Designer Research

Designer Research

These are posters I chose to look at/ analyze for my designer research. Many of the featured posters do not show the designers name/ information as it was not on the website the image came from. I tried to find images that in some way with relate to my festival/ the style of my theme so I could use their posters to influence me in my own work.

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This particular poster takes a ‘doodle’ type style. We can see that it has this type of style through the way the shapes and letters have curved edges and the shapes flow throughout. Its use of blue typography draws your attention to the middle of the page, and contrasting with the orange colours around edge is composed in a way to build up the image of a guitar. The use of complimentary colours on this poster is an effective technique, as scientifically proven; eyes are drawn to complimentary colours. If staring at a colour, for example blue, for too long, when looking at a white wall afterwards, your eyes see the complimentary colour for a few seconds (in this case it would be orange). This shows that complimentary colours are an effective way of drawing the eyes in and perhaps even helping to remember the poster. The typography flows and has a cool, harmonious colour working well with the words it is presenting. ‘Peace, Love, Harmony’ is all shown through the colour scheme of the lettering, and the shaping of the text is curved which almost shows the harmonious vibe flowing into the shape of the guitar. The typography is shaped to become the imagery; combining both the image and the type into one. The image of a dove is carefully shaped to fit into the guitar, showing how images can be made to form other images. The dove, symbolically known as a pure creature, hugs the side of the guitar perhaps representing the calm state of the music. The scale of the guitar is quite large, making it the focal point of the poster. You are particularly drawn to the type within it, which purposely reveals the information about the event. The small lettering beneath the guitar reveals the acts at the event, which although important is not the main concern of importance so is placed in a small font. This typography follows the orange colour scheme to create a flowing pattern around the guitar. The teardrop shapes around the focal point give off the peace and relaxed sensation that the people should feel at this festival, which is then shown through the orange typography curved to hug the base of the guitar. Little negative space is seen in this poster, and although the dark colour of the background can be seen, it is shown through even gaps in the images/text, making it look neat and almost giving the objects a border. The background is dark to make the colours and shapes in the foreground visible, and stand out from afar. The imagery on the poster almost looks squeezed on to make it fit, which may also reveal what the event is like. Perhaps it’s packed full with love peace and harmony? There are small hints of green and yellow within the shape of the guitar, possibly representing a summer atmosphere, and the calm serene setting around the festival. It gives the event a natural feel going with the idea of peace.

Combining the words and images into one shape I feel is the most successful part of the poster as it gives the image a clear focal point and to view the image, they have to look at the words. This way the audience have to view the main information.The complimentary colours are a very strong part of this event as immediately represents the kind of vibe the event gives off, and as stated; pleases the eye. The browns and greens give a sense of a natural environment also, showing the colours picked are a very important and effective part within this design.

The typography at the bottom of the page however, I feel is less successful, as in some areas it is less clear to read. The style of font is clear, but the shaping of the words make it seem as if this information had to be included somewhere, but don’t fit too well. The line up is quite an important part also, but from a distance is too small to read.

This design will influence my work through the combined imagery and typography, the flowing words curve to make a shape, which is something I can use in my later designs. Another key feature is the clever use of negative space to bring the image forward from the page, which influences me to use this in my work. The space is carefully measured to have the same consistency which is important in advertising. These are thing I will therefore consider in my future design work for my festival poster.

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This design I feel is very successful. From a first glance at the poster we can deduct one thing, it’s a jazz concert. The type of instruments that feature at this concert is another question answered, as the typography carefully shows a key jazz instrument. Clever. This poster is an example of where the typography and the image have been combined into one. On top of the word Jazz, a sketchy white drawn effect has been used to create unity with the background as it is also shown here, but with a more faded look. The second largest type of typography on the poster is the word ‘Concert’ featured in the same gold metallic colour as the word ‘Jazz.’ The colour of these letters gives the concert a formal theme, and shows it is an occasion to dress smart for. This colour scheme also fits well with the background which in comparison is very dark and therefore makes the typography in the foreground stand out. It also stands out due to the dark shadowing effect placed behind it. This draws your attention to the word as it feels the closest thing to you on the poster, which is a reason why it is also the focal point. The background of the poster brightens up around the top left hand corner to reveal this shadow, which is why the word is so prominent. This could also be for an effect that implies everywhere within the concert will be dark, except the single stage featuring the Jazz performances. There are small areas on the word Jazz that show small hints of light. These, potentially representing spotlights in the concert, give the typography a shiny effect implying the concert is polished to perfection. The rest of the typography on the page is white and fairly small. The simplicity of it allows your eyes to focus on the larger typography before reading it. If you are interested in Jazz, then it makes sense to keep reading.

The most successful part of this poster is definitely the word Jazz due to its shining, bold and large appearance. It is seen from a distance, factual and presents an instrument based upon the concert genre. Another successful part of the poster is the dark background, allowing the main information to jump out. The background also has a lighter patch which shows the darkness to reveal lines of faded musical notes. This makes the poster interesting as it’s as if the darkness uncovers a secret of musical talent, which could also link to the actual event. It adds a sense of mystery to the poster.

The things which I feel that don’t work so well on the poster is the small font showing the information. I feel that this is a flaw in the design as from a far distance it my be difficult to read. Apart from this, the typography seems to work well on the poster.

When I am designing my poster, I will take on the idea of shadowing the text to make the foreground feel closer to the audience. Another thing that inspired me about this design is the shiny effect on the instrument as it makes it look more lifelike and defines the focal point; this is something I could experiment with in my final poster design. The simplicity the designer has used is also an influence on my work, as shows it works well not to over crowd my design, but that perhaps less is more? This designer I particularly like due to their unique sense of colour to present formality and without reading the information, just from the featured colours you can depict information about the event. They show a sophisticated design.

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Here I have found a very stylized, hand drawn poster design. This poster was designed by Mr Ali-Smith, who is the annual poster designer for ‘Doune the rabbit hole’ festival. Immediately the typography is cleverly important as ‘Doune’ is the location where the festival is held, and a pun for the word ‘down’ which is the festivals intended title. ‘Hole’ is shown through where the typography opens wide like a mouth to reveal a scene of the event. The typography on this poster makes up the shape of the poster and surrounds the main image. It takes a curved shape and gives a light-hearted, relaxed feel to the atmosphere of the event. The image, featured just above the centre of the poster fits into the shape made by the typography. The focal point of the image is the centre stage in the middle of it, as although being in the middle of the picture, also gives the image a sense of depth as follows onto the lake and distant sun. The hills get fainter and fainter as they disappear into the background where the sun then becomes prominent and links to the colour scheme of the typography creating a nice link between them. The image is particularly successful as gives a clear picture of what the event will be like; next to a peaceful lake, in the country side, with a triangular stage area and marquees.

However, I feel that despite the vast amount of it, the typography is the least successful part of this design. The reason for this is because although an interesting, eye catching font, I feel it is slightly harder to read. The curved wave effect of it makes it almost impossible to read from a distance, and still quite hard when close up. It goes with the hand drawn effect within the image, and looks effective… but defeats the purpose of advertising.Another thing I feel is a fault/ negative part in the design is the key information. It is ‘Doune the rabbit hole festival’, in Doune. But what date? Time? The poster is so jam-packed with information on the line up that it is unclear when the festival actually takes place. These facts could potentially be in the bottom of the poster, in small black writing. But this is so small; that even if this is where it was featured the majority of people wouldn’t have a clue. The poster does not appear to follow a set colour scheme, apart from the fact that it features a lot of red within it.

A technique used within this poster that I feel is very strong it the linking of the imagery and title. The title features ‘rabbit’ which is shown in the picture, ‘down’ is shown through a downward look on the festival as in we see the image from above. ‘Doune’ the correct term, is represented by the whole image as it is a drawing of Doune. So everything has a clever link.

A natural theme is shown throughout and colours such as browns, blues and varied green colours are used thorough out. This designer will influence my work through his use of hand drawn imagery. I feel this being a particular strong point on the festival, reveals the type of event it is- natural and authentic. This is something which seems to be clear in their style of drawing. I will also take away the use of giving images a foreground that descends slowly into the background, creating depth within the image. This could be applied to my work to make it more interesting rather than images just being placed on a page, they can be made to fade into the distance perhaps.

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This poster is advertising a student art festival. It is designed by Andrew Legg; who does graphics art and illustration. He is a freelance graphic designer and shows his work on longboards, skateboards and mountainboards. His work is very successful and he has his own website:

Again this is another hand drawn design, as this follows along with the theme of my music festival. The colour scheme of this poster is very effective, orange, yellows, browns and whites; all colours which work well together due to being in close proximity on the colour wheel. Darker colours have been used for the title; the most important part on the poster, and where dark backgrounds are used, lighter text is used on top. The font is bold and clear to read, not overly stylized; it allows the reader to clearly understand the event details.

The less effective part of this poster is that depending on interpretation, some may say that the creature isn’t relevant to what the poster advertises; arts. Another part of the poster that is not as effective would be the black text at the bottom of the poster, which is clear but almost camouflages into the dark colour of the creatures skin towards the bottom of the page.

The words and images are combined in this piece to create a unity between them. Every word within the creature’s mouth can be represented by the creature. For example; the word ‘art’ is shown through the drawing aspect of the creature, ‘story-telling’ shown through the fact that this creature could potentially be a book character, and ‘music’ could suggest it has its mouth open as it is in mid-song… raised arms suggest its having a good time.

The combination of words and images in this picture is very effective as create an interesting image to look at; again it is a poster that makes you look at both the text and image as they are combined. The details about the event are included clearly and in a smaller font but easily read still. I feel this poster does not have one particular focal point, but the whole creature itself is something which requires attention. The layout of the poster is simple, and the image is large. The typography at the top of the page is also quite large, but does not compare to the size of the creature.

This designer’s typography will influence my own work as it presents the fact that simple typefaces sometimes work better than complex ones. The hand drawn aspect is a feature I will be including in my further design work as Andrew Legg’s poster demonstrates that it is an effective technique and demonstrates individual style whilst getting the message across. Featuring the typography inside of the image is also another technique that has worked well on this poster, as it gives the poster a sense of depth rather than acting as a flat image.

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This poster advertising the secret garden party is jam packed with hand drawn images. It has a light blue border which curls into the image giving off a wave type effect. The main typography is red and orange almost looking like fire, contrasting with the blues beneath it. However the word ‘Secret’ is merely an outline that shows the sky through the trees. This is a very effective thing to do as reveals the idea of the festival being secret, as is less visible than the other words. Cutting out gaps in the trees, combines the imagery with the text making the background image become part of the text in the foreground. The typography is fairly large, and has a slight wave effect flowing throughout the words ‘secret garden party’; this could mimic the ripples in the water beneath. The colours in the image are natural and show a country scene depicting the peacefulness of the festival. Although this looks like a regular natural scene, the picture appears to feature a shark and pirate ship on the lake. This suggests that it’s a garden party with a twist. The colours in the typography match various different points in the image. For example, the girls hair, and the ‘R’ symbol on the side of the boat. Using bold colours such as red and yellow on top of this image not only bring it into the foreground, but they appear bold and catch the reader’s eye. The tag line, ‘A four day party like no other’ also a successful part of this poster design; as it’s short, simple, but intriguing. The blue and greens in the image work well with the festival title as represent a natural theme. The initial design idea shows a garden-like setting, which although the event is called ‘secret garden party’ it is still a music festival, which is not shown clearly through the image used. However, using a hand drawn image depicts the arts side of the festival as it appears very authentic and original.

The logo of the secret garden party is included in the top right hand corner of the poster; this is effective as makes the festival recognisable as is featured on the majority of the festivals merchandise.

I think a con of this poster would be that it’s potentially over complicated. The image is so detailed it draws the audience away from the fact that it is a festival poster, but instead makes them focus on the image rather than the information. This could be improved by entwining the event details with the image. Another thing which could be improved on the poster is the colour scheme. At the moment, the colour scheme is random and colours of all sorts are included within it. However, if a set colour scheme was used the festival would be more recognisable and perhaps less confusing.

This designer has inspired me through their use of typography. The type is bold, large and colourful which is immediately eye catching and clearly read from a distance.

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This poster uses a combination of imagery and typography to create the main headline ‘Cascadia.’ The typography appears to have draping vines and green foliage within its walls, building up a textured look within the writing. It does however have a dark outline around it to bring it forward from the background, presenting it with a 3d effect. In places, the image overlaps the typography slightly, giving the image an overgrown, living appearance. The typography appears within the walls of the forest as the trees stand either side descending onto the mountains which seem like a wall keeping the typography in place. The bright white light behind the typography also helps to bring it out of the background, pushing it forward creating a space between it and the image so rather than looking flat; it adds depth to the title image. The mountains in the image have slight pinkish tints which make the poster seem mystical, like a new land. It creates the illusion that ‘Cascadia’ is un-unexplored island. The bright white colour in front of the mountains also makes Cascadia seem like an open gateway, a welcoming sign which again draws people to be interested in this festival as the poster gives a warm welcoming feeling. The placement of the title and image allow the festival information to be listed underneath, and run over the middle of the poster. This allows the audience to see the important information clearly as it takes up the majority of the page. The typography for the festival line up and information is in a simple font, which works well with the image above. It has not over complicated the poster and has made sure that the important information is clear and accessible. The background colour used on the poster work well together as the designer has used a fading effect to merge one colour into another. The colour choice; mainly a mixture of blues, yellows and greens gives a summery, tropical feel to the festival. Blue and yellows particularly connote the image of a sandy beach, which is another reason why this poster may be appealing.

I feel this is one of the main success’ of the poster, the colours. Vibrant and bright, they draw in the audience. Another success, I feel is the composition of everything on the poster. It is set out in a neat, simple way which is clear and does not make the audience struggle to understand what it’s about. The black typography has been placed on a yellow background, making it easily readable, and again another successful thing. This designer has thought carefully about the placement of everything on their poster, and used a simple layout but stylized it to fit their purpose.

I feel that there are minimal things which don’t work in this poster, however, if I was to criticize it, I would pick out the point that the title almost merges into the image behind it. From afar, this title may not be as easy to see as it uses the same colours as the image behind it. Perhaps if it were outlined in white, it may be more prominent. Another fault could be that the headline acts are larger than the festival location and date. You could argue that these bits of information are more important than the line up so should be placed in a larger font on the poster. In addition the poster looks as if it’s advertising an unexplored island, rather than music festival. At a glance, without reading the typography beneath the picture it may be unclear that this is a festival so if another improvement was made, it would be to make the image more relevant to a music festival.

 This designer has given me a lot of inspiration. It has made me think carefully about colour choice and placement of things on my poster. I will take away from this poster the aspect of combining imagery and words through placing parts of the image within the text. I feel this looks very effective and creates a sense of unity between the image and the type. It has also shown me that a simple placement of things works very effectively. Placing your main image with the information to follow underneath gives the poster a strong structure and makes sure everything is clearly included on it.

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This poster uses a cardboard effect background showing an example of using mixed media for advertising. it is a printed poster and would be stuck on billboards/ used around the event area for advertising. The colours are simple; orange, blue, brown and white. On top of the brown background, is a blue faded scene featuring crisp white stars and dark blue trees. As the trees get further into the distance they become a lighter colour, a faded effect which shows them to disappear off into the background creating depth in the image. The typography is placed on top of the image and in a white colour, and stands out from the background. The typography and image show no way of linking, one is simply placed on top of the other.

This could be something that is a weakness in the poster, as combining the typography and the image together would make the design more noticeable and perhaps unique. Another weakness of the poster could be that it is too simplistic. The colours are quite dull, and not very eye catching, which doesn’t make it exciting to look at. I feel that rather than promoting the event, it just states its on. To be improved the poster could be more eye catching by adding some more relevant colours, still linking to the theme; such as greens or blues.

The bear in the poster is the focal point as not only is shown in a bright, different colour to the rest of the poster, it is defined and cut out by the shape of the trees. It gives the illusion that the wildlife around this area is somewhat spectacular. There are thin red lines which drape down from the top of the poster which break up the dull colours adding slight colour to the darkness of the sky. The composition of everything on the poster is fairly simple to suit purpose, and lists the information clearly. At the bottom of the poster the festival website has been listed in a dark blue font. It is small and quite un-noticeable, but is not a key part of information so does not need to be enlarged. The word ‘wildlife’ is represented through the bear, trees, and even colour of the background. The cardboard colour makes the festival seem eco-friendly, which again is another way of making people stop to look at it.

The colour scheme on the poster works well as it is natural and depicts he atmosphere of the event well. It is also simple and not over complicated so is easy to read. the placement of everything on the poster works particularly well as is appears to have an order to it, showing the designer has thought about composition carefully.

This designer has inspired me through the composition of their poster and the natural colour scheme. The colours they have used on their poster represent the type of event it is, and shows that the colour scheme was carefully thought about to do this.

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This design is not like the rest of the designs I have researched, it is not English so therefore I do not know what it is advertising. I chose to look at this as I am particularly interested in the poster design. It uses photography to combine words and images in a unique and innotive way. The shoe laces appear to make a word and are just one example of how images can be made to include typography. I think this design is very creative which makes it stand out from the rest of the posters. It explores new ways to advertise rather than just placing things onto a flat background.

This design has particularly inspired me and I will be taking the idea forward of using creative ways to combine my words and images together. The colours are also themed and although fairly simple, they allow the shoe lace words to make a bold appearance. This designer has used the work of digital, and photography to compose this image.

The only flaw I can find with this design is that the text in black is less visible, therefore making it harder to read.

However the poster makes up for this in design idea and creativity. I feel this poster is my main source of inspiration as the design is eye catching to me and is my favourite out of all of the posters I have looked at. It has given me the idea that my poster could use a guitar and the strings could be turned into text. Another feature that works well on the poster is the shadowing effect behind the show laces. Placing shadows behind objects bring them forward from the background, and like in this poster, makes the image feel closer to you. This creates not only depth, but makes you feel as if the poster is aimed at you, as the design jumps out from the background. The poster is simple but effective and adds to my findings that simplicity is more effective to avoid over complication and confused audiences. The corners of the poster are particularly darker than the centre, which draws your eyes to the focal point, the shoe, in the centre of the page.

These are some other posters i found to look at for inspiration.


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