Opinion of Poster--over the top?

dezcom's picture

I designed a poster in 2 variations. One is tamer than the other and I wonder if the second one is too much or if it helps.

Here is the plain one:

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Here is the more in your face version:

ChrisL

Linda Cunningham's picture

The second one is for SE, right? It's already got the bullet holes....

:-)

So what's the campaign (or purpose) for these, Chris? And why the bullet holes?

dezcom's picture

I was hoping it would be self-explanitory.
Be fore I tell you what it is about, I wonder if you would tell me what you think it is about?

ChrisL

PS: What is "SE"?

david h's picture

> PS: What is “SE”?

Scottish Enterprise

:^)

dezcom's picture

David,
I must really be dense, I still don't get it.

ChrisL

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

South East DC? :-)

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Hey Chris, it took me a while to see the entire images, because I only see one part at a time (top or bottom two-thirds), but now that I have, here's my 2 cents'...

The fact that you have just one star makes it subtle. Was there a reason you moved the star from the white field to the red, besides making room for the text?

I don't know if the green I see on my monitor is the one that will be used in print, but what I see now does not contrast well with the red background... The green should be darker, perhaps.

The typeface (is it yours? it looks like the one from your recent t-shirt!) looks a bit too friendly for an anti-war message. I would use something that looks rougher, and that way avoid having to use bullet holes.

dezcom's picture

Ricardo,
The star was purposely moved out of place to show an ambiguity or foreignness of not belonging there. Both the American flag and the Iraqi flag have stars so I wanted to show the duality. Iraqi star becomes American star in a bait and switch (and a bit Texas lone-star).
Regarding the green on red--this is a juxtaposition of complimentary colors which is purposely bothersome. It is readable enough but not comfortable to see (like the war).
Yes, the typefaces are mine. The wider one is "Fat Squeeze"; the one with the bullet holes is "Squeeze Trigger"; the taller one at bottom is "Tight Squeeze"; and the light small caps are "Now Sans Light."
I didn't want to be too grungy with the type. I wanted it to be more clinical. More like a bunch of fat-cat oil and defense mega-corporations silently profiting (getting fat) from the war.
It is meant to be subtle and require some thought. Getting into and out of war requires some thought.

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

What is going to be the context in which the poster is seen?

The type is gorgeous, but I'm having a hard time figuring out how will this be seen.

blank's picture

I know it would spoil the lyric, but the text would make more sense if it said “We gotta get out of that place.”

It’s definitely better without the bullet holes, tho. Those could be misinterpreted as pretty tasteless, especially by people who don’t know anything about the guy who designed the poster.

fallenartist's picture

Shouldn't the star be white? The star is obviously leaving the flag, so the one should leave is American, not Iraqi one. I second James' "that" instead of "this" as at first glance I read this as "this planet". Also to be consistent with colours I'd try to make "We gotta get out" white and "that place" green.

_______
AL
lenart.pl

ybaggar's picture

Because i'm not really aware of the iraqi flag, i was thinking it was something about palestine:

dezcom's picture

X-Y,
Here is the Iraqi flag:

ChrisL

timd's picture

A landscape format would improve the recognition of the flag. Not too sure of the placement of the type in relation to the horizons of the flag, the line ‘if it’s the last thing we ever do’ and the animals line seem redundant to me, if one recognises the song reference one knows the next line but including it doesn’t reinforce the message and the animals line is bizarre if one doesn’t know the song.

Tim

pattyfab's picture

Red and green and a star look a bit christmassy to me. Maybe try going with a more military-looking green?

I got the sense of the poster but didn't get right away that it was the Iraqi flag - maybe horizontal is the way to go.

I think the last line needs more punch too - and drop the cap W - doesn't do anything for it.

Kudos for doing this.

dezcom's picture

Thanks everyone. My original idea was using white type on top. I'll revisit the star, perhaps distressed? Back to the drawing board.

ChrisL

PS: Thanks, Patty. There isn't much I can do to help until November '08.

dezcom's picture

Regarding the song.

We used to sing it while we were in Viet Nam. We have not learned much since then. The connection of the two wars is very important to me. The words are over the flag so "this place" fits to me.

ChrisL

lore's picture

Ok, I got the flag thing immediately before reading the posts but! I had a moment of hesitation as well between Iraq and Palestine (and another one but I won't tell which one, because I was completely wrong about the colours) sooooo, once I got the Iraq conection, the text really did the rest.

I thought I'm not sure you needed the "if it's the last thing thing we ever do". Then I read Tim's posts about the song. I don't know anything about the song but that's my cultural references. The poster is obviously directed at Americans so if they all know the song, brilliant.

Not sure about the bullets either, too Far West? When I think about war I think about bombs, not bullets.
Didn't get the star leaving the flag either. I just thought it was an odd position in relation to the text. Having said that, the whole thing is very interesting.

dezcom's picture

Here is a redesign. I removed the gunshots and created an "o" glyph with a centered star. The centered star in a circle is typical American military symbol on planes and tanks, perhaps a better fit for Lore's comments.
I took out the second line of the song and made a horizontal oriantation to the exact proportions of the flag.

See what you think.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Now that I look at it, perhaps the text should be flush right to suggest moving out.

ChrisL

William Berkson's picture

Now it's clearer--though I don't think many Americans know the Iraqi flag--I didn't. A design with the actual flag including the Arabic would solve this, but it might be too messy.

I think it would be stronger without the 'we are the animals' stuff, and including the 'if its the last thing we ever do' that you had before. That phrase resonates for those of us who remember the song, and is more forceful.

And the layout needs work, whereas your original worked well as a design. Now the amount of red at the top makes the lines look unbalanced.

dezcom's picture

Here is the flush right version.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

The unbalance does not bother me, William. I would rather it feel out of place than too comfortable as if it all belonged there for eternity. The flush right helps that notion but you may be right about swapping the last line of text, I'll give it a try.

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

Here is the text change and a minor tweak to the line spacing. To me, the shorter last line helps push the text out and improves the asymmetry.

ChrisL

pattyfab's picture

That's looking really good. Do you really need the period at the end?

Kellie Strøm's picture

I read this first as being some wildlife or ecology issue. I find the animals line wery weird. Is the suggestion that Americans and Iraqis are different species? That would seem very unsound thinking. If the implication is that Americans are the only side in the conflict foreign to Iraq, that of course would be grossly misleading.

William Berkson's picture

I like your last one. I don't mind unbalance if it serves a purpose, as it does here. Would it be stronger with the last line in the 'tight squeeze' version of your face, as in the first design?

This is a terrific titling face.

dezcom's picture

Patty,
Thanks!
I just thought the period added finality, "if it's the last thing we ever do[period]"

Kellie, You may have cross-posted and not seen the last image. I took the "Animals" line out because I think it (as you said) can cause an ecology image. "The Animals" is the name of the 60s rock group who wrote the song (they are from the UK, by the way).

ChrisL

dezcom's picture

William,
I tried Tight Squeeze and it was not enough of a contrast for me. I like the shout followed by a whisper.
Thanks for the compliment though! I hope to have the Squeeze set on the market in a few months.

ChrisL

Kellie Strøm's picture

I guess I'm a slow typist, not that you'd know it from the mistakes. "Wery weird" indeed.

I find the new sentiment easier to agree with, though I guess we would strongly disagree on the things to be done before "the last thing we ever do."

dezcom's picture

There are many things to be done before the "Last Thing" but I hope "This Could Be the Last Time" we invade a country without provocation. This is probably not the proper venue to discuss such things though so I will try to stick with type and design here.

ChrisL

chn's picture

Chris,
I think the flag effect would look even better if you drop that green star in "gotta" and make the counter of the g in "get" a white star. This way it has the same configuration as the iraqui flag with the 3 aligned stars. Also, I would make "this place" white for the same reason.

dezcom's picture

Chn,
Thanks for your comments. The point of the top star in "gotta" is to be out of place and the 2 stars only in the 2nd line shows something missing or un-whole. The eye/mind desperately wants to correct this by taking the green star away and putting it back where it belongs, with the other two stars. This is the effect I am after--take something out (foreign military forces) and give back the whole to the native Iraqis. It is meant to feel uncomfortable and foreign.

Regarding changing the last line to white--I tried that before and got a very wrong semantic from the word groupings. "Get out of this place" needs to be the same color to read properly.

ChrisL

Artform's picture

The Arabic on the flag is "Ya Allah, Ya Kabeer" which means "Oh God, oh great one."

I saw your poster and immediately knew it was for Iraq. When Canada sent soldiers to Afganistan, I saw these amazing postcards. It was the Canadian flag, except there was spattered blood instead of a maple leaf.

I think the stars are necessary to differentiate the flag from the Palestinian. I think the poster works for both countries in terms of land being occupied or controlled by expatriates.

I think "We are the animals who are out of our habitat" works best on the poster. Rather then green text on black, try white. This makes the middle the only part with green... just like the Iraqi flag. For more emphasis, stars should also only appear at the middle of the flag.

Hope that helps,
Ahmed

dezcom's picture

Thanks, Ahmed. We must have crossed our posts. I hope my previous post helps explain a bit more.

ChrisL

ebensorkin's picture

I like Chris' idea about the stars.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Chris, I really like the new version a lot (stars as counters very effective!), and agree with William that the last line of text should be the rest of the lyric. I am showing my age by saying this, but the first time I heard this song, it was a cover version done by Blue Oyster Cult on one of their live albums -- I only heard the Animals version much later.

Hiroshige's picture

Brilliant concept Chris!

The bullet holes, they use a crescent shape, and therefore have a direct reference to the crescent moon and star which is seen throughout the muslim community.
I like the horizontal format although I got the vertical format immediately. The triangle of the three stars forms two groups of words. One group which reads 'We get this place', and the other group reads 'gotta out of'. Which in my mind, echoes the crescent moon and star, in a sorta kinda way.

Just a few rambling observations.

dezcom's picture

Thanks everyone!
Thanks for rambling, Hiroshige. Your head goes places similar to mine :-)

Ricardo, Did you see that the Partridge Family recorded that song too! Man, what a mismatch for them!

ChrisL

PS: I will probably post a PDF on my site for anyone who wants a copy. I will post a link here when I do.

blank's picture

It’s totally legal for you to stick them up all over DC as long as you make them easy to remove.

dezcom's picture

James,
What constitutes "easy to remove"?

ChrisL

PS: Were you in Seattle? I don't remember meeting you there. Nick said hw saw you.

fallenartist's picture

Chris, that's better. What about trying moving the big text even more to the right that a bit of it is cut?

As, unfortunately, Polish troops are also in "that" place, I find the Satyrykon '90 brilliant poster by Eugeniusz Stankiewicz still quite actual (although the original meaning was different).

_______
AL
lenart.pl

pattyfab's picture

I shared an office (my first real job) with a guy who would wait until the boss was out, then play "We Gotta Get Outa This Place" really loud on his Walkman (dating myself too) and press the "page" button on his phone, which meant the song blared out from everybody's phone in the company. He was finally asked to stop but I loved it.

lore's picture

The bullet holes, they use a crescent shape, and therefore have a direct reference to the crescent moon and star which is seen throughout the muslim community.
I don't know about that Hiro. Too many concepts in my opinion. In the case of posters you're looking for a cohesive whole (not the sum of its parts). A lot of hidden meanings in a poster is not always a good idea.
For this reason I would remove the period at the end too although I agree, in some cases a well placed period is like a slap in the face. The horizontal version is sooo much better!

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

What constitutes “easy to remove”?

Wheatpaste, maybe?

Nice to know that in DC you can still do that. A friend of mine spent a night in jail last year, for putting up flyers of his band in the East Village.

...which meant the song blared out from everybody’s phone in the company...

Patty, that is laugh-out-loud funny! And Chris, I liked your anecdote about the song too. That should have been a scene in "Apocalypse Now" or "Full Metal Jacket," even though those movies had their own effective songs in there.

Oh, and I did see the Partridge Family listing -- ha!

Hiroshige's picture

I don’t know about that Hiro. Too many concepts in my opinion. In the case of posters you’re looking for a cohesive whole (not the sum of its parts). A lot of hidden meanings in a poster is not always a good idea.

I'm sure you're aware Lore that visual references as an integral part of the overall composition, add interest. Intended or unintended. The trap most designers fall into is to be too clever/obvious or too linear as in having only one dimension. Good design should work on several levels - hit over the head and seduce at the same time [personal opinion]. An interesting read on the subject is, Symbolist Art Theories A critical Anthology by Henri Dorra.

Linda Cunningham's picture

No, Chris, I did get it the first time around (and thanks, Ricardo -- I did mean South East), but I was curious to know just what you were going to do with it, and whether or not someone one (or group) had commissioned you.

Like the versions you've posted more and more as well -- that last one is the one you put up on Flickr, isn't it?

dezcom's picture

No one commissioned me, Linda. I just did it on my own. My method of distribution is to put it on variuos internet sites and Flikr groups so that anyone can print it and post it wherever they are. I have no money for printing but I figure if enough people either print and post it or send it via email, it may get some visibility. Not that much will happen because of it to stop the war but I just had to do something. Feelfre to blanket Canada if you like.

ChrisL

Linda Cunningham's picture

I'm too busy knitting other things to blanket Canada, dude.... ;-)

Wood that I got your drift, though.

Ricardo Cordoba's picture

Kudos for taking the initiative, Chris.

In a similar vein, the AIGA has done a few poster contests to encourage people to vote, and they post everything on their websites as PDFs, so that anybody can download and print them (to put up in stores in their neighborhood, for example).

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