Poster for contemporary classical music ensemble

Bald Condensed's picture

Hi everyone, I don't know if I'm done with this poster for
The Spectra Ensemble. Fire away.

Songs_from_Alice.jpg

William Berkson's picture

I don't know if it's just me, but I don't see a grotesque going with Classical music.

Isaac's picture

the contrast between the two faces is good. maybe the double p's should be in front of the image instead of behind. too bad about the information glut (i sympathize), but it's organized well. and, surprisingly, i like the color.

Dan Weaver's picture

Yves, love the mixture of sans and serif type it allows the eye to focus on areas of type, not be distracted by an even mass of color. As you said its alot of information for a poster. Could you make the logos at the bottom of the page smaller? All those different designs are visually disturbing. Especially the Acad--- logo by alice's foot. She'd hurt herself if she stepped on that one. Dan

aquatoad's picture

That is a lovely illustration.
I think the sans vs. serif is working out.

I think the composers name and the title could be a bit smaller. 80% of what you have now. and perhaps following the grid a bit tighter.

In general I'm looking for you to shrink things down so that you create more white space.

Possibly smaller body type by about the same %, but I'd keep the line spacing.

Also try de-emphasizing from. Maybe bring the top of the A in Alice up to the Bottom of the S in Songs. Then fit the from in the hole between the i and g? You might need to either go with a heavier weight for the "from," or possibly go lighter (just so it doesn't look close, but wrong).

Ok. Let's get nitpicky:
- More line spacing between the Dates (sans) and the Days.
- Info & Tickets phone numbers should all be flush left.
- Are you allowed to jam all the logos together on the bottom?

I think the layout you have going is a nice safe layout. Try something wildly asymmetrical (maybe using alice's line of vision to empasize the title in the opposite corner of the page).

Not crazy about the colors. I'm seeing earth tones. Maybe a yellow ochre. Maybe and olive with a touch more green.

Well. I've been staring at alphabets all day so I could be totally off base.

Cheers,
Randy

kakaze's picture

I thought that was Mrs Eaves...better hope Hrant doesn't see this.

heh


I'm liking the green...better than the red. Any chance we could get a PDF, or was that what you were trying to post in the first place?

eomine's picture

What's its size?

Dan Weaver's picture

Have some wine, the March Hare said in an encouraging tone. Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. I don't see any wine, she remarked. There isn't any, said the March Hare. Then it wasn't very civil of you to offer it, said Alice angrily. It wasn't very civil of you to sit down without being invited, said the March Hare. I didn't know it was your table, said Alice; it's laid for a great many more than three. Your hair wants cutting, said the Hatter.

Dan Weaver's picture

One pill makes you larger
And one pill makes you small,
And the ones that mother gives you
Don't do anything at all.
Go ask Alice
When she's ten feet tall.

And if you go chasing rabbits
And you know you're going to fall,
Tell 'em a hookah smoking caterpillar
Has given you the call.
Call Alice
When she was just small.

When the men on the chessboard
Get up and tell you where to go
And you've just had some kind of mushroom
And your mind is moving low.
Go ask Alice
I think she'll know.

When logic and proportion
Have fallen softly dead,
And the White Knight is talking backwards
And the Red Queen's "off with her head!"
Remember what the dormouse said:
"Feed your head. Feed your head. Feed your head.."

You can just hear Grace Slick belting out this one, Dan

hrant's picture

Funny stuff!

Yves, very nice. I like your font choices*, and I prefer burgundy.
And it's smart of you to make the phone numbers unusually large. What about a URL?

* For Mrs Eaves just use InDesign's "optical spacing" and you'll be OK. Please.

hhp

lorenk's picture

i think it feels waaaay too crowded. the illustration of alice is just stuffed in there, being contained by big words... i'd free up some white space.

it's hard to look at the poster near the bottom. all the overlapping and different styles and numbers jammed together is a little illegible. i mean, i can read it if i try, but it's messy.

i made some quick adjustments in photoshop to show you a way to free up some white space and make the overall poster be balanced. the typography, however, i couldn't look at in detail because it's a low-res screenshot... but i reworked the overall compostion.

one other thing to think about is why is the leading for the top information different from the bottom information. it's the same type-size right? what IS that top info?

let me know what you guys think.
his next to mine

eomine's picture

What, "White Rabbit" is funny?

hrant's picture

And Yves, do remove the trapping from that "A".

hhp

eomine's picture

Well, I think Yves was trying to keep a grid there.
I agree the poster needs more white space, but I'd try doing that keeping the alignments.

lorenk's picture

i think i did a decent job extracting white space from the original... but the typographic layouts are something i couldn't change in photoshop easily, and i would've stuck to the grid if i was working in illustrator. i think the title arrangement can be better. all i did was made it smaller and moved other things around. and changed the leading on the top info.

hdschellnack's picture

Hey Yves, I think it's a bit too much information there, and I wonder if there is any way to clean it up a bit. Simplify it. There is too much screaming for my attention here.

Just wondering: Why is there info and tickets with different phone numbers for every event, jeez, that is not really user-friendly :-).

I'm wondering if the day (vrijdag) isn't a bit too close to the date and if the date per se isn't to big. Mrs. Eaves is overused, but not a bad choice for this job. (The spacing of that IS a bitch, though -- and a job like this is quite worth transferring to Indesign if it's not just that one time you work for the client.)

If it IS contemporary classical music, though, I think you should aim for something less retro, cooler, more layered and modern. I don't know if a this kind of retro look sends the right kinda message, but then again I don't know what kind of music is played. This kind of look would be wrong for the likes of Sch

kakaze's picture

"Problem is I did this design in Adobe Illustrator. Is it worth
transferring the whole shingamading to InDesign?"


You could upgrade to Illustrator CS, it has Optical Kerning now too. :drool:

hrant's picture

> Is it worth transferring the whole shingamading to InDesign?

I don't think so. Plus it's not a lot of text, so you could just go in and manually tweak the worst spacing offenses, if you have the time.

hhp

hrant's picture

BTW, this is a chance for me to crack a riddle that's been brewing in my head:

What do you get when you read a long book set in Mrs Eaves?

hhp

hrant's picture

An emigraine.

For the record, though, I think Mrs Eaves is a very pretty font (I even like the italic, a lot), and I'd love to see a 2.0 release with decent spacing and optical masters: the one now, two smaller, and one larger.

hhp

hdschellnack's picture

>An emigraine.

Heh... :^)

kakaze's picture

You should write them a letter, Hrant.

----

Yves, I love the new treatment for the text at the top, but the text on the bottom looks really crowded now and the skew on the title doesn't agree with me...it just looks out of place.

William Berkson's picture

Wow, I really like the skewed title. It gives a vertigo that goes very well with the 'Alice in Wonderland' theme.

I agree with Chris, though, that the text at the bottom is too heavy. Would doing it only in the Mrs. Eaves, with caps for months work? Or maybe a lighter, sharper font for serifs?

lorenk's picture

Yves,
i agree with chris anemone. the skewed title is out of place with the rest of it. i think it'd be better straight on, not skewed text.

i like the top a lot better too. and there's more white space, which is good. but maybe white space under the 3 text blocks, between them and the sponsors at the very bottom?

the bottom is very crowded. you use too many different styles too closely together. i can see some cases where you could re-use a style, instead of making a new one.

i hope i'm not being too cocky, but i'd like to show you some type i put together for a fake opera ad, for a newspaper, it's small... just to show you a way to have hierarchy, and not too much of a claustrophobic feel.

opera ad typography

rs_donsata's picture

Keep the skewed title, it strikes and gives alice a decent role in the poster, plus you are getting a bit of white space.

I think the cities need extra emphasis. You know, what do i want the date for if i don

Dan Weaver's picture

Yves, just get it printed you are running out of time. It has to be printed and distributed and has to have some time up before the events. Its being over analysised, remember most of the people who are interested in the concert don't care about type and design if they can get the right information, Dan

hrant's picture

Loren, that's way too frigid.

hhp

lorenk's picture

hhp, what is way too frigid. my opera ad design? or the fact that i showed Yves a way to organize information without crowding?

how else can i get Yves to change his current layout of text? i don't think he's going to change anything, but i still think it's not right.

that was the only thing i could think of doing to try and help... if all he gives us is a screenshot, and only takes suggestions he already had in mind, then how do i have him understand what i mean by over-crowding?

can anyone else explain how the poster is too crowded at the bottom?

also, Yves, next time you take a screen shot of small text, turn off greeking.

hrant's picture

The design.

hhp

lorenk's picture

why is it frigid?

hrant's picture

> why is it frigid?

I guess it's because of the rigidity (in both the font and the grid) and cold open spaces.

1) White space is best when it's not white.
2) Don't fear complexity - as long as you get information across adequately (never perfectly), complexity makes things worthwhile. Minimalism is for computers, and scared people.

hhp

lorenk's picture

minimalism is for easy legibility.

Dan Weaver's picture

Yves, I use the Mad Tea Party when I use greek text for comps. The lorem ipsum just contains too many characters that the english language doesn't use in proportion. Lorem ipsum doesn't have enough e's and far to many x's and z's. The Mad Tea Party text provides better color and a little smile with a client. Dan

Bald Condensed's picture

Ouch! Buggy Typophile didn't give me the opportunity to
upload the image. One more try:

Songs_from_Alice.jpg

Bald Condensed's picture

Gimme a break! What are all these Internal Server Errors
good for?! Bugger... I'll try tomorrow morning. :-(

Bald Condensed's picture

You don't get it Chris, this is highly conceptual design.
So conceptual you have to imagine it...

Here's another go at it:

Songs_from_Alice

Bald Condensed's picture

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAARGH!
(told you I was gonna scream Tiff)

Bald Condensed's picture

Let's try this sneaky runaround...

Songs_from_Alice

Miss Tiffany's picture

Yipee!! Where's the edge? :^\

Ok. I think the 'e' in Claude could touch the 'S' in songs. The "Het Spectra" box of type could go to the left, lined up with "Coppens" perhaps. And the logo (box) could go to the right and maybe bleed of the top or right? I love that image.

Bald Condensed's picture

Hehe. Fooled ya, you big evil Internal Server. Gotcha!

Okay here's the lowdown: I was lucky enough to find
reproductions of the original illustrations, so I really
wanted to use one. Typefaces are Mrs Eaves and Gothic No. 13
which nicely enhance the period atmosphere. There's
too much information crammed in that poster, but I can't
help that.

Miss Tiffany's picture

Hmm. Don't be mad. but I having Alice overlap the text is a little too subtle. It looks more like the type is butting up against her head. I almost said you should move the type. Hmm. Maybe Alice should go lower?

Bald Condensed's picture

Contemporary classical music. :-) I like some tension
in my designs. I was considering an all-Mrs Eaves design
for a while, but I need some emphasis on certain elements
as there's just too much information on that poster.

Bald Condensed's picture

> Ok. I think the 'e' in Claude could touch the 'S' in
Songs. The "Het Spectra" box of type could go to the
left, lined up with "Coppens" perhaps. And the logo
(box) could go to the right and maybe bleed of the top
or right?


Hmmm... I prefer to have a letterspace between that
'e' and 'S'.
The logo actually bleeds off the top and left, and that's
a set position. The width of the poster is divided in
three, and the "Het Spectra" text box aligns with such
a division (check the text boxes at the bottom).

> having Alice overlap the text is a little too subtle.

Alice ate one of the cookies and shrunk to 95%. Neat
little trick...

> too bad about the information glut [...] but it's
organized well


I did a month worth of training at MetaDesign when I
got off the Academy. Information design all the way. ;)

> surprisingly, i like the color.

Sorry to disappoint you Isaac, but Tiff did a radical
make-over of the colour scheme. I hope you like it as well.
Colours are PMS 5565 (water green) & 429 (dark grey).

I couldn't get Photoshop to preview the overprinting,
so I had to take this crummy screenshot in Illustrator.
Sorry'boutthat.

Songs from Alice

Miss Tiffany's picture

With the green, I was thinking more along the lines of absinthe. And, I think it makes it more grown up. :-)

Bald Condensed's picture

Hi everyone, 's about time I responded to your remarks
and corrections. I was a bit wary of the 'too many cooks
spoil the broth' syndrome, but overall I'm very pleased
by your comments, which I think will help me improve the
end result. I'm gonna do this in bits, so please bear
with me.

First of all, the size is A2 (40 x 60 cm), which is why
I was hesitant to go smaller with the type. Randy's
remark and Loren's tinkering convinced me otherwise,
so thank you both. Also Eduardo was spot on with the
grid remark. On the other hand, it's always been my firm
conviction that the grid only stays in as long as it helps.
If it starts to hinder, fook it, as Noel Gallagher 'd say.

Bald Condensed's picture

Then, onto the cute stuff:

Chris

> I thought that was Mrs Eaves...better hope Hrant doesn't
see this.


Hrant's never scared me or had me refrain from saying or
doing anything, silly you. What is everyone going on about
all the time?

Randy

> I think the layout you have going is a nice safe layout.

I think that is a very nice way of telling me to try and be
a better designer. Sorry Randy, a nice safe design is
all the tiny budget is allowing. I'm already over.
BTW The green stays in. It's conceptually sound (green
is the colour of madness) and it looks good too.

> Try something wildly asymmetrical (maybe using
Alice's line of vision to empasize the title in the
opposite corner of the page).


I actually started treating the title and author cluster in
3D to make it look as if that were the 'Looking Glass' and
Alice was looking at it, but that would have taken me
way too far. It's a shame, but it can't be helped.

Hrant

> For Mrs Eaves just use InDesign's "optical spacing" and
you'll be OK. Please.


I know how to whip Mrs Eaves into shape. She's my bitch
and she loves it. (Now THAT was rude, sorry'boutthat).
Problem is I did this design in Adobe Illustrator. Is it worth
transferring the whole shingamading to InDesign?

And Yves, do remove the trapping from that "A".

Heh, cute. I really appreciate you pointing that out. No,
really. See? No smiley. Glad you chipped in.

Bald Condensed's picture

For the serious stuff, watch this space. I'll post a PDF
next time. Let the tweaking and twiddling commence...

Bald Condensed's picture

Gotta run: have to attend a wedding party. Talktayalater.

Songs from Alice

Bald Condensed's picture

> the skew on the title doesn't agree with me... it
just looks out of place.

> Wow, I really like the skewed title.
Uh guys, could you try to agree please?
IMO the big plus of this scenario is that it gives a sense
of purpose to the whole lay-out, as I explained to
Randy earlier on. It conveys the "Through the Looking
Glass" symbolically, it creates a narrative as Alice
actually looks at the title and it also parallels the
whole "skewed reality" concept without having to do
anything too literal.

> the text on the bottom looks really crowded now
> I agree with Chris, though, that the text at the bottom
is too heavy. Would doing it only in the Mrs. Eaves,
with caps for months work?


Well you can't win them all: the text at the bottom
is organized in a calmer fashion (less type sizes,
everything flush left, see HD's remark) and most
importantly leaves a maximum of white space available
for the thing that really needs to catch the eye of
the people: the illustration and the title. Setting
the dates in Gothic No. 13 allows me to control the
focus points: what do people need to learn when they
look from a distance? What is going on and when. Once
they're interested they can come closer and read the
rest of the information. I think it's difficult to do
better than that on a small poster (40x60 cm). :-)

Bald Condensed's picture

HD, I really appreciated your remarks too, very insightful,
but I'm starting to get the impression I'm spending
more time on this thread than actually designing the
friggin' thing! In a quicky:

Re: too much information, simplify

I did the maximum I could, but unfortunately everything
needs to be on there: three dates, three different
cities, and no other promotional material where
interested parties can get their information. Can't
be helped. It's up to me to find a adequate solution.

Re: Mrs Eaves is overused

Nobody told it was going to be like that when I
initially bought the license. I use it sparsely, and
I'd still like to get some mileage out of that purchase.
I really like her. :-)

Re: your whole style analysis

The composer is a classical contemporary classical
composer (if you catch my drift) and uses a lot of
citations. I thought using period elements and
recombining them in a modern way would convey that.

Re: their homepage

Heh. Horrible innit? That's next on my list... if they
can free up some budget.

Re: close-not-touching-feeling Gothic No. 13

-30/1000 Em did the trick, but it got a bit lost when
I 3Ded the whole thing.

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