My experience with visual design has always been from the perspective of a user and consumer. That being said the first Visual Language assignment required students to analyze the design principles of a poster or similar form of graphic design. The exercise was great in helping me to take the basic design principles and techniques talked about in class and see how they can be applied to any graphic.
The design I chose to analyze was a poster for Outside Lands Music Festival, designed by Jason Munn.
I chose this poster because I’m a fan of the simplicity of the design and the use of color and negative space. As I began to analyze the principles of design used in the graphic it was easy to see that it adheres to all three fundamental principles (clarity, consistency, simplicity).
Beginning with clarity, the poster presents the viewer with relevant information immediately with the top two blocks being used for informational text about the festival and the acts performing. It is consistent in the three block structure and minimalistic graphics surrounded by a single outer frame. The simplicity of the poster is presented again in the use of three basic blocks and a very minimal bird drawn in the largest block
The block on the top left gives the name of the event and the dates it takes place.
Block number two (top right) lists all of the artists performing at the festival. there is no formal border around this block but the words are aligned in such a way that it completes the rest of the outer border and forms its own block.
The bottom, and largest block, is the focal point of the poster. In it there is an image of a bird holding a worm. The bird is interesting and simple because it is created out of the same color as the background, utilizing negative space. The overall drawing is very minimal as well which helps the eye flow through the entire poster with ease.
From my observation, the grid structure was composed of four horizontal grids. The main grid point is between the top two blocks, which feel as if they flow into each other, and the bottom block. The bottom block feels as if it could act as its own scene.
For the color palette the designer used earth tones that play well off of each other for this poster. The use of only four colors gives also adds to the feel of the poster. Using minimal earth tones complements the graphic on the bottom image and gives the overall poster a pleasing design.
Topanga JNL Regular was the only font used in the poster. This gives the poster a minimalistic feel.