Exercise: Too much or not enough information

To created the posters for this exercise, I began with identifying an event that would take place. Since I couldn’t find anything here locally (and it would all be in German), I decided to go with an event that took place in Texas a while back, and just update / create a new poster for it.

The event was an art exhibit called “spittoons” to commemorate the Wild West.


I began designing my poster by plopping teabags on an A2 size paper to come up with different splotches (pictured right) that would resemble spat-out chewing tobacco, which would relate to the theme of spittoons.

I then scanned the splotches into Photoshop and carefully chose a section that I felt looked more like it belonged to the theme I was going for (i.e. I wanted blobs that looked accidental, even though they were all technically planned).

After scanning in the blots, I played with the levels in Photoshop to try and find a color that I felt most looked like what I was going after.

After finally finding something I was happy with to some extent, I took the image into InDesign and began playing with the text layout.

I chose a simple, yet universal font (Helvetica) for the poster. I didn’t want to overdo the entire thing with a “western-style” font (with maybe more serifs or even more illustrative). I felt that with a simpler font, I could play around more with the design, and it still wouldn’t come across as “too busy”.

Here are my designs for this exercise:

Obviously, the poster with more text made the whole thing very confusing,  and the eye had to bounce around a lot in order to find all the information (since the word spittoon itself was already made to make the eye wander and the viewer think about what was trying to be communicated).

Also, with the design I wanted for the poster, there was no room for unnecessary text (every single bit of information).

The design with only the word (spittoon) would have been way too minimal and uninformative.

I took the additional text and made it very small, in order to arrange it on / around a few letters. I felt that this way, the additional information didn’t compete with the overall design and feel of the poster that I was trying to achieve.

The feedback for the poster with less text was definitely a lot better and more receptive. The people I asked said it made them take a moment to look at the poster, but all in all, was a lot better than the one with lots of text.


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