Gig poster – Don Figs
How did I get to version 2?
- Stayed with a ‘neutral’ compressed typeface.
- Kept the white space.
But…you’ve done bugger all!
Although some of the other revised posters are sort of minimalist, there’s nothing that’s text only in a ‘neutral’ font, so I thought I’d try that. And I’ve also not paid much attention to ‘the grid’ (see below). The yellow adds a little more variety.
You might not be interested to learn that in the second poster the rectangle from the top left of ‘DON FIGS’ to the right end of the lower yellow line is half the size of the page. That the bottom of the line ‘7 Sep…’ is the halfway point in this rectangle. Or that the gap above the text is one sixth the height of the page and that the gap to the left of the text is one third the width of the page. No?
What difference does it make?
A lot of design involves geometry. For page layout, especially newspapers and magazines, designers use a page grid. This ensures the publication looks consistent and makes it easier to plan layouts. A balanced, regular layout also looks pleasing and is easier for readers to use.
A grid can be useful on a poster, especially if it contains a lot of elements. For something like poster two, it’s not necessary. It’s not going to take much effort to arrange 3 lines of text and a line easily and neatly. But can arranging something on a grid improve a page’s attractiveness?
Did you feel that poster two was laid out attractively? Did you find it satisfying that the top margin is exactly half the height of the bottom margin? You might not have noticed the maths but your subconscious might have told you that there was something pleasing occurring. If not, perhaps I was using the wrong proportions.
You may have heard of the golden ratio. This is a ratio that’s supposedly been used to ensure attractiveness in the proportions of everything from the Parthenon to the iPod. Whether it has or not is an ongoing discussion. There’s also no proof that it is actually more attractive than any other ratio. It’s possible that we find it attractive because we see it everywhere. It’s more familiar than pleasing.
This may also be the case with regular proportions in design. We prefer them because we’re used to them.
Is there much value in using mathematical proportions to lay out a page? I don’t know. Sometimes maths is used to justify a design (like I’ve just done) but this is usually bullshit. Maths might be important in creating some successful designs but it doesn’t add value to the design itself.
Explaining a design using maths is like a waiter telling you all the great ingredients that your meal contains. It doesn’t mean it’s going to be delicious. There’s only one way to find that out.