Project 2 — Learning and Practicing the Fundamentals of Visual Communication

Exercises 1–4

For these exercises, I familiarized myself with Adobe Indesign’s interface and worked on linespacing, stroke weights, and horizontal shifts.

For linespacing, I felt that my most effective version was the one pictured below.

I felt that by inserting a space between each block of information about the performer, it made it easier to recognize how many performers there were and find information about what/when they were performing. I think that this could be enhanced by italicizing the font of the performer names and playing around with varying font sizes and indents.

For example, in this example here, I indented the performers’ names and indented twice for the information that fell under their names. I think this achieved the kind of informational hierarchy that I was aiming for. However, I felt like the information that came before the performers needed something else done to it for emphasis.

In the version pictured above, I bolded the name of the event “Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures” and the names of the performers. Without the use of indents or linespacing, all of the information looks the same. There is no hierarchy of information and it takes a longer time to decipher the meaning of it all. The bolded information does stand out, but I think that using a slightly lighter strokeweight would have helped balance the information out more. The striking constrast between the bold and light strokeweight seems a bit too much for the version above.

Finally, I thought that version pictured above was effective in that I was able to visually separate the information about the performers from the rest of the information about the event itself. Being limited to only one indent, weight, and no linespacing made this exercise difficult because there are not a lot of ways to categorize the information and make it easier to digest.

Exercises 5–7

Pictured above are examples of what I found most effective out of all the versions that I created for each exercise. In exercise 5, I liked that I was able to separate the information into blocks that made it easier to digest. In exercise 6, I felt that the bold font made certain information stand out, but it still looked jumbled because there weren’t any spaces between the lines. In exercise 7, I really enjoyed being able to play around with different font sizes. Even without any indents in the writing, the information is pretty easy to take in at once. However, I would probably indent the information under each performers’ names. I would like to explore more with colors and graphics in order to further enhance these posters.

For this collage exercise, I explored analogous colors. I used the colors yellow, blue, and green to create the collage because of the nature of the magazine that was available to me. The design turned out to look natural and relaxing. None of the colors really stood out or dominated one another. This contributes to the peaceful vibe of the collage, but I think that I would enhance this by adding a pop of color. The white space on the letters “INTRODUCING” is really brought out as an accent, and I would like to explore this more moving forward.

Exercise 8

After visiting the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures website to do some initial background research, I noticed a few colors that were stood out to me on the website.

I tried to carry over these colors to my posters. I explored cooler blue and yellow tones and thought that it conveyed relaxation, freshness, and inspiration. The purple-colored posters did not do as well when completed. I found that it did not really connect to the event nor say much about it. The feedback that I received during class also made me realize that the boxes placed on the poster seemed kind of clunky. It broke the text down into pieces and did not have much of a meaning or reason for it.

Exercise 9

I found this exercise to be one of the most difficult parts of the project. At first, I was thinking too literal in terms of what the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures was.

After meeting with Sophia and Professor Crowley for feedback, something that I learned was that the poster should be designed for effective communication, and the imagery should support the text. I learned that all of the components (color, font size, spacing, etc.) worked together to create text hierarchy and affected the legibility/effectiveness of the poster. Still, I definitely struggled to apply my knowledge completely while working on the project.

I submitted the poster above for my final critique. Some of the feedback that I received was on text hierarchy and imagery. Because “Ten Evenings” was capitalized and bright yellow/orange, it stood out too much to the viewer. It kept drawing your eyes back to it, despite it not being the most important component of the poster. The image also did not really work for the event. While I had initially wanted it to represent life and growth, it did not capture the essence of PA&L due to its aesthetics. The image was also made a focal point, which proved to be a bit distracting.

After receiving the feedback, I wrote down words that I thought conveyed the Ten Evenings event:

Community — Celebrate — Inspire — Courage — Journey — Life — Compassion

I thought of warmer colors and the celebration of life’s journey. Although there was not much time left before the project was due, I still gave imagery another shot.

Ultimately, I ended up choosing this design:

I felt that the yellow textured background gave off the warmth of the Pittsburgh Arts & Lectures event, which is all about celebrating authors and their experiences. I thought that having “Ten Evenings 2021” being the lighter shade of blue would help bring out the speakers who were listed below. I was hoping that the poster reflected calmness by utilizing white space and symmetrically placing speaker information in the center.

This project was definitely challenging. However, I learned so much about typographic variables and how all of the components have to work together to create effective visual communication. I am excited to continue learning and gaining more experience so that I can get better at this skill!