Digital Development and Poster Evaluation

I decided to go for a more graphic approach for my poster designs, making use of silhouettes of iconic London architecture and strong value relationships. The introduction of colour later on using various colour schemes and harmonies adds an extra layer of depth and intrigue to the images.

After multiple development and ideation sketches in my sketchbook I moved into the digital medium to start creating the silhouettes for my posters. I gathered reference images that were front on for the most part to make the silhouette creation process easier.

I initially tried to create the silhouettes with a combination of basic shapes such as squares, triangles and rectangles but that proved to be difficult to manage in regards to layers and overlapping. I then tried to use the pen tool aided by rulers to trace the outlines of the buildings. Once the major silhouette had been created, I then worked on the inner complexity of some of the buildings. I manipulated various basic shapes to create the inner details and used circles to cut into the silhouettes themselves. The way I achieved this was via a technique we were taught earlier in the year where a shape on a layer above another shape is grouped with the lower one. You then navigate to the pathfinder tool and choose the Minus-Front option to cut into the lower shape on the layer stack.

This preparation allowed me to quickly ideate, thumbnail and create layouts and designs quickly and efficiently through the use of modular elements. My direction being graphic and bold for these poster designs, I decided to juxtapose the strong verticals and horizontals of the buildings with circular elements to create higher contrast, not only in value and colour but in shape as well.

Some of the silhouettes were scrapped early for being confusing or not working with my desired composition, two of these were the London Bridge and Cathedral/Abbey silhouettes.

Using the layer stack and overlapping, I situated the main circle behind the front silhouettes of the buildings to create depth and take advantage of relative colour, value and contrast. Having the front silhouette dark, the circle bright and the background a mid tone forces the viewer to look at the area where the silhouette and circle overlap, captivating the viewer. Once their attention has been held, they are free to look around the rest of the poster and are guided by the verticals and diagonals towards the heading ‘London Festival of Architecture’ and logo.

The logo itself is quite bright and saturated, this means that it easily distracts from the rest of the poster if proper value and colour harmony, as well as compositional layout, is not achieved. To help combat the effect this logo has, I used value, colour and composition to help minimise its distracting qualities. For the silhouette based graphical designs I experimented with placement and size, eventually settling on a small logo in one of the far corners and payed close attention to visual balance and weight so as not to tip the image to favour one side.

To help move the eyes of the viewer around and show them what I intend to show, I made use of various compositional rules such as the rule of thirds, leading/directional lines, implied lines, the golden spiral, and value, colour and shape contrast.

As I progressed, I tried out different combinations of silhouettes and shapes to see if multiple silhouettes could work in the same composition together. Ultimately it proved to be confusing, too busy and would require a large amount of value separation to bring clarity to the image. I also experimented with the placement of the logo, attempting to place it into the negative space of the silhouettes and onto the silhouettes themselves. This proved to be visually uncomfortable and moved quickly away from this approach.

I used several architectural landmarks from London to form the basis of my designs and used abstracted silhouettes to communicate my message. The triangle, being the most abstract and least direct, represents the Shard while the others are more obvious in regards to their intended real life counterparts. For the Shard posters I directed the viewer’s gaze throughout the poster with the use of directional lines and pointing in regards to the way the triangles aim and guide the eye towards the intended focal point.

I experimented with the placement and value of the text quite a bit, trying to find a good hierarchy and balance without making the text disappear or overpower the image. For the most part the visual hierarchy was established through value and composition, as well as sizing and proportion. The silhouettes were used to capture the viewer’s attention with their high contrast and juxtaposition and they are then directed towards the text that makes use of bright white and dark black to show what is important and what is not immediately of importance to view. This is supplemented by the text size, with the large white text of ‘London Festival of Architecture’ overpowering the small ‘1st – 30th June 2017’ text below it. The viewer will also note the smaller logo in the corner but not linger long on it, it being away from the rest of the more interesting visual stimuli and being harsh on the eyes with its bright saturated colours. A way that I minimised the intensity of the logo was by making the background around it both light and similar in colour, as to distract from it by lowering the contrast.

Keeping the main visual elements and the value transitions on the rule of thirds help push forward the focal point and detract from the less important logo that lies in the corner of the image.

After I had developed the first two posters, the graphical ones, I moved on the digital development of the perspective poster.

Information regarding the specific development of that layout can be found here:

This one proved to be more challenging and time consuming, required the meticulous manipulation of angle, grids and line weight to ensure a pleasing and balanced composition using black, white and pink as the only colour information. The process was sped up however once I had discovered the Perspective Tool in Illustrator, only after I had manually set up the grids for the tower. However, I still kept some of these initial grids and perspective lines in, editing them throughout to help aid the layout. Once I had everything blocked in, it was only a matter of refinement and polish before the poster was ready to be printed along with the other two.

While the first two graphical posters aimed for a more stylised, graphical and atmospheric approach to help evoke a mood and sense of time, the perspective layout was more of a nod to architects with the exposed perspective grid lines and technical line work, supplemented by the bold line weight to help push that depth created by the perspective. All three posters are designed to communicate the ‘London Festival of Architecture’, but each one adds a bit more nuance in their own unique ways. The Shard inspired one evokes a sense of time and nostalgia with its cool background and retro burning sun, aided by the graphic triangles the viewer is guided throughout the layout as if on a journey towards the main text; London Festival of Architecture.

For the Strata (The Razor) Tower poster I was more concerned with creating the feeling of power and solidity that is oh-so-important in architectural design. The strong verticals anchor the design in place, with the spreading diagonals sending the eyes towards the high contrast circle behind the main silhouette. The arc and sharp points at the top of the silhouette send the eyes up and into the text above, once read the viewer most likely returns to the high contrast silhouette, or perhaps is sent down towards the logo and date in the bottom left and right corners. The gradient from dark to light, as well as bluish-purple to warmer and softer pinks and yellows gives a sense of mood, the curvature of the earth and the feeling of a cool misty morning warmed by the suns first rays of light before the rest of the day begins.

As mentioned earlier, the more perspective heavy poster was in the direction of creating a dynamic feeling of structure and purpose, aiming to communicate the regal nature, solidity and power of the Elizabeth Tower through the use of line and perspective. It stretches and towers above and past the viewer, appearing to go on further, if not forever. The only colour in the image is from the logo, which has been repeated in two ways; the repetition of the logo itself and the main colour of the logo being used in the title, ‘London Festival of Architecture’. This creates powerful focal points, with the only areas of colour being bold, saturated and mainly on the middle and right of the page, it balances out the visual weight of the tower on the left hand side of the layout.

In comparison to the researched poster designs I analysed earlier in this assignment, I believe that I achieved good quality work. I was definitely inspired by both the contemporary and modernist way of creating bold a graphical designs using a few colours and values, aided by the placement of text and the use of font. The modernist poster I analysed helped to inspire the perspective orientated layout I did, using the grid lines in a similar way to help direct the viewer towards the focal point. That same poster also served to help with the creation of the more graphical posters, especially because of the simple to complex nature in regards to the construction of the shapes used in the head of the main subject matter. I found the interplay between dark and light text and background quite interesting in both the modernist and contemporary posters, with the inspiration of the graphical shapes stemming from the contemporary posters I researched as well.

I found that while the modernist layouts aimed for a more graphical approach to communicate the message in the least complicated yet most elegant way, the contemporary ones attempted to emulate this while adding a busier, abstract and more visually complex series of design choices. The modernist’s seemed to value graphical simplicity and clear messages above the wow factor of complexity that the contemporary’s displayed.

My work, especially the graphical designs of The Shard and The Strata (The Razor) Tower posters, aimed to create a sense of simplified elegance similar to that of the bold, silhouetted designs that the modernist posters communicated.



Sketchbook Evaluation

Evaluation can be found below sketchbook images:


Sketchbook Evaluation:

My initial direction when I started involved the contrast between verticals, horizontals, diagonals and curves/rounds (circles). My idea for the circle came from the sun or moon combined with the London Eye. With it stemming from the London Eye, I played around with including the carriages/carts from that but it seemed quite busy and distracted from my graphical approach. The sun and moon motif helped to communicate the time of day that the festival is going to take place on and also communicates a sense of mood and atmosphere. Multiple thumbnails of the silhouettes, the layout and composition as well as combinations and experimentation of silhouettes and media allowed for quick ideation. I made notes regarding the directions I wanted to take, changes, ideas, techniques, processes and plans for the various layouts and much more.

I experimented with font for a while, trying to decide on something that would compliment my graphical poster designs without detracting from them. The font also needed to reflect the subject matter, architecture, and perhaps even evoke a sense of nostalgia when combined with the colour palette to create a captivating and emotional mood. I leaned more towards a tall and thin font, a nod towards art deco poster designs and font types. I also tested out different combinations of thickness, value combinations and placement.

Layout and composition were quite a big focus in my thumbnails, with multiple iterations the elements changed and were placed in different ways with different text, silhouette and logo locations. Adding to the thumbnails are notes, more sketches, general and multi-media experimentation.

In my sketchbook, after spending a large amount of time on the development of the graphical poster designs, I moved towards a more architectural and perspective heavy layout and design approach with the Elizabeth Tower/Big Ben being my main subject matter and the focal point, with the logo projecting from it. I wanted to make use of line weight, perspective grids, lines and value/colour contrast to make both the building and logo focal points have a clear visual hierarchy. The use of lighter, thinner grid lines and thicker lines on the building allowed for interesting experimentation in regards to visual weight and composition. The creation of depth helps draw the viewer in and the splash of colour from the logo creates a strong focal point and hook to keep the viewer captivated.

I tried to place another building into the poster, such as the Gherkin, but it made it too cluttered, busy and distracted from the focal point. The perspective, for the most part, is 2-point. However, I decided to create another vanishing point inside one of the clock faces. This vanishing point projects out the logo and conforms to the other vanishing points as well, creating a dynamic and interesting perspective grid and arrangement. One large challenge here is controlling the clutter, line weight, visual weight/importance, hierarchy and amount of lines present in the image without detracting from one of the selling points of this image; the raw architectural feeling communicated from the grid and line drawing.

I did multiple practice grids and forms/constructions to warm up for and experiment with the layout and design as well as the elements within it.

In regards to multi-media experimentation, I made use of pencil, various pens, fine liners, markers and colour pencils.

Designs making use of abstracted patterns and textures were also explored and provided interesting results. Both 2D and 3D emulating layouts were experimented with. The more 3D abstract designs proved to be more dynamic and interesting than their 2D counterparts.

I decided to go for a graphical approach with my digital development, and later worked on the perspective poster design I mentioned earlier. I also needed to find out the type of font and colours that I would be using, so after I had settled on the final layouts for the graphical posters I moved onto colour experimentation. I used Adobe Color ( to help find different colour schemes for my posters. I used the pink of the logo as a grounding point and reached out from there, trying out triad, complementary and a few other colour schemes. Once I had found a few I liked I printed out screenshots, stuck them into my book, and drew up the layouts of my posters. I then used gouache paint and colour pencils to implement these colour schemes, first mixing the colours and finding the right balance and mixture of hues, tints and shades to create the right colours combinations that I needed.

Using gouache, fine liner, marker and colour pencils allowed me to creatively explore the colour schemes within my designs. I pushed a slightly more painterly style with the brushstrokes on some parts of the layouts, not trying to get a clean flat colour but rather dynamically change the colours and textures throughout as a way of rapid ideation, instead of re-creating the layout and painting it again each time.

Afterwards, I did similar work with the font, printing out images (that I found online as inspiration) and analysing them, deconstructing them and picking the parts I liked to inform my font choices during the digital development stage. After experimenting with various types of font, from thick to thin, art deco to bold and chunky, I settled on thin, structural and elegant text. I also included a re-created example of the anatomy of typography from an image I found online, highlighting the key elements of font and text.

Dark on light and light on dark text experiments were attempted as well,similarly to earlier in the sketchbook, trying to find the right balance between contrast of value and size of font. This font development expands upon the earlier text and font work in the sketchbook, allowing for a more polished end result.

After the font and colour development in my sketchbook, I drew out my final graphical designs, with my final perspective design being slightly  earlier in the book.


History of Printing



(images used in timeline were collected online)

Historical Evaluation of Printing:

While printing has evolved a substantial amount over time, from the humble woodblock to the widespread digital printer, the technological progression of printing has been one filled with many inventions and leaps in sophistication. Although there are many milestones in regards to the evolution of printing, there are a few more notable and substantial ones that hold more weight over smaller iterations. One of the earliest known forms of printing is woodblock printing, which dates to the 200s. This form of printing was achieved via the use of a relief pattern with the raised areas on the stamp taking the ink. This stamp would then be pressed onto the paper or cloth and the areas that were recessed on the stamp would leave ‘white’ or blank areas.

An evolution of the woodblock was movable type, which came about in 1040. The way movable type works is like woodblock printing, except on a more mass produced and commercial scale. Multiple pieces of metal type are used to print text and are easy to handle and move. The printing press in 1440 quickly followed with Gutenberg pioneering his printing press, the Gutenberg press. This was improved upon by Friedrich Koening who designed a non-manpowered printing press using steam. Most printing presses during this time work by applying pressure and therefore pressing ink onto a surface.

Multiple printing houses were constructed, mainly in Europe, and the press itself evolved further with the introduction of the rotary printing press, an early precursor to offset printing. However, this came shortly after lithography, a method of printing onto a smooth surface. This technique required the use of chemicals and various ink and water mixtures to interact with ink. The ink sticks to the positive image, usually made up of a chemical, and would be cleaned away by water to leave a negative part to the image. Lithography was improved to allow colour and made use of multiple stones, each with their own colour, to create a reproduction of an image.

Leaping forward in time to the 1870s, the offset press was created and became a widely-used printing technique. It used a method whereby an image is transferred to a rubber blanket from a plate and then to the desired surface. Although the press is usually used for printing on paper, that only came about in 1904 when Ira Washingston Rubel developed the press further. Beforehand though the press was initially used to print onto tin. Offset printing can also be used in tandem with the repulsion of oil and water, similarly to the lithographic process.

Over thirty years after the invention of the original offset press came the Photostat and rectigraph. This machine acted as a primitive photocopier and made use of a large camera to photograph documents.

Screen printing followed shortly after the Photostat and was a technique that proved useful for people wanting to print simple designs and logos onto clothing and posters. The screen printing method requires the user to transfer ink, using a blade that is dragged across the screen, to the desired surface with the help of a stencil. Screen printing is still widely used today for printing designs and logos onto clothing.

Inkjet printing revolutionised printing and came about in 1951, roughly 40 years after screen printing was invented. This method of printing utilised drops of ink to recreate digital images and made printing more accessible than ever. Instead of ink, the laser printer made use of an electrostatic process and used a laser beam that it passed over a negatively charged cylinder to create images with a different charge. This cylinder then transfers electrically charged ink onto the desired surface, of which is promptly heated to cause the ink to become fused with the surface.

Three years after laser printing was introduced thermal printing was invented. Thermal printing creates an image via the selective use of a heated print head on a special type of paper. Wherever the heat occurs, the area turns dark. Moving along twelve years, 3D printing was born and heralded what futurologist Jeremy Rifkin claimed to be the beginning of the third industrial revolution. It was certainly revolutionary at the time and is still going strong even today, evolving all the time with both practical and entertainment based uses being developed and improved upon constantly. 3D printing is done via multiple layers of material being ‘printed’ atop one another while being guided by a computer that is usually following the specifications of a digital 3D model.

Even more recently, though still quite a while ago, digital printing was invented. Even though it was developed over twenty years ago back in 1991 it is still going strong. This is probably because it embraces the new modern world and makes use of tried and true printing methods to achieve both small and large scale printing output. Digital printing uses either both inkjet and laser or one or the other. The large scale popularity of printing directly from a digital image to a large variety of media has allowed almost anyone with a computer and a laser or inkjet printer to be able to tangibly behold a print of a digital image.



Bibliography and Referencing:

Arkin, J. (2010). How Do Thermal Printers Work? | Printer & Printer Ink Related Articles. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2016].

Zebra Technologies. (2016). Direct Thermal & Thermal Transfer Printing FAQs | Zebra. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2016]. (2016). History of printing. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2016]. (n.d.). History of Printing. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2016].

Rouse, M. (2010). What is inkjet printer? – Definition from [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2016].

Steins, J. (2010). Woodblock Printing ~ An overview of the history of relief printing. [online] John Steins. Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2016]. (2016). Thermal Printers – Learn How do Thermal Printers Work?. [online] Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2016].

Woodford, C. (2016). How does printing work?. [online] Explain that Stuff. Available at: [Accessed 6 Nov. 2016].

Digital Development of Architecture Poster Design (Perspective)

For this poster I decided to go with a two point perspective grid that was influenced by the rule of thirds. The main subject matter for this is going to be the Elizabeth Tower (Big Ben) and the London Festival of Architecture Logo being projected from it. I began with a rule of thirds grid I found online, established the two vanishing points and began constructing a cube. Once I was happy with the placement of this cube I began to experiment with the particular placement of the vanishing points and the angles of said cube:


Further vanishing point experimentation, trying out different placement:


Here I used rulers and guides to math the placement of the vertices of the cube. I made use of triangles to math the angles of the cube to help mirror it so as to lessen the distorting effects of the perspective. I also tried out a different placement of the vanishing points:


More experimentation with the placement of the vanishing points as well as exploring the rest of the tower and how the angles and placement of the details later on will work:


Further exploration, trying to find the most visually pleasing placement of the vanishing points and angles with the aid of guides/rulers:



I settled on the green version of the vanishing points and began to construct the rest of the tower. I used an X on the two faces of the cube that we can see to find the centre points, this will help with the placement of the ellipses/circles later on:



Placing the circles/ellipses in perspective proved to  be difficult. I experimented with various tools, such as the shear tool, distort tool and free transform etc. I did some searching through the tools and options in illustrator and found the perspective tool. After some research I began to set it up and put the ellipses/circles in perspective onto the cube (Explanation of this process and the tool further along).:


After I set up the ellipses I moved onto the logo projection and the mapping of the details for the rest of the tower. For the logo I created lines emanating from the centre of one of the ellipses and cube faces. I then put the logo into perspective using the perspective tool, of which is rather tricky to use and manipulate shapes with. I had to convert the logo (which was an image) to a vector using Control Panel -> Image Trace -> High Fidelity Photo, this allowed me to manipulate the logo as if it were a complicated vector shape:


Here I removed/hid a lot of the clutter and began to create the clean lines for the tower, paying attention to line weight to help create more depth. I made the lines closer to the viewer thicker, as well as important borders. I made the lines further away, as well as the finer details, smaller to push them further back into space:


Here is where I began to organise where the details will go on the rest of the tower with the help of the perspective grid:


Fitting the text onto the tower was quite difficult to do when it was in a text format, even if I typed the text onto the line itself. Doing it that way did not help fit it into the same perspective as the rest of the image. I instead had to use Type -> Create Outlines to convert the text into vector shapes. This allowed me to use the perspective tool to conform it into the right perspective. This required a large amount of re-corrections and accuracy and was quite time consuming. I also typed London Festival of Architecture onto the projection lines for the logo, however this seemed quite unprofessional and lacklustre so I later on I decided to go with the text on the top right with the smaller logo on the bottom right to help balance out the left hand side heavy composition. I have also increased the line weight of the ellipses, giving them more visual weight and importance:




Here I cleaned up the lines a bit more and added detail to the tower with the help of rulers/guides:


The placement of the text on the top right and smaller logo on the bottom as I mentioned earlier is shown here, as well as experimentation with the font. I also added more detail to the tower, which I may or may not keep as it creates an area of concentrated detail, detracting from the rest of the image:



Here I edited the text using Window -> Type -> Character. I also changed the colour to match the logo. I decided to make the text stand out more using, as I mentioned, the colour of the logo as well as making parts of the text bold. I also increased the size of the text and faded out the projection lines, allowing it to stand out more:



Perspective Grid Tool:

Shift + P brings up the perspective grid tool, this allows you to conform vectors into perspective. There are multiple handles on the grid that you can use to manipulate and move the grid itself with. In the menus there are options for 1, 2 and 3 point perspective, allowing a wide range of complicated scenes to be created:


To be able to put the vector in perspective, we need to attach it to the active plane. The active plane is indicated by the highlighted face on the cube at the top left of the document:


Once attached to the active plane you can then use the Perspective Selection Tool (Shift + V) to put the vector into perspective, manipulating it using the handles on the bounding box:












Digital Development of Poster Designs and Layouts (Graphical)

Here are some images of the development and thumbnails for my graphical poster designs and layouts. More information about the process of creating these posters can be found in my evaluations.

Here I created modular silhouettes and shapes to help the experimentation and development process.

(reference images found online)


I began creating various layouts using the shapes created previously, experimenting with the placement of the text and logo.

Graphical Layouts 1 image.jpg

Further experimentation.


I decided to use the juxtaposition of circle and triangle to help create interesting and dynamic compositions. The triangle represents the Shard, while the circle represents either the sun or moon. I used the golden spiral to help establish a composition that worked, flowing from the bottom of the image, through or around the triangle and then landing on either the text or circle of which creates a focal point. This was further aided by the use of the rule of thirds, where I attempted to position the top of the triangle and/or the circle itself onto one of the main rule of thirds intersections.


Here I experimented with a different building. I made use of the circles I cut into the silhouette to show the larger circle behind. The interplay of overlapping shapes allowed me to experiment with a more complicated value hierarchy than what I was working with previously. I attempted to establish visual weight using value, trying to find the hierarchy between the silhouette, text, logo and circle.

With the circle being surrounded by different values and areas at different points in the image, it allowed for an interesting effect with the use of relative values, something that we have been learning about in our Visual Studies class recently. Having a light value surrounded by a dark value causes it to appear lighter. Having the same value surrounded by a slightly less dark value causes the effect to be lessened, although it does still remain to a certain degree. The manipulation of this effect, which works either way with dark and light, allowed me to experiment with the value hierarchy in the image.

A major challenge was the logo, as well as the text, and their place within the image and layout. The logo itself is quite bright and saturated, this draws the viewer’s attention away from the main subject matter and to the corner of the page. This is not desirable in regards to composition so I took several steps to lessen the negative affect it had on the image. I scaled down the logo and moved it to a corner further away from the main body of text. The logo with its bright saturated colour has a large amount of visual weight, to counterbalance this I placed the date on the bottom right.

With the logo being bright and surrounded by a light value, this downplayed the contrast causing it to be less of a focal point. I made the text on the bottom right dark, in combination with the light background this caused the contrast in this area to rise sharply, proving more visual weight on the right side of the image helping visual balance to be achieved.


Here I moved onto colour comps, where I take some of the layouts and designs I am happy with and begin experimenting with colour schemes.


More colour comps, this time with the Shard graphical designs and layouts.

I experimented with various colour schemes; complimentary and analogous etc. I attempted to downplay the logo by making the colour of the background near it the same colour, therefore turning into essentially just white text.

Further along during these colour development thumbnails I tried to push more of a mood with the colours of the background and sun/moon. The gradients in the sun pushed forward a setting sun/evening mood and atmosphere that is quite eye catching yet gentle on the eyes with the way its gradient fades into the background.

Green, being the complimentary colour to pink, allowed me to create an interesting interplay between the logo and the background.


Screenshots of development:

The use of rulers and layers allowed me to create accurate silhouettes that could be used in a modular way to efficiently create multiple thumbnails.




Digital Development of Elements for Poster Assignment

(reference images found online)


The images of the rule of thirds and golden spiral were .png images that I found online. These composition grids helped to inform my layouts.

I initially used the pen tool with a series of rulers to help replicate the silhouettes that I desired for my posters. I experimented with the use of various individual shapes combined and grouped together for some of the more complicated silhouettes. In conjunction with cutting into the silhouette itself using other shapes, that method proved to be useful.

Using the Pathfinder tool’s Minus Front option allowed me to cut into the silhouettes with other shapes. The method is thus: Select both silhouette and shape above the silhouette (this shape being the one you want to cut with)-> group them together -> click Minus Front in the Pathfinder Tool menu. Creating the circular holes in the silhouettes enabled me to further develop my graphical approach to these designs.

I managed to created a series of modular shapes and silhouettes for later use in the development of my poster designs and layouts. I also included the required text, as well as the logo for the festival on this sheet. This helped enable efficient ideation and allowed me to create multiple designs rather quickly.

Contemporary Poster Analysis


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,

Modernist Poster Analysis



(image found online)

The layout of this image, by AM. Cassandre,  makes use of strong verticals and diagonals to guide the eyes throughout the image. The eye of the main subject matter grips the viewer and you must forcibly wrench your gaze away to view the rest of the image. Circles (and implied circles) contrast with the stylised and textural skin, this creates a series of focal points the eye bounces to and from. One point perspective lines travel towards ear, directing you towards the head. The strong vertical on the left prevents the intense diagonals from taking you off the page to the left. The curve at the top of the head keeps the eyes contained in the image and slopes down towards the open mouth. The diagonals are constructed in a way to keep the eyes trapped in a loop from the ear circle, the eye and the implied mouth circle (screaming mouth attracts attention). The use and exploitation of human psychology in regards to the gaze of the eye and the screaming mouth helps to keep the viewer looking at the image. They can’t help but wonder why this figure appears to be in either pain or intent on shouting some wordless exclamation.

The colours themselves are rather desaturated and the warm ochre gradient compliment the cool eye, helping it to stand out, especially since they are complimentary colours. The dark background seems like a cold void, this is enhanced by the colour relativity caused by the warm skin. In turn, the background causes the skin to appear warmer, especially by the more saturated jaw. The aforementioned jaw and face are separated from the rest of the head and neck by darker colour, especially near the jaw where more texture implies more intensity and a wild and unshaven quality. The strong brown vertical bar, almost like a bar from a cage, is cooler than one might expect. It provides an almost dull barrier that the viewer doesn’t want to cross and so keeps the audience focused on the main subject matter and text.

Due to the visuals of a human screaming out, jutting his head up and back with his jaw out, it would seem as though something is causing him or her pain. The striking gaze of the eye staring at the viewer helps supplement this affect. The strong lines moving into the black hole of the character’s ear seems to symbolise information or knowledge that is streaming in. The lamp-like shapes hanging off the strong brown vertical element can be interpreted as just that; objects used to shed light upon a matter, or they could be viewed as a stylised and abstracted ‘i’ repeated several times. If so, these lamps might appear to be information symbols being fed into the person’s ear from the strong vertical, which represents a powerful company, organisation or even society, of which continues to evolve, expand and develop as time passes by.

The strong, bold text is more fired than inserted into the character’s head, which communicates a forceful feeling. The change from black to ochre ensures that the text is always readable and in high contrast which almost guarantees it will have a high place on the visual hierarchy. The type’s kerning is closely spaced, promoting a claustrophobic quality. The text above the L’ INTRANS is underlined, the line itself almost slicing off the top of the character’s head, further pushing forward the conversation on communication and information. The space between the words are somewhat regular, although slightly pushed apart. The large bold “L” nearly creates several tangents with the perspective-like lines that shoot towards the ear. These tangents, and their near-touching nature, promote a sense of un-comfortability that the character no doubt shares.

The image looks as though water colour or gouache was used with tape and physical shapes to paint around to create the strong, clean diagonals, verticals and circles. The image is composed of a collection of simple shapes merged together to create a head. Tape or a custom stencil was most likely created to be able to achieve the washes and gradients that are evident in the image. Colour, or chromo, lithography was most likely used to accurately capture the colour gradients and complexity of the texture. The texture itself helps to communicate the organic inspiration of the main subject matter, as well as the intensifying chaos caused by the character’s exclamation and the surrounding dark void, threatening to swallow up not only what is on the poster but perhaps the viewers themselves.