First Things First – Final Poster

For this project, we were asked to use our research from the First Things First Manifestos and content that we have covered across the last few weeks working in field. The brief was to create an A2 two-colour poster that must include three elements: image, expressive typography and a block of text. The poster’s narrative had to tell what role graphic communication has in shaping our futures. As well as the poster itself, we were also asked to take the graphic language used on our poster and make it work in one other context/platform. For example, the second platform could be: a gif, a short animation, a web banner, a piece of printed ephemera, etc.

I started off by researching what will happen to graphic design in the future, but was struggling to find a quote. I started by trying to get “Design can’t die”, which I had used in the typography workshop, too work, but felt that it wasn’t right. After my tutorial with David, he suggested that I look into what is known as ‘the self-taught designer’. These are people who don’t study the discipline and have just learnt everything that they know themselves along the way – they are self taught. After previously already coming across this in my earlier research, I began to focus in on that area more. I read about how many people often feel that they know better or could do better than a professional designer – this then leads to bad design. From researching this, I came up with the quote, “Publisher is for posters; use Comic Sans.” My idea was to use the quote ironically, because as designers, you should know that you should never use Publisher to create a poster – InDesign is much more professional, and also that, Comic Sans is one of the ugliest fonts going. I was thinking of possible designing the poster in a ‘bad design’ kind of way, but still having it look attractive – for example, I might have used ugly colours. Although I had a few ideas, I was struggling to choose an image to go with it. After speaking to David again, he said he liked the idea but that it would be very difficult to pull off in the right way. He suggested changing the idea, so together we came up with a new idea for a quote. I much preferred this new one and found ideas were flowing immediately. I decided on the quote, “We are more than… posters, CD covers, computers, websites, magazines, Photoshop… We shape the future.”

These were the initial designs I created for the poster:

2016-03-16 14.27.44.jpg

After deciding that number 2 was my favourite idea, and testing out the colour schemes – I chose yellow and blue as they are complimentary colours, bright and eye-catching – I moved onto the computer and began making the poster. I used an image of a notebad and used Photoshop to transform it to blue monotone. I then transferred the image into InDesign and began adding the text. On Tuesday, we printed out our posters in black and white A2 and in full colour A4, then put them up on the wall to get feedback on them from the class, David and Ray.

My first poster:

Click here to view (in PDF form) the poster I presented on Tuesday.


During the presentation, Ray and David had some great suggestions and changes for my poster. The feedback and developments that they gave, and also improvements that I spotted myself once putting my poster on display, included:

  • instead of the image of a notepad, use a sketchbook (since it is more relevant to ‘design’)
  • use an image that I have photographed myself
  • rather than using an existing typeface for the list of “Posters, CD Covers, Computers…”, hand write the text myself into the sketchbook
  • the colours I have used (yellow and blue) are too cheery for the message I am trying to give, that designers are not seen to there true potential and importance
  • be more playful with the type – more expressive typography
  • there is too much type in the block of text
  • maybe justify the block of text?
  • there shouldn’t be an indent at the beginning of the first paragraph

After presenting our posters on Tuesday and seeing mine up against everyone elses’, I was inspired to do a lot more with my poster and really didn’t like it anymore – it was much too simple and basic. I went home and immediately started working on my new poster – I completely scrapped the old one and started over again, with the feedback that I had received earlier, in mind.

My final poster:

Click here to view (in PDF form) my new poster.


This is the poster that I submitted today, along with our ‘other platform’ piece, before our 4pm deadline.

I started by taking my own photographs, using my brother as a ‘hand model’, of a sketch book with my own handwriting in it. Straight away, the photo was much better – it also meant that the image did not become pixelated when put onto the poster in InDesign and printed, as the resolution and quality of the image was much higher. I played around with the effects on Photoshop and decided that I really liked it when it was put into ‘difference’, which transformed it to negative. I shrunk down my block of text to just the most important information – it talks about how graphic designers are not just that; they have to be problem solvers too – and also made the point size smaller as well. I kept the colour scheme to blue, although I adjusted it to a more grey-blue, and also got rid of the ‘cheery’ yellow completely. For the larger text, I kept it simple, but made the word ‘more’ expressive, by repeating the word, thus getting the meaning of it across in a literal fashion. At this point during the design stages, I felt that the background was too plain, so I added an image of a jigsaw and adjusted the opacity so that it was just visible behind all of the other elements. The use of the jigsaw fits in with the meaning of the poster overall, particularly with ‘designers are problem solvers’, in the way that we piece things together to then make a final outcome for the client, just like one does with a puzzle.

For my second piece which used the same information from the poster, but in a different context/platform, I created a short animation.

My animation – second platform:

The animation is a stop motion video made up of over 100 photos. I started by taking a video of myself flipping through the pages of the sketch book. I then took snapshots throughout the video and saved them all as separate images. Next, I edited each and every image in Photoshop by adding handwritten text to each page, to make it look like it appeared and disappeared as each page was turned, with a new word appearing to be added on each page. This was a very time-consuming process, but I am beginning to enjoy making stop motion animation as it is brilliant seeing how they turn out at the end once they have all been put together. After editing all the images, I finally put them into MovieMaker and adjusted the duration of each to 0.1 seconds, so that when played it looked like a running film. I also added captions to the video while in MovieMaker. Although the images and text that I edited on jump around a little, it adds to the handmade effect and I think it actually works well as the whole concept of the project and platforms were to promote ‘design’ and tell the role of graphic communication in our future. In the real world, I thought that my animation would work well on a animated billboard, for example at a bus stop – that way it would be able to be seen by the public and sound is not needed for this location.

I enjoyed working on this project and liked how we were not given too much time to complete it, as we had been previously I felt during the interdisciplinary areas of field – we were given just the right amount of time to finish this individual project. I also enjoyed the fact that we were working individually during this project, after doing a lot of group work this term.


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