APP1: Ideas for presenting information on posters

For this blog post I will cover some of the ideas I have created and would like some feedback for from the interim crit. Now that the illustrations are in progress, as covered in my last blog post, I need to sort out what information is going to be placed on the poster, and how it can be done. Below is the base image that I will be experimenting with. It still needs some development but it will be more than adequate here.

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 20.01.14

The first idea I wanted to trial was a ‘status bar’ on the poster, a name I am using for this element of the poster as it was only when I’d placed it that I realised a comparison could be drawn to the status bar of an Android phone, of which I’ve included an image below.

Nexus 4 - Android 4.3 Jelly Bean
Nexus 4 – Android 4.3 Jelly Bean

Screen Shot 2013-11-23 at 13.55.00

The comparison I had drawn between that and an Android status bar lead me to think about the latest Android release, 4.4 KitKat and the new iOS7 status bar on iPhones, which made me think about removing the black (actually a very dark grey) bar.

Google Nexus 5
Google Nexus 5
iOS7 screen
iOS7 screen

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I think this is potentially a very strong design option for the poster, as it can be used to convey information clearly, but not distracting from the visuals. The only drawback I can see is the limit of information that could be placed on there. Perhaps a double-decker approach would work well, it is something I may look into after the interim crit.

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I trialled the design at both the top and bottom of the poster, and I much preferred it at the bottom as it stood out less against the ground than the sky but was still perfectly legible. I also tried different colours such as black, which was too harsh, white, which was not legible enough, and a very dark grey, which suited it well.

There is potential though to bring in the main colour of each vehicle for the type to colour-code it, providing a unique approach for each poster. With regards to the typography, I used Nexa Bold and Light which provides a great contrast and is a clean, minimal typeface family that projects a modern stance. However, I feel that Nexa Light is too light for the purposes of the poster, not being especially visible.

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 20.01.37

The next approach was not an exciting one, but the first idea that came to mind when thinking about how more information could be placed onto the poster. By using a box, more information can be fitted in vertically beneath the vehicle, especially if the horizon is moved upwards, not a problem with the large expanse of blue sky. Making that box a transparent white allows for the texture of the ground to show through, but allowing for separation of the information.

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I did also try different positioning, such as in a corner, and at the top, as can be seen above, but I felt neither of these trials worked as it upset the balance of the poster. As for the typeface, I tried Helvetica Neue for this as its geometric characteristics provide a neutral stance, so will suit all posters equally.

However, it does come across as bland here, and I think the posters need something with more character. As this idea is not very refined and aesthetically pleasing, I do not think this has much potential. I’ll wait and see what is mentioned at the interim crit however.

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The most interesting idea I have had so far came when I was experimenting with a different typeface, Dense, that I was impressed with the aesthetic of, with its thin, sans-serif geometric structure. I started over the sky by typing ‘Thrust SSC’ and then underneath the date, ’15th October 1997′. From there I re-sized the bottom line to match the top line, which provided an interesting type hierarchy. I then realised I could make a box from it with all the relevant information, dropping the opacity to take away the harsh white effect.

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As can be seen in the above poster image, I spent some time experimenting with the priority of different information and what could be included. Below is the final result for now from my experimentations. I will be interested to show this idea at the interim crit, as I think it is a strong, different proposal that balances information and aesthetics well. I feel it is the strongest design I have produced in every respect and will be going for this unless there is any particular issue raised at the crit.

Screen Shot 2013-11-24 at 20.01.50

Now I want to show my ideas at the interim crit, and see what feedback I get. From there I will continue to develop my ideas and also take a step back and re-focus on this project, as it has become increasingly problematic with the workload of this project when combined with the dissertation and other project I am designing.