During class, we did an exercise with tracing paper and our poster drafts. While outlining each block of information and labeling them in order of importance, I realized that my poster is a little ambiguous in the latter regard. The first two pieces are easy to identify: the large Optima in the center, and the medium font beneath it that reads ‘A humanist sans serif font’. However, it is unclear which of the two blocks of text above and below it should come next. Naturally, the eye wants to continue to move downwards. However, that leaves the reader having to start over at the top to read the entire top half of the information.
To resolve this ambiguity, I can arrange the text differently. In my initial design, I arranged the text to form a beautiful swoop, with the thickest part in the middle. This was inspired by the fact that Optima font is characterized by its gently flared ends, which mimic serifs. I think I can better convey this message by arranging the text to flow from top right to bottom left, similar to the letter A in the Optima typeface. I would put the main chunks of information (Optima and humanist sans serif font) on the bottom to form the larger base, and also embolden the phrase ‘gently flared terminals’ in the body of the text itself. Alternatively, and as depicted in one of the sketches in my previous post, I could use the negative space to form the flared shape, which would provide more space for the text and allow me to use a larger point size.
Following the ideas outlined above, I produced a draft of my poster.
The hierarchy I intend to implement here begins with Optima at the bottom. This is emphasized by its very large point size, horizontally centered placement, and dark color. Next is the line above it, which is set in a typeface larger than much of the body text, and is also in a dark color. Moreover, the linespacing helps distinguish it from the remainder of the text. I next want to highlight the features of the font, which are the phrases colored black. Finally, the reader can choose to read the rest of the text and knows to start at the top both because that is where the eye naturally goes when searching for a beginning, but also because of the larger point size.
Button badge designs
Before beginning work on InDesign, I made several sketches. Here are some images:
I reproduced my favorites on Illustrator.
In the first design, I used the letter T because it best exemplifies the gradual flaring that characterizes this font. The bottom edge is not parallel to the top edge.
In the second design, I alluded to how it is inspired by Roman architecture, and arranged black T’s and grey I’s to form a Pantheon-like structure.
In the third design, I used a pun and made the word Optima into ‘optimal’. I chose a small size for Optima to balance the bottom leg of the L.