You Really Notice this Stuff?

It has been very interesting completing the Design Blitz over the last week and it has made me appreciate more the amount of thought an effort it takes to create eye-catching designs that fulfill their purpose with elegance and style.

Through all my reading on design I know that there are many different types of design, however it was very difficult to look at every different type.  I instead focused more on the graphic design of posters.  Once you are exposed to the different elements of design you start to see them more and more everywhere you look.

Color is something that I find super interesting to learn about and I have a few art classes back in my day to have a basic understanding of color schemes. Basic knowledge of primary, secondary, and tertiary colors made learning about color schemes in design a lot simpler because I already had the common vernacular down going into it.  It was interesting to learn about complementary colors appearing to vibrate which was not something I had ever notices, but as soon as it was mentioned I could never un-see how much they vibrate and can be too jarring.

The Center for International Education created this poster to advertise for Study Abroad during that last school year. The colors that are used on the page are a triadic color scheme which are very interesting to me because they have a low hue.  However, due to the page being overwhelmingly black, grey, and white the colors pop and draw your attention to the important information on the page. I think that the CIE used color in a very smart way on this poster.  This poster shows me how important it is to remember that minimal color can be just as eye catching as tons of bright color.


The CIE has very very good posters up on the Mary Wash Campus and I came across another one that shows how effective minimalism can be at drawing in your attention.  The poster works because there is a very minimal amount of information on the page, just enough to get you interested and the link to find out more information.  You eyes are instantly drawn to the words “Go Away.” front and center on the page in white, which in and of itself is a brash statement that makes you wonder who is telling you to “go away”. Then your eyes eventually make their way down to the symbols the CIE utilizes to express study abroad.  Not only is this poster minimalistic, also in its minimalism it employs symbolism. I think the poster as a whole completes its purpose of getting peoples attention to have them log on and see what the CIE is all about.


Another poster that I found on campus that employs symbolism is the following Recycle Mania Poster.  Everything about this poster scream recycle to me from the green monochromatic color scheme to the information being incased in the symbol of a tree.  Tree’s are continuously associated with being eco-friendly and the Go Green movement, so I think Recycle Mania was smart to use the symbol of a tree on their poster.  It should also be noted that the recycle symbol is peppered throughout the background as another symbol to recycle. This Recycle Mania poster also uses the symbols of the targeted material to catch a viewers eye in a sea of text and draw their attention to what should be recycled.


Typography is so important and can easily become overwhelming if not used correctly.  When I came across this UMW in Spain poster I was immediately struck by how overwhelming and hard to read it is.  There are so many different fonts on this one poster that it is difficult to know where to look and what to read first.  There is no focal point to this poster especially regarding text. The text that was chosen for all of the notes on the page not only is hard to read, but also there are multiple fonts in everyone of the notes.  The title of the poster also has two fonts in it that do not match the rest of the poster and none of this is even taking into account the fonts of the different logos on the page. As you can probably tell I have a lot of problems with this poster and they aren’t all typography though that is what I am focusing on.  I think it would be much better if this poster had one or two (at most) consistent fonts that were varied in size and/or boldness.  As I look at this I realize how much I am behind the KISS philosophy of design.


It has been interesting observing these different elements this week and these are just the best examples of different elements that I found.  I know I must not be seeing different elements in these posters, what do you see?


Leave a Reply