Project 2: Horizontal Design

I had some pretty big (medical) interruptions throw off my week last week, so all my assignments have been crammed together pretty tightly. I was only really able to spend a few hours on my posters, which led to work that was plain, albeit sensible.

My first iteration of the horizontal layout.

I don’t want to say that I wasn’t pleased with what I brought to the critique on Tuesday, but I would definitely say that I was limited by time and it shows in both submissions. That said, I feel like I was absolutely in a good place to get critical feedback on my work and continue to modify it.

What I was happiest with, at least for the horizontal layout, was the text placement. I have at least some experience designing for web, and I was definitely sure I wanted to leave a visually impactful splash as the header with several modules of information aligned underneath. The critique definitely highlighted a lack of color and image in my work, so that was my main focus point.

Given the tight timeline on my first round, I didn’t bother hunting for images that 1) I would have the rights to, 2) had sufficiently high resolution, and 3) that conveyed the architectural message I wanted. Now that I had a bit more time to think it through, I wanted to be more thorough. First, I considered my knowledge of architectural imagery and found myself thinking of two buildings in particular: the Walt Disney Concert Hall in LA and the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle. I then remembered the common link between the two, architect Frank Gehry. Finally, I remembered that I had the perfect set of images to pull from: my own photos from an exhibition of Gehry’s work at the LACMA a few years ago! I also had photos of both the concert hall and the museum to pull from.

A photo of a model made by Frank Gehry’s architecture firm, on display at the LACMA (2015)
Another photo of a Gehry model at the LACMA (2015)
Photo of the Walt Disney Concert Hall in DTLA (2014)
Photo of the Museum of Pop Culture in Seattle (2014)

My next goal was to incorporate some of these images into my design by following the relatively common (and effective) web template of high-res splash image.

My second pass at the horizontal layout.

I had mixed feelings about this one. I was really pleased with the composition of the image on the poster, but the colors felt weak still. The soft green matched the palette of the image, but didn’t offer the visual impact I was looking for. I tried using other images, but kept coming back to the texture of the one I had chosen first.

After a lot of experimentation in Illustrator and Photoshop, I found myself playing with some dramatic color scheme changes.

Orange/Blue and Red/Cyan colorations

Both of these images kept the texture and depth I liked in the original image, but the dramatic and vibrant colors gave them the pop I wanted. They also gave me some color schemes to use for the rest of the text, and I was able to come up with a couple versions that I really loved. The red/cyan one also has a bit of a Gaussian blur to it, which I’m still not 100% sure about, but I’m leaving for now.

Side-by-side comparison of the two horizontal layouts.

While I personally prefer the red/cyan color scheme, I think the orange/blue version is more cohesive due to the white text in the bottom half. Since there’s still a while until submission, I’ll probably continue to think on it or ask for some feedback from Vickie & Jillian. No matter what, I think these versions are leaps and bounds better than what I brought into the first critique and I’m excited to bring this new perspective to the vertical format as well.

[edit] After a bit more review, I noticed some glaring issues with the last iteration of the blue/orange version. Here’s an updated version, that I’m much more pleased with!

I fixed the black ‘r’ in ‘Theater’, adjusted the blue to better match the image (though it still might need some toning down), and changed the export settings to use RGB color so things looked more consistent for a screen.

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