This past weekend was Mega Bash Concert 2.0, a musical and visual event consisting of campus groups Heart of Fire, AcaFelons, Gospel Choir, and Joyful Hands (which I am a part of). Before the event, I offered to design an advertisement to be displayed as a slide on TV screens around campus.
The woman I did this for gave me free reign of design, and since there were other designs in different formats, I went with something very different. One of the coolest things I learned in graphic design class in high school is how to turn two circles into a thumbtack graphic. I learned much more than that, more impressive things included, but this simple memory drove the idea for a bulletin board graphic. Putting that type of image on a TV screen seems that it would catch more eyes than on an actual bulletin board, and I think it was.
This is what came of it:
I spent a good amount of time figuring out all of the different elements, from alignment, fonts, colors, and the natural visual path of the eye based on which pictures were placed where. I had a few friends supporting me with their time and suggestions to give me new perspectives and opinions.
I wanted this piece to have a strong alignment, but at the same time, not be too uniform, so I made the “paper” of information one taller unit and had it start lower than the top of the first row of pictures. I also used the placement of the “sticky notes” to cut through the boxy lines. I feel that this also added to the typical use of a sticky note, not always being something very neatly placed, but rather often just “stuck on.”
For the fonts, I only used two, but differentiated the main one with all caps, bold, different colors, and different backgrounds. I chose a script font for the “Polaroid pictures” in an attempt to create font contrast, but also to suggest handwriting, as Polaroid captions would need to be personally penned.
When dealing with color, I worked with hues given in some of the pictures, color-grabbing blue from the sky, purple from the floor, grey from the asphalt, and making a green tint from the grass. Bright yellow would have been the most obvious choice for a sticky note, but I thought the color would be too disruptive and out of place with this piece.
Especially when working with the photographs, but nearly at every change made, I questioned my friends on the subconscious path their eyes followed when seeing my image. First I arranged the pictures in those four squares according to elements each picture had that I thought would point them a certain way, but there were many rearrangements made from the very useful “experiments” made by other people. I hope that the project’s final form either catches your eye at the title or at the Heart of Fire picture, going clockwise through the rest of the pictures and then to the information on the left. I ended up flipping the Gospel Choir picture to make the angle of the woman laying down point to the material on the left.
All in all, I am pleased with how this turned out and seeing my friend Jacob take a great deal of personal pride (from his helpful input) in seeing it displayed made me happier. It astounds me a bit how much time I put into this because of so many design elements I previously did not know how to think about or effectively control. Visual design is another one of those things where once you learn how design principles are supposed to be used, you can never unsee when they are poorly used.