Contemporary Poster Analysis:
The composition of this poster makes use of two triangles. One triangle stretches from the top of Batman’s silhouette down to the edge of the city. The other triangle, this one upside down, goes from the title Batman to the two main actor’s names at the top left and right. This is an effective way of moving the eye around the image while allowing the main focal point to be somewhat centred. The word Batman lies upon one of the rule of thirds lines, further helping it to take centre stage as the main focal point. This is supplemented by the contrast created by the dark black and saturated yellow.
Colour and value-wise, only three have been used, yellow, black and white. The white has been used for the text regarding the actors, actresses and organisation names and are secondary to the dominating black and yellow duo that is a hallmark of Batman’s design when it comes to his colour scheme. The black and yellow colours are a nod to his original logo, a stylised black silhouette of a bat on a yellow oval, this is built upon even more by the silhouette of Batman and his name being projected into the sky above Gotham, another nod to his logo and how it is projected into the sky when his help is required. The black stems from the dark of night and the yellow represents the city lights and bat signal that calls him to duty.
A clean font was chosen for the two main actors names, which helps that text stand out from the gritty and textural black background. The gritty and dirty texture hints at the crime-ridden city of Gotham, the city he watches over. For the main title, an almost stencil-like font has been used with texture showing through and some of the letters and elements of those letters lean at various angles, contrasting with some of the more structural and sturdy letters within the same word; reinforcing the strength and willpower of the Dark Knight. The text of the title has been used in a way that cuts into the silhouette of Batman, with the ends of the name connecting with the dark background. The angular, almost lopsided, nature of parts of the text perhaps foreshadows something within the movie; is Batman going to be toppled or will the city experience an event that shakes up the status quo? As for the text at the bottom, a tall bunched up font was used with the text shrunk down and clustered together to not distract the viewer from the focal point of the poster; Batman.
This poster was most likely made in Photoshop or Illustrator, perhaps the designer used both in tandem to create it. The silhouettes of the buildings could have been created using a pen tool from illustrator or a collection of shapes combined. As for the main silhouette, that of Batman, it was probably created with a similar technique. Creating a large triangle and cutting the top off for his body and cape. A rectangle, two triangles and part of a circle at the top creates the silhouette of his head and mask. The slant of his shoulders could be created either with the pen tool or an edited shape that has been slanted and morphed. For efficiency, you could use a more complex shape, such as a hexagon, and edit it to create the cape, body and shoulders of the silhouette. The silhouettes of the buildings could have been created similarly, with a combination of the pen tool and various shapes. Another possibility is that images of real buildings were traced and then edited to help create the Gotham city skyline and reinforce some believability, grounding the designs of the buildings in reality. The grungy texture was probably done in photoshop via the use of a texture/splatter brush in combination with a mask, this allows for the texture and edges to be manipulated to create a more pleasing look, layout, visual weight distribution and composition.
The purpose of this poster is to captivate the viewer’s attention and communicate to them that this is classic Batman, evoking a sense of nostalgia over the classic imagery of the masked crusader looking down over Gotham, watching and protecting. The use of the iconic two Batman colours, yellow and black, has helped with this feeling of nostalgia and loyalty to a character, comic series and brand.
Evolution of Digital Media:
The evolution of digital media has allowed contemporary art, art created during the present time period, to be not only more accessible but allow more efficient iteration and more forgiving experimentation. The creation of this poster digitally has allowed for more freedom with how to approach it. The gritty texture, if done traditionally, would have required a large use of tape and physical masking so as not to allow any of the paint to enter parts of the image that the artist does not desire interference with. Digitally, the designer can mask off large areas of the image and use the organisation of layers to safely alter and change the image without destroying the overall layout and poster.
Multiple different styles have emerged out of the now widespread use of digital media, with certain art styles being synonymous with different pieces of software. At the same time one person may create an illustration in Photoshop that is beautifully rendered and intricate, while another person might design a clean and elegant poster within the same program. The possibilities are endless, with every artist being able to express their own unique style, visual language and voice with the help of digital software as well as with the widespread accessibility of social media. With this broad range of tools, techniques and software choices, the freedom that an artist possesses has grown exponentially and this is further evident when one looks at the diversity of art and design in all fields of the creative arts in today’s day and age.
Digital media has great potential in just about all fields of art and design. The use of 3D is becoming commonplace, with the intertwining of software and hardware allowing a multitude of viable workflows tailored to each individual. Each artist can use and customize their software as they see fit, with the ability to create and import brushes in programs such as Photoshop allowing you to further develop a unique style, and even emulate traditional media and tools.
Nowadays digital media is being used to create just about anything and everything art related that used to be created primarily traditionally. With the use of 3D, VFX, physics based rendering and illustrative/painting software, digital media has become a cornerstone in today’s art and design world. Digital media has not made traditional art obsolete, far from it, what it has done is made art more accessible and forgiving for beginners. It also allows professionals to efficiently iterate and develop their ideas and concepts without them having a cluttered studio full of brushes and paint, instead they might have a Wacom tablet, a copy of their desired software and a laptop. This allows for a clean and more efficient work space. With space becoming more and more of a premium, this is highly desirable by many people, especially working professionals.
With the large amount of free software out there, as well as trials, beginners don’t need to fork out large amounts of cash for sculpture equipment and materials. Instead all they need is a working computer or laptop (which most people have), a mouse and a free trial of Blender to see if it is something they are interested in. Not only that but, regarding graphic design and illustration, the process has become so much more efficient. You can create rulers, grids, layers and masks to organise and layout your work. Once you’re done all you need to do to have a physical copy is print it out instead of having to use a method such as screen printing to create multiple copies. With the growth of digital media has come a large number of tutorials and communities online that help artists grow, allowing education about art and design to be more widespread. This in turn allows the various artistic fields to grow and become more accessible.
The ability for people to efficiently create art wherever they are, with the portability and diverse selection of devices that are capable of running the relevant software, is quite extraordinary. I see digital media growing more capable of solving design solutions and handling larger files, allowing designers and artists to create more efficiently and make bolder design decisions. Not only that, but the integration of software and the mixing of digital media (such as mixing 3D, animation and digital illustration) will most likely grow and evolve over time,