VC501 – Design Manifesto: Poster Development

This post contains a selection of development thumbnails, concepts and further ideas.

I inked up the following illustration of a child holding a gun and a teddy bear as a background image (and a focal point) for my design manifesto poster. The stark imagery, I had hoped, would emphasize any messages contained within the manifesto itself. The tagline of the poster was originally “Blah”, the name of the first version of my manifesto. After working on more concepts and ideas, I created a series of taglines: ‘Build a Life!’, ‘Consumerism: Organised Crime’, ‘Consumerism: It’s a Crime Scene’, ‘Consumerism: Like Organised Crime’, ‘Consumerism: F**king us all over’, ‘iWant’, ‘Hang Consumerism’, ‘Time to assassinate consumerism’, ‘I’m Not Loving It’, ‘I’m Hatin’ It’, ‘You Should Be Scared’, ‘Who Needs A Hundred Types of Coke?’, ‘No One Is Listening’, ‘Buy Me To Prove That You Love Them’, ‘Buy Me, I’m Cheap’, ‘Buy Me, I’ll Make You Happy’, ‘F**k The Sale, ‘Half Price Society’, ‘Fantasy/Reality’, ‘Your Right, This Is A Blank Poster’, ‘This poster is 100% free from subliminal messages, and artificial flavours’, ‘Sold Out’, ‘This poster is 100% free from consumerism – no purchase neccessary’, ‘Will Never Be In Stock’, ‘This Manifesto Will Never Be In Stock’, ‘Buy Me To Prove You Love Them’, ‘Buy Me. Prove You Love Them’, ‘Consumerism: Work All Day To Buy Stuff We Don’t Need’, ‘Consumerism: What Will The Cost Be?’, ‘Buy Me You Idiot’, ‘Buy Me You Dumb F**ker’, ‘Buy or Die’.

My favourite two taglines from the ones I created are: ‘Half Price Society’ and ‘This poster is 100% free from subliminal messages, and artificial flavours’. I chose the first tagline to use for my final poster, because its simple and works much better as a one line tagline (people aren’t going to read a long line of text, and its not suitable for a poster header).

This poster works quite well in grey, black and white. I like the typeface because it reminds me of sale poster which has been done in brush and paint, or in the style of brush and paint. A sort of slap stick effect.

Out of these colour experiments the red and black image works the most (Pantone DS 86-1C), and it works best with CMYK white type. The ice blue is a nice cooling tone from the harshness of the red, but it doesn’t work aswell as the white, the white is instantly legible and stands out more.

The art direction I’ve used for my poster designs is based around a couple of elements: Adbusters magazine covers, Barbara Kruger posters and generic sales posters. The typeface I’ve used is Drone, this is for a couple of reasons: The typeface is designed by Jonathan Barnbrook, who signed the First Things First 2000 Manifesto. I tried bolder fonts, such as the ones used in sales posters, but because of the subject matter of the background imagery, it blocked it out and it didn’t work as well. When I used the font Drone, it created the same effect as the sales posters, but also the imagery retained legibility. I then had a problem – the typeface didn’t read properly. When reading the typeface, you automatically read the word society first, because it is more dominant on the page. I corrected this by reflecting the text vertically and horizontally (see final poster blog post). This create a rule of thirds section within the top right hand section of the poster. And the H out of the word Half became the more dominant focal point, and this makes the viewer read Half first, then Price, then Society – which is the effect I was after. From this focal point, the viewer then notices the dot within the ‘O’ in ‘Society’, and this draws the viewers eyes to the child’s head, and they noticed its a young boy, and because they have viewed two thirds of the poster, the only focal point left is the gun, which the viewer notices last. This is the very effect I was after – the fact the viewer notices the boy, and lastly the gun, after reading the text, create a sense of shock, and makes the poster design as a whole more powerful.

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