Sucker for Socker by Zoran Lucic:
This poster from Zoran Lucic’s “Sucker for Soccer” series makes good use of proportion in its design in order to be both visually pleasing and to draw our eye downwards from the “Denis Law” title to the illustrated figure. The typography creates a flagpole effect that fluidly divides the page into thirds and draws our eye to the left by putting the majority of the content on the lefthand side of the flagpole:
The poster design also loosely follows the Fibonacci sequence of proportion, making a nice visual hierarchy that starts with the typography and ends with the illustration:
“Spider & I” Film Poster:
This poster for the “Spider & I” film sequence (whatever that is) found on Julian Montague’s blog creates an unexpected visual hierarchy that draws one’s eye not to the film title, but to to the man’s face in the top left photo on the poster. The poster is arranged by a strict grid dividing the page into thirds vertically and halves horizontally:
Furthermore, the majority of the photos featured on the poster are rigidly symmetrical in their composition:
This allows the asymmetrical Fibonacci-inspired composition of the top left photo to dominate the poster’s arrangement, creating a striking contrast in visual proportion that draws one straight to the man’s eye featured in the photo:
It is in this way that the poster visually prioritizes the promise of drama offered in this photo over all else, including the film title, which takes second stage through dark color choice that does little to stand out against the poster’s black background.
Nicholas Blechman is an Editor and Designer for the indie publication Nozone, as well as Art Director for the New York Times OpEd Page. His interview in Becoming A Graphic Designer is particularly useful to me as I’m entering my studies of Graphic Design as a self-proclaimed illustrator and cartoonist (my webcomic, “The Youth,” can be seen here). In the interview he describes illustration as a component of editorial design, existing “in the context of a magazine, a layout, or a book,” and always being “at the mercy of designers and art directors.” In so many words, he describes illustration as constantly being in dialogue with editorial design, that “the most successful illustrators have a design sensibility,” which helps said illustrators to “package their work for art directors and be attractive to designers. Some illustrators even solve design problems using illustration (hand-lettering, using patterns, icon systems, and other graphic devices.)” Indeed, many of Blechman’s illustrations themselves are designed as incomplete editorial components, clearly intended to be used as supplements to larger editorial designs. Rather than trying to be center-stage to an editorial statement, his illustrations are understated and complimentary, which is undoubtedly an alluring distinction to editorial designers and art directors. Even for the two Nozone covers featured on Blechman’s site, where the illustrations are more central to the design, said illustrations exist as compliments to the magazine covers’ titles. In both designs, the illustration could not exist and make sense without the title, and likewise the title would not have the same impact without the illustration. Blechman’s interview, and the designs featured on his site, have taught me that all aspects of editorial design, including illustration, must exist together in a concurrent, symbiotic dialogue with one another. As such, I’ve gleamed that it is important for illustrators to remember that their work must exist as a compliment to the editorial design within which it is to exist in order to be attractive and useful to Designers and Art Directors.
Right Brain Design Examples:
Page from IDN Magazine
This is the first page of an article in IDN magazine that discusses the benefits of accidents in design done on computers and electronic devices. It purposely eschews a traditional magazine page layout in order to communicate the visual concept of chaotic design and manipulates readers into playing detective, piecing blocks of disjointed and non-uniform text into a logical argument in their own heads. The layout exists as an argument against the necessity of a grid-like structure in digital design, suggesting that noisier, more chaotic design can be rewarding to readers in a way that standard design can not.
"Rocky" movie poster by Olly Moss
This “Rocky” movie poster communicates a very strong, instantly recognizable visual idea for the film. It shows both the title character’s trial and triumph in running up the steps to the Philadelphia Museum of Art in very blunt, simple, non-verbal symbols. It immediately evokes an iconic moment in the film and the feelings that go with it without explicitly stating anything beyond the film’s title.
Left Brain Design Examples:
"The Little Drummer Girl" Book Cover by Matt Taylor
This book cover plays with a semi-rigid grid structure that, while highly organized, is dis-organized by the figure in the empty chairs slightly enough so as to be visually enticing. The illustration is much less abstract than the “Rocky” poster above, creating a visually logical and explicit depiction of a scene from the book (even though there isn’t any text explicitly stating “this is a man in an empty theater with flowers,” there can be little argument that that is what’s being depicted).
"Tinker-Taylor" movie poster by Matt Needle
A very logically organized visual and verbal definition of the words making up the film’s title. The hyper-rigid and explicit organization of the poster’s elements becomes quite intriguing when you realize that the poster offers no clues as to how these disparate identities might combine into a single person, suggesting that the main character in the film might be greater (more complex) than the sum of his parts. Though this piece uses the structure of a Left-brained design, it evokes a Right-brained idea in what it leaves out.
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