Assignment 5 – Developing and Critiquing Designs

Having completed my sketches I decided to mock up three basic versions of the design using the ladder image on the computer and in colour to get a better idea of which one might work best at A3 size. I chose to work on the A3 poster first and then planned to design the other promotional material later. I also experimented with some different typefaces.

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I felt that my first design was really effective at communicating a 1970’s feel and I liked the shape of the ladder across the page. I did wonder whether or not all the different colours and patterned background did make it less clear what the poster was trying to communicate. The title was definitely more legible and defined on my second design but the other elements of that layout didn’t work as well as I had hoped. I think using fewer character silhouettes makes for less visual interest and as a result, doesn’t make the play seem as appealing. My third design is probably the most well balanced and legible overall but the colours were quite flat. I was concerned that all of the designs above looked a little out-dated. The brief was for a 1970’s feel but the play is being put on by a youth group in the present day. I tried experimenting with a different approach of something more modern but influenced by the 1970’s design style.

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Visually this was much more exciting and felt more youthful and energised. I thought it would more effectively attract attention from a passer by than my previous designs. I was concerned that the title was not very legible though and that the concept of the ladder was lost behind it. The poster was attractive but didn’t capture the essence of the play.

I chose to work from this design and planned to build in some of the most successful elements from my earlier mock ups. The first thing I looked at was the title. Placing the title in the centre of the page was very eye-catching but I decided to move it to the top third so I created some more space for adding in an illustration.

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The position of the title was much better but the text of the tag-line was too big to fit on the blue background and the white text on the yellow wasn’t very readable. I changed the shape of the blue circular background pattern and swapped the font from ‘Magical Mystery Tour’ to ‘Strenuous Black’.

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One of my favourite elements from the original mock-ups was the bendy ladder with the five characters of the play silhouetted against it. I brought this into my new design and put the further details about the production in a box to the side.

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I liked all the elements of the composition and was pleased with how the colours were working together but the layout wasn’t well balanced. The position of the ladder left a gap of empty space to the right of the page. I moved the information box to the middle and split up two of the silhouettes so they stood either side of it. I also re-drew the ladder so that it sat more centrally on the page.

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I was happy with the layout now but wanted to try a couple of different background options…. I lightened the solid colour and then experimented with adding a pattern overlay. I also slightly altered the pink for the title to make it brighter as the typeface style of the 1970’s isn’t the most readable.

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The paler background did make the title and information box stand out more but the colour was a bit dull and lost some of the 1970’s feel. I did really like the patterned background but remembered the advice that I had read about the effectiveness of simplicity and I didn’t want too many competing elements in my design. One of my friends commented that the green and the red colours I had chosen for the text box looked Christmassy and so I chose some more muted hues to replace them with. Taking all this into consideration the design I have chosen for the A3 poster is:

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