4 weeks, Advanced Typography, 2018
A bold and eye catching poster inspired by advertisements, infomercials, and college student’s love of free stuff with a twist; to inform college students about policies and initiatives that are up for a vote in Washington State and the importance of the 2018 midterm elections.
The initial goal of this project was to motivate college students to vote in the 2018 midterm election. I was interested in going in a direction that would be eye-catching and get people to move closer in order to learn information about the midterms. Once they were closer, they could learn a bit about local initiatives and other topics that would be important. I wrote the copy with phrases that you'd hear in an infomercial, making the tone a bit tongue in cheek.
After initial brainstorming, I chose to continue with the idea that college students could be drawn in by the promise of free stuff. So I started progressing on the visual language I wanted to create and honing in on how I could make this idea apply to voting. The images below show my initial inspiration for my design:
On the left, I liked that you're drawn in before understanding the most important information. The phrase gives you a moment of confusion, and you have to get close to get the point of the poster.
On the right, the bright and poppy visuals inspired me to use similar shapes and draw some inspiration from things that aren't typically considered good design, like infomercials.
I then started to build my visual language and adding elements that would draw someone in and also clarify what I meant by Free*.
Most of the process was spent focusing in on the main point behind the poster, the hierarchy of the 30-10-5 rule, and an appealing triadic palette that looks visually appealing and is legible when printed. I also needed to find a balance between leaning into the humorous style while making sure the poster wasn’t flat or as kitschy as an actual infomercial.
On the left, I started to create the main word as image that became the base of the concept. But what point did I want to make once the viewer gets closer? I considered listing concepts starting with free, such as free speech, but thought, for the purpose of the poster, I could create more of a funny, sarcastic tone. I chose to switch the exclamation to an asterisk, showing that the freedom is not inherent, but something that is specifically affected by how citizens choose to be involved in the political process.
In the middle, I continued to see if people could understand what the different pieces of information meant. While I didn't want to be too obvious, I also noticed some confusion, such as the 11.06 appearing like a price instead of a date. The poster was also still flat at this point and I knew it needed more texture.
On the right, I wanted to see if the hierarchy and visual language used for the elements were appropriate. I knew I had to shrink the yellow parts a bit so they didn't overpower Free, which I hoped to be the first part someone would look at. The smaller burst also needed more attention, and the overall dot pattern was making the whole poster flat. For the final version, I ended up separating out the larger starburst to have it pop further off the background along with a small gradient.
After finalizing our posters, I then got to help my professor, Annabelle Gould, along with 2 other classmates to hang the posters from our class publicly. Not only was it fun to see our work in Parnassus, a café in our building on campus, it was also really great getting to hear other people at the café reacting to the work we had done. The end goal of the project was to get students excited about voting in the midterms, so I loved immediately hearing the buzz from students discussing the upcoming midterm election!
I consider myself a politically and socially conscious person, so getting to actually put our posters up in front of students and know they’re serving their intended purpose was incredibly satisfying. I overall enjoyed the topic behind this poster and am excited to see what I can do in the future regarding social issues and design.