I am teaching Desktop Publishing in fall 2020 at Lamar University. It is effectively a design class that covers all media. The students are required to build a portfolio of their assigned projects upon which they will be graded. I decided that I should do all the assignments myself to serve as examples. Of course, I am not going to claim they are all great, or that I necessarily spent the amount of time I expect the students to spend on the projects, but that is the privilege of rank.

Assignment 5: Posters/Fliers

This assignment is a combination poster and flier project. The class had to create a vertical poster with the dimensions of 11×17-inch paper for an event. The poster was then to be adjusted in some way to fit a letter-size format. I pulled out an old poster for The Art Studio, Inc.’s annual Alternative Show. The show is an open invitational show with works accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. For this particular poster, I reverted to a Dada-inspired aesthetic, pulling together a series of random images to create a Surreal image that is “alternative” in spirit. The background is taken from a bombed out WWII German town, which contrasts with the leaping girl, who represents a leap forward (I sepia toned the image to give it a retro feel). The exhibition is pugnacious and in-your-face, so I chose a boxer as a secondary image. The moths offer a softness — but not the prettiness of a butterfly. Overall, the effect is slightly off-beat — hopefully, “alternative.” For the smaller flier, below, I decided to just use the bottom of the poster, but I replaced the lower moth with The Art Studio logo.

I have created several Alternative Show posters over the years, drawing on multiple concepts. One of my favorite themes is Soviet revolutionary graphic design. The poster on the left below is an adaptation of the poster “Spring” by the Stenberg Brothers. I took a photo of a tenant at The Art Studio and put paintbrushes in her hand. I changed the overhead to a potter on the wheel. It is a classic example of “stealing” and adapting a design.

The poster below draws on the Russian design aesthetic of using type as image by using the word “ALT” to suggest a face in profile. In contrast to the poster at the top of the page, this is a stark visual image.

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