Assignment 1: Poster Layout in Theory and Practice

To create a successful poster there are some rules that  have to be followed, these are:
Contrast, typography and composition

Contrast is one of the most important parts of a poster as it’s what brings attention to the poster and helps the poster look good, however, when contrast is used too much it can result in being overbearing to the viewer.

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For example, this poster is a good example of the worst way to use contrast because, as a result of the saturation of the two main colours red and yellow, the poster is hard to look at. The over use of red against yellow is also a bad choice for contrast because the denotation for the colour combination red and yellow is fire, which is linked to danger and is off-putting and unwelcoming to the viewer.

The typography is also important to the poster as the style of the text denotes what impact the poster wishes to give off, by this I mean that, for example, using san-serif font would give the viewer the impression that the poster was much less formal compared to if it used serif font, using san serif can also create a sense of modernism and youthfulness which would be liked more by younger audiences while using serif fonts would create an air of formality and maturity which appeals more to older audiences. Also important to typography is the spacing of the words, if the words were too close together it is near impossible to read, however if it’s too spaced out the viewer may not realize the spaced out letters spell a word.

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As seen above the posters typography uses serif font which is fairly close together but has enough room between the two words to appear as two words, this creates a formal and mature image for the poster and gives off the impression that the film the poster is advertising isn’t child friendly.

This film poster also works as a good example of contrast used correctly, black and white are complementary colours that a viewer can enjoy looking at, then there’s the contrast of the purple colour on the models lips, eyes and the small print above the heading against the black and white which stands out against both, drawing the attention of the viewer to it.

Composition is the layout of where the text, images and other elements of a poster are placed.
Composition also has a type of rules that it follows, these are:
Rule of Thirds – Using rule of thirds is when the main object is put along a vertical or horizontal line or a point of intersection. The reason why doing this appears aesthetically pleasing is because when an object is put in the intersection or lines it looks more balanced and interesting, in theory. A foreground image increases depth and stance in landscape photos
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Golden spiral/Fibonacci’s ratio – Based on  a mathematical number that has been used for decades, the eye naturally falls to the centre of the spiral which is based on the golden ratio. It looks nice because the quicker a brain can process something the nicer it looks like and an image with the golden ration are processed faster meaning the brain is sent signals that the picture looks nice faster.
Leading lines – When you use leading lines they can cause the eye to naturally follow the lines, this means that you can get the viewer to look at the most important part of an image first without too much effort, it can also be used in terms of symmetry as shown below to create balance.
Rule of Odds – Much like the rule of thirds, the eye naturally goes to the centre of something, so if you used three shapes in a picture the eye would naturally go to the centre shape, this would look a lot nicer than having just two items in the picture as the eye would be drawn to in the middle and there would be nothing.
Z-Pattern Layout
The Gutenberg Diagram
Composition in use
Image result for film poster rule of thirds
Seen above is an example of a poster following one of the rules of composition, the rule of thirds. The poster uses the rule of thirds composition type, as seen by the grid that covers the poster, you can see how the main focus is in the central square, this is probably be cause the human eye naturally falls to the centre of an image if there is nothing to guide it somewhere else, such as a guiding line or the golden spiral, you can also see how the creator composed the poster so that the main focus point is in line with the title of the film, this is probably to keep the poster balanced and, once the viewer has seen the middle of the poster, where the main focus is, the eye would fall to below it, where the title is.

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