[Project 4] Complete Documentation

For this project we are tasked with making a 3 poster series that visually demonstrates three different arts events held within a single arts festival.

Poster Research

After listing out a few topics I was interested in (dance, art, music, food), I finally decided to design posters for a music festival. I enjoy music, and I’ve been to a few music festivals, so I thought it would be fitting. But I wasn’t sure what kind of bands I would want at this festival. I could only choose three, so I wanted to make sure their music genres aligned at least a little bit.

Then after a little more deliberation, I finally decided to pay tribute to three of my favorite music artists: the xx, Purity Ring, and Ta-ku. All three artists’ music is on the relaxed/chill side.

Name of Arts Festival: Spring Daze (title pending)

Title of Event 1: Intro

Name of Artist 1: the xx

About the xx: The xx is an English indie pop group that was formed in London when the band members were still in high school. Captivating and cool, the group cites influences that run the gamut from R&B to classic alternative rock. The group’s signature brand of moody, soulful indie rock first appeared on the public radar in early 2009. They will kick off the festival with the event “Intro,” fittingly named after the first track of their 2009 album.

Date, time, and location of event: April 20th, 10PM, Stage AE

Relevant ticket information including price, how to purchase, etc: $99 for 3-day pass on TicketMaster

Title of Event 2: Songs to Ta-kabout (“Songs to Talk About”)

Name of Artist 2: Ta-ku

About Ta-ku: Regan Mathews, better known by his stage name, Ta-ku, is an Australian musician, producer, and photographer. Ta-ku has released two EP’s and recently released an album in collaboration with singer-songwriter Wafia. He has also remixed several well-known songs. His music has hip-hop and R&B influences, but has a distinct style that makes it easily recognizable. He headlines the second event of the festival, with Songs to Ta-kabout, a play on the titles of his first two EP’s.

Date, time, and location of event: April 21st, 10PM, Stage AE

Relevant ticket information including price, how to purchase, etc: $99 for 3-day pass on TicketMaster

Title of Event 3: One Last Eternity (title pending)

Name of Artist 3: Purity Ring

About Purity Ring: Purity Ring is a Canadian electro-pop duo (Megan James and Corin Roddick) that began when the two members were originally part of an indie rock act. While the band was on tour, they grew increasingly inspired by the sounds of contemporary R&B and wanted to make music reflecting that. During live shows, both wear clothes custom designed and sewn by James, and Roddick uses a custom-built, tree-shaped instrument to drive both live sound and lighting. The will close the festival with “One Last Eternity,” an homage to their recent album, Another Eternity.

Date, time, and location of event: April 22nd, 10PM, Stage AE

Relevant ticket information including price, how to purchase, etc: $99 for 3-day pass on TicketMaster

First Sketches

I knew that for my poster series I wanted all the posters to be minimalistic, but still capture the “essences” of the artists so just one look at the individual posters would tell viewers which artist is represented by which poster.

For the xx, I knew I wanted to use their iconic “x” somewhere on the poster. Everything else could be added in to complement the “x”.

iconic logo
the xx initial sketches

For all the posters, the image placeholder would be the logo for my festival, Spring Daze. The first poster kind of mimics the xx’s album covers, in that there is just one x in the middle, with a black background. The only problem I can see with the first poster is that I’m not sure where the actual band name would go. However, if the x is enough to get the message across, I think it should be okay.

The second poster plays off of the “x” idea more, except that I now use two x’s to both display the artist name but still give the 50-feet impression to viewers.

For the last one, I tried a 3-column grid, with most of the information in the middle column, and the “x” now scaled considerably larger compared to the other two posters. During our class in the Rare and Fine Books room, the curator mentioned to not be afraid of scale, so I thought I could play around with that idea in the last poster.

Purity Ring initial sketches

For the Purity Ring poster series, I was inspired by the set up they have whenever they perform live:

Lights setup

They have two curtains of light on either side of the stage, and a setup in the middle that functions as both an instrument and a lighting device.

Instrumental lights

The background for this series would probably also be all black, and the graphics would be a light color. The first poster was inspired by the circle in the backdrop of their live setup, but also because they feature a circle/circles on their website and on their most recent album. This poster would pretty much split a two-column grid.

For the second poster, I thought of keeping the circle but also adding some graphics that would act as the curtain of lights and frame all the information on the poster.

The last sketch features the instrumental light setup. I like this one because from afar fans would know that it is a poster advertising Purity Ring, but also it is interesting enough to grab someone’s attention from afar even if they didn’t know who they were.

Ta-ku initial sketches

Keeping with the all-black-background theme, I also tried to make the Ta-ku posters more minimalistic. The first two posters feature Ta-ku’s logo, although for the first poster I’m thinking of also adding a floral background that is reminiscent of his EP album covers.

EP Album Art
Collab Album Art

The second poster models the layout that he has for the EP album cover above. Since this layout would be extremely minimalistic I might add in some of the floral themes to accent the poster.

The last poster would just feature one big flower in the middle and have the rest of the information complement the flower.

I also drew up some preliminary sketches on the logo for my festival:

Digital Iterations

Potential Color Palettes

I wanted the three posters to be unified by a floral theme (as in Ta-ku’s album art), so I went with muted complementary colors that could still be used as colors for flowers.

the xx

I went with the initial design for the huge ‘x’ in the middle of the poster and a simple three-column grid.

Big x
Added text

My main problem at this point was the typeface for the “about” paragraph. If I kept the font as it is above, it wouldn’t be very legible. I experimented with different types of fonts, as well as the layout and positioning of the text.

Different text layouts
Different typefaces

I think I am going to keep either of the last two typefaces.

I also plan on adding a logo for my festival at the top of each poster.


The logo is supposed to represent a nice, relaxing spring day, so I have elements that represent a moon and a sun, and the text is in blue for the sky.

In order to tie the three posters together, I am going to be using flowers (inspired by Ta-ku’s album art) in different ways to add more flair to each poster.

I am going to be using this style of art as inspiration for the flowers:

I traced a few of the flowers and a leaf from the above images and filled in arbitrary colors. For my posters, I am going to change the colors of the flowers according to a different color palette.

After tracing the flowers, I started incorporating them into the ‘the xx’ poster.

I started out with trying to use the flowers to create the ‘X’ shape, but I thought it started to look very messy, with too many elements competing for attention.

I decided to move all the flowers into the background, and experimented with varying the opacities so they wouldn’t block any of the information on the poster. I wasn’t 100% satisfied with how any of them look, so I moved the flowers inside of the ‘X’ to see how it would look.

I think I like this version a lot better.


I went with a simple two-column grid so when I added the flowers, the information wouldn’t look too messy.

I think I like the floral background better on this poster than on the xx poster. I added some more flowers in the background to fill up some of the awkward gaps:

I also wanted to see how the poster would look if I just used one flower in the middle to frame “Ta-ku”, as per one of my original designs.

I rather like this version too.

Purity Ring

For Purity Ring, I went with the lights set up design and drew out a vectorized version of one of the light instrumental pieces.

At first, I had planned on adding flowers into the whitespace (as on the right), but I thought it wouldn’t have that great of an effect from afar, since I would have to shrink all the flowers down.

I decided to keep it simpler and just use the white lights as the main piece of the poster. I had a little trouble deciding how to incorporate the flowers into this poster, but then decided on adding them into a circle at the top of the poster, which also represents the band.

Here is what they all look like side-by-side so far:

Post-interim Critique

This critique was very helpful because we were able to get feedback in the middle of the process. Kaylee also gave us some general pointers, such as having the body of text be more concise, and communicating to the audience that these posters are advertising different events.

My classmates gave a lot of good feedback too:


In summary, for the next iterations of my posters, I needed to:

  1. Make the text easier to read
  2. Make the festival text larger/easier to read
  3. Be more consistent with the floral theme in the Purity Ring poster
  4. Make the formatting of the information a little more consistent in the Purity Ring poster
  5. Make sure the hierarchy is clear

The first thing I did was to make the festival text color brighter.

I also changed the information texts for each poster, so they were only about a sentence long.

Then, for each poster, I also increased the font size for the time/location information. For the xx poster, I also changed some of the relative sizing of the text (“the xx” vs. “Info”), and added “presents” to the festival logo.

I did the same for the Ta-ku poster with the text, and I also arranged the background flowers differently.

For the Purity Ring poster, I also changed the layout of the text to better match the other two posters. Per someone’s comment, I also added flowers to the white lights so it would be more consistent with the rest of the series. Someone also mentioned they wanted to see more of the yellow color, so I added more of the yellow flowers.

After talking to Julia, I ironed out some of the smaller details, such as making sure the logo on each poster was the same size, aligning the text properly, generally making sure the spacing between the lines wasn’t too tight, and also brightening the background colors. She also mentioned that the Ta-ku poster didn’t seem to fit well with the other two posters, because the other two posters’ flowers were contained in some other shape, so I also went back to my other version of Ta-ku and filled the big flower with other flowers.

After adjusting more small formatting details, I experimented some more with brightening the background colors.

I ended up with these as my final pieces:

Post Critique Reflection

All in all, I was very happy with my posters, and it was (again) really cool to see everyone else’s posters and the things they changed. I think now that we learned all these different concepts of communication design, the critiques that we gave everyone had much more substance, and the overall critique went at a much faster pace too.