Poster: Final reflections

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PRINTOUT IMAGE (natural sunny lighting [yellow tinge]) (artificial white light coming soon…):
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Once it had printed I immediately saw things that I would change to make improvements.  I could have made my paragraph size slightly larger. And the colour of the blue text on the white scarf should have been darker, mostly because the blue was fading and getting illegible on the shadows of the folds. And I realised that if I did this then I would probably also increase the size of my sentence (doing that would be less simple since I was fitting my sentence in such a restricted space – it’s entire placement might need changing).

Other than that I feel like despite this project being super short I did learn something. Mostly it was how I shouldn’t do overkill by hooking the hook. And then how different posters require different solutions (I got this by looking at my work and my peers’ works). Some looked better with a box behind text, some didn’t need any box, mine needed an organic kind of background. I also need to remember that text needs breathing space. I noticed that I often restrict the framing box too much. Another thing I should remember is that I should test more than once. If I had tested just once more, before doing the final, then I would’ve noticed all the things that needed improving. I later (during the critique) also learned that the type in the image didn’t need to match the type of the sentences as paragraphs.

Things I struggled with…making the fabric photographed weeks later, look like it was integrated with the image. And then showing up text on a textured background. I never realised that it would be so difficult to make text look legible. I found composing and placements difficult too. throughout the process I switched between using intervals in the image to the rule of 3rds and by the end of it, still wasn’t sure of myself. It was only at the end where I created a grid (like what I did for sentences and paragraphs) that I felt that the quadrants worked better. And remembered that I had the liberty to break my own rule slightly if necessary. Colour choices weren’t easy for two reasons; the colour needed to look good/complement the image and overall composition AS WELL as being legible.


Poster: Final phase

Based on the feedback, first thing I did was the simplest thing (to avoid the complicated part). I altered my name so that it flowed better with the logo. I positioned it differently, but the bottom left looked the best at the end (other positions looked off and weird). I even thought that arabic would look good since the flow of the logo is from right to left, but the font type didn’t match (too thin). Typographyposterkhalilgibrantheprophet00013

First I tried again to make the ‘box’ work (because I felt like I didn’t have time to do the fabric idea). I thought making the box ‘burn’ would blend it better, but it was still clearly a box. I even tried rotating the type. Nope. Not good.

 I accepted that I should photograph the fabric. I had to go through a tedious process of editing on photoshop, then placing in Indesign, then going back if it was in the wrong position. Anyway, the first fabric style was too flat. Like a scroll. It was clearer to see the type on this, but it looked unnatural. I used another photograph where the fabric looked more spontaneous. I tried the idea of putting type on the suitcase but that was even more illegible than the carpet (no matter which colour I tried).

 adjusted the placement of the text to match intervals (of the paragraph above, which i aligned to the . Once I’d done that I had to adjust the positioning of the fabric.

There were issues with the colour of the text on the white fabric, the initial blue was too light, I had to use different blues from the image.

 adjusting the sentence structure. I couldn’t get the type to look nice, legible, have the proper size AND follow an interval. In the end I ended up changing the font from ITC Garamond bold to just Garamond. It fit the area better without losing size.

I chose to have the positioning like this because I wanted the viewers eyes to go from the word, to the sentence, to the paragraph and back up (in a circular motion).

I was still struggling with the other paragraph. I had nowhere to place it well and make it look legible. Another fabric would look too intentional. On the current fabric wasn’t legible. I tried something where I took that area of the carpet and took it into photoshop, applied gaussian blur and used curve adjustments to darken the carpet slightly. It looked tacky.

My friends helped me by suggesting to make the type slightly bigger. The problem with this was that I had to sacrifice my perfectly broken lines and shorten the character length. I also had to make my type for english slightly larger (I made both arabic and latin bolder too).

 Final adjustments of the sentences and paragraphs. My solution for the sentence when it touched the suitcase (but was on the grid) was to shift it away from the grid every so slightly. And to make the paragraph legible I experimented with lighter font colours, in the end a bluish white worked.


Poster: First phase and feedback before final

So I began some of my experimenting earlier (when we were given a brief introduction):Typographyposterkhalilgibrantheprophet00001
This was only to start off. Then I stopped because I was falling behind on the paragraph.

When I got around to focusing on the poster I made these:

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^Problems? My idea was heavily inspired by the kind of work we were doing in Imaging. I used overlays, shapes and bands of blending modes to make the image look ‘interesting’.
The idea was also heavily flawed as I found out from the discussion.

I’m quite ‘over-exuberant’ with my experimentation. Also, the logo was designed ‘black and white’ and we can’t mess with the logo. I had to keep it black and white, and not mess with the scale. Another thing was that I was ‘smothering’ my hook. Instead of showcasing my word I tried creating a hook of it (a hook of my hook). I shouldn’t double my hook.
Another thing that I had sensed was a problem (but was hoping that it wouldn’t be) was that the text on the carpet texture was illegible. 
The professor pointed out that I had already created landmarks for intervals for myself. I did? I didn’t realise until he pointed out the suitcase and stuff in my image. I could either use them or use the 3rds rule.

This was also the lesson where we properly learned the ‘technicalities’ of making a poster:

  • posters are always about message delivery
  • GRAB ATTENTION – number one thing. Hook
  • posters – industrial revolution – newspapers
  • walking -designed for pedestrian society. people had time to stop and read. these days there are not many pedestrians so not many posters (in some areas)
  • We’re post poster!
  • ^ helps understand how to communicate a message. How to create a Hook. > helps with design in general.
  • Distance in space – hook is bait from distance. depends on context
  • 1st level – hook – on  average 15-10m hook should catch audience’s eye.
  • Hierarchy for hook:
  • Image (photographic or type as image) – catch and grab.
  • then reel it in.
  • 2nd level – on average halfway distance – information is revealed (via text at a certain scale, image at a scale)
  • 3rd level – all the info (poster will now reveal itself).
  • Consider: Placement – composition – SCALE – contrast
  • LOGO – name next to it can be black and a color – complementary or the same.
  • ^ can go in a corner, depends. centre on bottom, and top or edges
  • you can frame things in boxes, layered on top of each other. It has DEPTH.
  • Hook is further back in the picture plane (image).

So after the first discussion, I started doing some research to know where to place my logo. I didn’t want to integrate it too much, that it look forced or took away from the composition but I didn’t want it to seem like it was there to just be there.

I experimented with a bunch of fonts to get something that would match the logo style (Avenir, Fedra serif, baskerville is too thin? Bauhaus, matches logo…but looked ugly ugly. Abadi. future)


 This looked best

 The type for the sentences also had to be adjusted from caecilia to garamond (to match the rounded finials in the type for euphoric). Initially I thought that the type didn’t have to match the type in the image (since it was now more of an image than type). But my friend suggested that it needs to match, otherwise it would look odd.

 deciding between whether to wrap the box around the type strictly (making a smaller area for the outdented sentence) or whether to make it like a rectangle all the way around.

wrapping the box looked better, the struggle was getting aesthetic colours, I used the eyedropper tool to pick colours from the image, but most of them looked gross.

 using the suitcase and letters as a landmark

still deciding between colours

 I used the interval between the h and the suitcase to distance my paragraphs. This way the left paragraph didn’t line up with the stem of the p, it looks odd but the space between the paragraphs (around the h’s stem) looks balanced. I tried to get the outdent to have a relationship with the serif of the h.

 Making final choices in the colour of the paragraphs. black and blue looked the best.

 experimenting with different placements for the sentences

 I decided to use the suitcase and the letter r as intervals to place my sentences.

 what I had tiled for the critique.

Pre-final CRITIQUE:

Here I thought i was close to being done.
Even though my choices of colour of blue type (with black) works. the box around it is too restricted, I need to give space to the type (around 2 ms). I could also vary the blues.

And interesting suggestion I got was to instead of a box, I could use fabric. The box looks unnatural for the image in my case.

The thing is, I knew something was wrong with the box since I questioned my choice of it’s colour during the critique (when they asked what I needed to discuss). I didn’t realise that it was the box itself that looked out of place and not the colour.

The size of the sentence type was also too small, in comparison to the word. It was also too spaced out, it could be clumped together or in a line. 

This part I didn’t get:
The paragraphs need to be related to more significant landmarks, my current intervals weren’t clear enough. I was suggested that I could put text in the frame of fabric of the suitcase, to look more natural and connect more to the image and take the eye around in a circle. 

When it came to the others some were too symmetrical in their compositions.

I understood that could break the idea of the grid at some point, to create more emphasis. So, align and have a grid or break the grid? align strictly and then break on thing?

Since I wasn’t sure about what they said during the critique I discussed it again. What I understood this time was that I shouldn’t force alignments of intervals and compositions. I could use the rule of 3rds and intervals as guides but I shouldn’t be too hesitant to break the rules.

Paragraph: Final reflection

The professors noted that there was a marked improvement from what we had at the beginning. They asked us why. I was not sure how to answer that question. Some of the students talked about their ‘aha’ moment. Apparently they had one. But honestly, I don’t remember having one. Actually I did. It was when I saw my A4, when I outdented one line and saw how it looked I remember thinking that it looked amazing in a super ‘aha’ moment. But that was it. I wasn’t sure whether that was because it actually looked good or because I was tired and liked unaesthetic…Especially since when I went around getting feedback it wasn’t very positive.

We talked about concepts during the critique. Apparently one thing we’d all figured out was how important concepts were. Again, I wasn’t sure I had a concept. But then I thought back to Design Tech and remembered that a concept doesn’t have to be a story. So, my concept was probably emphasis. Emphasising specific things. Like the ‘carved’ line in the A4. Not sure whether I had one in A5. I don’t think I did. Which is probably why it’s my least favourite. I really don’t like it compared to the other two.

One thing that I did realise I’d done was create limitations for myself, and then let myself break my own system ever so slightly (not so slight with A3). Again, I know I didn’t do this with my A5. Apart from using justified text, there was no conceptual rule breaking.

The general feedback I got was how the brick had been constricted too close to the text and was popping out too much. Another thing to consider was how close it was to the text on the left. I remembered noting this once I was done, but at that point it was too late to do anything about it. I had also considered shifting it but was unable to come up with a solution to create enough space without the block looking central. Now I think that maybe I could have reduced the height of the block, to make it less dramatic. Or shift the text on the left just a little bit.

When they said there was a marked improvement I didn’t really see it, but when I look back at my initial experiments there is definitely a difference. I don’t know how. Again, I’m not sure when this happened. But I ended up learning how to have a balance of control, vs not so controlled. My general experience was mixed. The end result was satisfying. But I found working with sentences a bit easier than working with paragraphs. Even though sentences didn’t use up a lot of white space (so we had to consider their placement even more) there was less to consider in terms of tracking, alignment, line breaks. This project forced me to consider all these things at once. It was tasking, but it helped.

To go further with this, I’m already working on the poster. But if I didn’t have to do that, then one of the questions that I was asked was what I’d try out. I was asked how I would make the A3 flat. I thought of a few options, one of which I’d already done. Photography, Scanning and physically flattening it to do a scan again.

Photographs of the final submissions:






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^I’m not afraid to say that I love this image. The light and the dark. And the fact that the light is shining on the box that has the ‘deep’ part of the poem. And the fact that the shadow is on the part that is talking about how there is some conflict between people, which is better than which is unclear (in the shadows).





Paragraph: Final planned experiments (work on final)

When it came to the final experiments, I remade my grids. Instead of splitting my pages into quadrants, I focused on making a grid (and added gutters) that I could follow for most of my paragraphs. I also experimented with the baseline grid, even though I thought that it would restrict the way I compose using the grid.

Despite using the grid, areas like these ones continued to happen: Where it wasn’t clear how to use the grid.


And then there were areas where getting the same type of interlocking shape (from last time) was turning impossible because of the grid (and because I had changed my typefaces to match more). A friend recommended that I change my arabic type too, from a kufic, modern and informal looking one to a more poetic looking one, because apparently the content didn’t look very flattering at all in the other type.

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I also finally figured out how to properly use the baseline grid. before I hadn’t set my preferences to match the leadings, so the lines always snapped together weirdly:

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^ I started to get somewhere using the grid properly, but then rivers started to form in the english type. Arabic rivers were a bit easier to disguise using kashidas. But even then, i couldn’t go too extreme without it looking stupid. I tried changing the composition so that I could avoid rivers. Tracking lines just ended up looking really odd and unnatural in an ugly way. A5 was killing me.

At the end of it it was choosing between these 2. Again, last minute friend critiques helped. One mini experiment I did happened by accident. While cutting my A5s I accidentally chopped the paper in half (middle). I Tried a few things, like slightly shifting the top half of a line to look like a physically crafted ‘italic’. noted this as a possible end for something. It was a cool concept… I ended with the one on the right.

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I started working on A3 and realised things like the leading was too big or the font size was too big. I was surprised at this, because the font size was much smaller than the size of my sentences. I realised here that of course it would be different, paragraphs and sentences work differently (the paragraph couldn’t be too big, it would look silly. The sentences were like callouts).

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I really looked at my fonts at this point. Comparing the details and serifs to the arabic type that I wanted to use.

I also began to make grids that matched one of my key paragraphs (top right, the arabic chunk of text that I wanted to emphasise – it was an uber poetic part of the poem and sounded extra poetic in arabic). So instead of just splitting my page into squares equally, I began to change the way the grid looked:


So I landed on a design I liked (img67), but friends suggested that the i adjust the justification of the key paragraph, since it’s in the centre of all the perfect edges. They had to guide me through where putting Kashidas would look the best, it depended on each letter and line (img68).

Next I tried to arrange my boxes in a more ‘dynamic’ way (img69). The first image (67) looked to central. Which was a problem I had last time too. But doing that was proving to be more difficult. There were points where I was completely avoiding the centre and points where it just didn’t look very nice anymore. With the one on the (bottom right), it looked very interesting, but again, I wasn’t sure about the tension and I knew I wanted to ‘extrude’ that paragraph, So I had to have a gap between two chunks of text and couldn’t have it that close.

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Throughout my work process I had to keep in mind that the order in which the reader reads should be comprehensible, and there shouldn’t be a competition between two chunks of text.


Making the block. I need a square/rectangle cutter. It took me several tries to get right angled edges (the first few times I didn’t use a board).


Next I tried to use some kind of interval, to judge the height of the block:


Didn’t halve the interval or use the interval of the text right next to the chunk, because that would be too short.

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^ After I was done, I felt like the interval I had used was slightly taller than it should have been. It stuck out too far? But if it didn’t stick out a lot then it would not produce tall/strong shadows. I will never know what’s right.

For A4, ……

I was fiddling and decided to try outdenting. a specific sentence. I thought that this could be the sentence that I slice and physically italicise. Instead, outdenting created a huge impact. I had picked a line that was meant to sound very poetic (english this time) and realised that outdenting also matches the concept of that line. The line talks about carving. Outdenting looks a bit like what the line talks about

A lot of people found it annoying that there was one line sticking out. The one on the right was a lesser annoyance from most (I went around asking a lot of people). To be honest I liked it better too, it fit the horizontal flow better. gestalt?


I thought that having two outdents could reduce the annoyance, but it ended up not looking good:


I still felt like it was an option, since I outdented specific lines that complemented each other, but to someone, it looked like two buildings, with a bridge and a balcony. Someone else gave a more sane critique saying that the way to  read it is disturbed. With the first outdent, it’s clear that it’s a part of the paragraph and the order in which it is read. But the second one is confusing, because it looks like it’s growing out of the latin type, or leading on from it.

So the horizontal flow/gestalt one it was.



Paragraph: Final feedback and indents notes

So we experimented with the other page sizes too. After working with just A4 the whole time, this was a bit more challenging than it should have been. I’ve included photos of what I showed of each size to get feedback.


^ For A5. First let me complain about the printer messing up the print  so many times, on the left. Ok. So this was the first time that I properly experimented with kashida. And this was mostly because I really wanted to justify my text. I didn’t see any problems with this, unless there are rivers. So kashidas saved my life when it came to arabic text. For english, it was a lot of adjustments to avoid rivers.

Apparently the one on the right was the most promising. Adjustments like fixing the ‘intervals’. Intervals. Always intervals.


^ A4, again, the way the one on the right was fitting worked well, but again, the way the ‘intervals were, wasn’t working.

***photo of A3 w/feedback

The basic feedback that I got for most of my work was how I STILL wasn’t using intervals and grids properly. So the professor set up a grid for me and showed me one to one. I think I get it. Maybe. What I get is that I can’t go halving my gridlines, because even though I’m still following the grid, if it’s too tight, then the viewer won’t be able to detect ANY system. So I need to work on my intervals. And even the slightest thing being off from the grid can be detectable, so I need to cheat wisely.

Apart from getting feedback (before the due date) we also were shown how to indent, outdent and got refreshers on invisibles, returns , hanging indents etc.

Image of notes on indents and outdents***.

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You can cancel hyphenation on paragraphs. I never knew. I wish I’d learned this earlier. I also finally learned the difference between hard return and soft return: Hard is when it creates a paragraph (adding space before it will put some space. Soft doesn’t turn the what has been returned into a paragraph. It’s easy to see the difference when the invisibles are on, the shape (pilcrow) is visible.