the majority of the poster, without being too cluttered.

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POSTER 5: SO CAL SUNDAYS @ COLONY

This poster was found in a storefront window. I can’t remember the exact store, but I remembered that it was a totally unrelated type store to the target market of this event. I liked (again) the use of white space in both the poster and the illustration.  The title of the event is the first thing you see (good hierarchy), and the logo of the location (Colony) is easy to spot. The style of the poster even reflects the nature of the event, very Southern Californian and beachy. The type in the title allows the poster to stand out in a window full of posters.

POSTER-IZING! (Week 4)

Today’s exercise was all about THE POSTER! The assignment was to select only 5 posters (easier said than done with the existence of Pinterest), and write some rationales on why we chose them and what we thought made them successful. It was super hard to narrow them down, but here they are:

1. Instructional poster (Food and Type, Steph Baxter)
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I chose this image because I like the different purpose it was designed for. As an informational/instructional poster, it has to portray a lot of information in an engaging way. I feel like the designer has managed to do so really well. I’m a big fan of hand lettering, and in this poster, it works to give the image a fun, light-hearted feel, and dresses up what could be boring information into something more interesting. The scattered arrangement kind of makes you jump around the poster, and constantly see new things. The illustrative type is not very minimal, and is only emphasized by the elaborate typefaces. It could be argued that this only makes it look too “busy”, but I feel like it works for the subject matter.

 

2. Event poster (LAR DOCE LAR, akacorleone)
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For this poster, I really liked the non-digital type aspect. The fact that the poster isn’t even in English, and I can understand the essence of the event without having to read the actual copy shows how successful of a design this is. The type hierarchy is also emphasized with the main type made of fondant(?), and the secondary text in a digital typeface. The three-dimensional nature of the type also really succeeds in drawing your eye into the essentials of the poster. In terms of overcoming the obstacle of being lost amongst its surrounding environment, it totally works. The bold colours in contrast to a white background stands out really well, and though there are sprinkles and irregular typefaces in the poster, it has a sense of being really clean.

 

3. Company promotional poster (Melbourne Dance Company, Josip Kelava)
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The thing I love about this poster is that it could be easily called an art print. It took me a second to realize the type surrounding the ballerina was in fact English, but it was engaging enough for me to want to give it a second look and figure it out. The orientation and placement of everything in the poster is reflective of the balance required in ballet or dance. The type is ornamental, and bold, but graceful at the same time. The weaving of the type with the image of the dancer is also reflective of dance as well. The use of white space and boldness of the type ensures that the viewer will want to keep reading into the poster, even if (like me) they don’t see the message at first glance. If there is any confusion still, they repeated the text “Melbourne Dance Company” directly below the image. Out of the 5 posters I list here, this one is probably my favourite.

 

4. Movie poster (“I’m Still Here”, Neil Kellerhouse)
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Regardless of whether or not this movie exists or not, I find this poster super intriguing. The typographic treatment to the title is really fitting to the subject matter, with the type (Didot?) fading in and out in areas to the brink of illegibility. It creates a lot of tension, especially with the type touching the edges of the poster, and it reflects the subject matter; a fragile, flustered man’s drug-addled fall from fame. It portrays the actor’s unpredictability and potential of a meltdown. I really liked this poster, because of how it contrasts with the other movie posters of the time. It’s modern and clean, especially compared to movie posters that include image montages, and credits that take up half the frame.

 

5. Music poster (The Swell Season gig poster, Jason Munn)
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My favourite part about Jason Munn’s work in general is his ability to come up with really ingenious concepts and carrying them out with really simple executions. This Swell Season gig poster is one of my favourites of his because of the quirky concept that pairs really well with the band in question. The hierarchy in this poster is not what you’d traditionally expect, with the information pretty much illegible if you were to view the poster from a distance. However, I’m assuming these posters weren’t used so much as promotional material, but rather a kind of souvenier you’d buy from the merch table at the actual concert. Regardless of the small type, the poster as a whole catches your eye, and would probably make the viewer want to get in closer to see what it’s all about.

 

GRIDULAR! (Week 3)

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This week’s in-class exercise was based around our lesson on GRIDS!

We were assigned to pick a short story (I grabbed mine from http://www.short-stories.co.uk), and design a 2-page spread using grid templates that we were given. I chose a to use a 5-column and a 3-column grid, after being inspired by spreads using those grids. The story I chose was “Professor Panini” by Matthew Grigg, which was about an inventor who had managed to turn himself into a toaster while toasting some bagels and testing out his new invention. To be honest, I still don’t fully understand this story, but the title and main imagery sounded amusing, so I went with it.

For my first spread, I had found an illustration that I really enjoyed, and subsequently based the rest of my spread design around it. I kept it black and white, and really simplistic to go with the black and white line drawing. The story was super lighthearted, with some comedic aspects, so I kept this design more naive and almost childish.

In the second spread, I wanted a less naive look/feel to the story, but more mature. I added in a more prominent photographic image, and enlarged it to take up 2/3 of a page. I also used a more sophisticated serif typeface for the title that still retained a little of the story’s quirkiness, and rotated it to read vertically along the grid lines.

I think I liked my first design more, just because the simplicity and the relation between the illustration and typeface. I also found that I really enjoyed the 5-column grid, which allowed for smaller columns on the sides, as well as horizontals. With more guidelines, I actually found it to be more freeing. I can really see myself using it in my future designs.

ZINE-SPIRATION! (Week 2 post)

Prior to this year, I hadn’t really gotten much exposure to Zine culture. But after doing a bit of research, I kind of fell in love with the concept of a zine. Below are some of my favourites.

“Labs With Abs” by Andrew Jeffrey Wright is probably one of my favourites I’ve found, with a simple, yet hilarious concept, and a super organic illustrative style. 

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Another zine of similar style is “Graham is a Weirdo” by Gemma Correll.Image

On the opposite end of the spectrum, I really enjoyed the food zine “The Runcible Spoon”.
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It is an independent food zine that has that really cool handmade feel, inspired by the original punk zines, with a cut-and-paste style. I love the juxtaposition between hand lettered and illustrated images to photographs.
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Another style that I found really interesting is a highly graphic approach, the total opposite of the cut-and-paste style of Runcible Spoon. “Afterzine” is a gorgeous zine edited by Hamish Robertson that takes submissions based on a set theme.

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And lastly, “I’ll Go Where You Go” is a 20 page zine by Julia Pott, illustrating woodland creatures going through relationship dramas. The concept is cute, but the quality of the illustrations are what won me over. 

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And that’s it! 

 

 

First Blog Post! | Yearbook Spreads

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The Assignment: Create 2 yearbook spreads in 4 hours, that reflect yourself. 
I feel like the time limit forced me to put down what I felt on instinct, without having the time (or the knowledge how) to dress it up. These spreads, though I am not totally proud of the result, reflect me when I have my guard down, and no frills. 
I am primarily an illustrator, so I wanted to include hand drawn aspects to the spreads instead of photographs. The spreads’ designs themselves are very bare bones, with nothing super fancy, and my illustrations reflect that. This is probably partially due to my lack of experience with InDesign and Illustrator, but it works, since I feel like it reflects my simple style.