Poster Recipes: The Art of Visual Flavors by Byoungil Sun

AIGA Los Angeles
Oct 17 · 4 min read

This post is part of our Poster Recipe Series, dedicated to getting an inside look into the techniques and design practices used by some of the world’s most remarkable artists in creating their posters.

Byoungil Sun’s works are a remarkable blend of the Eastern artistic traditions and the principles of European graphical arts. The influence of the Eastern philosophy is seen in the fluidity and tranquility of his imagery, and in his reverent attitude towards nature, while Byoungil’s other designs are sharp, precisely expressed visual messages which are the epitome of the Western school of poster design. This wondrous amalgamation is what makes his art so transparent and enigmatic at the same time.

~ Byoungil Sun

Ingredients

story/idea
identity
experiment
moderation
observation

Method (told by Byoungil Sun)

The reason I create posters is so that I can communicate with the world and express my opinions on subjects that matter to me. They help me empathize with people and hopefully help people come together for a common cause.

When thinking about ideas for a poster I focus on the concept and the method of execution. Different ideas often require contrasting ways of expression and I try to choose the most harmonious combination of the two.

Once I’ve decided on the concept, I try to express my idea in a way I’ve never done before, while at the same time making sure it will be a good fit with the overall theme of the poster. I never limit myself when it comes to materials I work with, but at the same time, I never choose a technique simply for the sake of the experiment.

I prefer to create my artworks by hand, whether it is something I drew, a photo I took or a piece I’ve cut out of paper. This process is designed to deconstruct my identity, to separate my individuality from my work, thus allowing people to see the art that is disassociated from any prejudice or misconceptions they may have about me as a person.

“A recipe for a good poster is the same as a recipe for a good Kimchi: having too much seasoning makes it too strong, but not having enough creates the dish that lacks distinction.” ~ Byoungil Sun

When the raw elements are ready I start looking at what I can do with them. This is the perfect time for an experiment. I spend many hours laying them out, thinking about the final image, the wording and the typography I may want to use for my poster.

Occasionally I refrain from using colors in my posters because I believe that simplicity is the best way to attract attention.

When all elements are set in place the design of my poster is finished, but my work isn’t over. I spent days agonizing over the completed poster even after it is up on the wall. I constantly question whether my intended message was received, my design was executed well and even whether the poster is truly completed.

For me a recipe for a good poster is the same as a recipe for a good Kimchi: having too much seasoning makes it too strong, but not having enough spices creates the dish that lacks distinction. A good poster’s job is to bring out the deepest visual “flavors” in order to truly touch and inspire its audience.


Interviewed, translated, and curated by Olga Severina.

Olga is an exhibition curator and graphic designer residing in Los Angeles, California. Having a passion for the graphic arts, Olga Severina founded PosterTerritory initiative that became a launching platform for contemporary art shows and poster exhibitions in the US and abroad. Under its umbrella, she curated graphic art campaigns, which tackled a variety of social issues and featured artworks by some of the biggest names in the international design community.

AIGA Los Angeles

Written by

Los Angeles Chapter of AIGA. Empowering the local creative community.

DesignToast

DesignToast observes timely and intricate issues, examines design history, and uplifts the new generation of designers–with a focus on the local community of Los Angeles.

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