Project 2: Visual Hierarchy
Today I was asked to do a series of exercises to become familiar with some of the design principles we were introduced to in class:
Contrast, proximity, scale, alignment, color.
For the passage/content, I chose the Pittsburgh Dance Company. We did six exercises revolving around the content provided to us, playing around with contrast and proximity.
In this pdf are the exercises I did during studio. I experimented with type contrast, type groupings with indentations, and a combination of the 2.
The limitations of these exercises were that there were only so many different ways to create a visual hierarchy with the very limited toolset we had. Especially considering what information took priority, I found it hard to create new and unique ways of creating hierarchy while preserving the focus on the important phrases. However, this exercise also had many affordances, including learning to use the fewest number of visual elements/principles to create visual hierarchy and understanding what exactly each element adds or does to create hierarchy.
Some things from class 09/09/21:
- Greater contrast when weights are further apart.
- Space and proximity are very powerful at creating grouping and relating content to each other.
- Setting custom tabs because the standard ones are funky.
- Noting the positive space and form created by large tabs and columns.
Today I worked on creating iterations based on scale and color for Tuesday’s class. I was able to play around with the size of the type and create some color schemes that fit my topic.
Because the Pittsburgh Dance Council hosts a variety of contemporary and urban dance, I wanted to create a more dynamic layout with my fonts. I also wanted to make bold, rule-breaking, risky, and fun layouts with the type to keep it engaging.
I used these cutouts to create some layouts.
I brought these paper layouts into Adobe Illustrator. I did some refining, adjusting spacing, type size, and moving some things around to make 4 compositions I was happy with.
With the colors, I wanted to choose some bold, expressive, and vibrant colors that also indicated a level of elegance.
I ended up coming up with 3 different color palettes, and I used 2 of them to add color to my spreads.
I feel like color and type can create so much differentiation between the different elements on a spread. However, I think at a certain point it becomes distracting and takes away from the communication at its core.
These are the images I have selected for tomorrow's class.
I continued to make iterations of the poster, but this time I included images, color, and text. With a whole new element added into the mix, it was very easy to create a messy and incohesive poster.
I started with some images I felt conveyed the idea of contemporary dance. 2 were block prints that I had made in the past and the other 2 were photographs off of Unsplash.
I did some color corrections and minor adjustments and placed them into my posters to create some different interesting visuals.
As of now, my favorite of the 6 is the one with the dynamic type. However, there still are a few issues regarding the composition. I think I’m going to shift something down into the bottom right corner. Alternatively, I want to create some sort of element that flows into that bottom right corner.
For the past 4 days, I have been working on refining my posters for the final critique on 09/21/21. After multiple iterations, I felt that the poster utilizing dynamic text was the most successful of the 6 versions I created for last class.
I asked Vicki and Yoshi to critique my posters and wrote down a few things.
Focusing on the dynamic text, I wanted to improve flow and readability within the poster. I also wanted to keep things consistent with the type sizes and colors. I used my original color palette of red and teal.
I decided to go with the 5th image as my final poster because it utilized both hierarchy and motion the best of the 5 different iterations I made. This poster flowed better with the hand of the dancer pointing to the website at the end. It also felt breathable with the amount of information given while also giving dynamic movement to the text. The bright red “Pittsburgh Dance Council” told the viewer what to look at first, while the large, bold text told the viewer what the content was about.
After today’s critique, I wanted to go back in and fix a few things.
- type size
- hierarchy of type
- drawing in someone who isn’t necessarily as interested in dance
- the dancing figure’s prominence
The main issue from today’s critique was that the color of the type and the color of the figure contrasted too much. Andrew pointed out that the red was much too strong and wanted to see it pulled closer to the teal. Though I really enjoyed the red and teal combination since it illustrated the bold and expressive qualities of the Pittsburgh Dance Council, I had to agree that it wasn’t working as effectively in terms of hierarchy as I would like it to be; the red also shares a similar frequency to black, which ends up make the red hard to read from a far distance. I decided to experiment with a couple different variations in color and proximity to make some minor, final adjustments.
The monochromatic versions didn’t have the same appeal or magic that the previous ones did. I felt like they were quite bland and lost the character that they once had.
However, I really enjoyed the yellow type. It doesn’t feel like its doing its own thing, but it also keeps the bold character I was chasing.
I settled on the yellow type and decided to adjust some small proximity issues to resolve some of the hierarchical issues. I gave the type some more space between clusters to make the different sections of information more apparent. I didn’t want to move things around too much because I wanted to keep what made this poster so unique.