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CMP 342-Internet Programming

Digital Media For Designers II

Poster Design Workshop


Today we are going to text-only compositions to highlight a new Experimental Media and Design program in the Art Department here at Lehman College. Above you will see an example of a poster I designed. The great thing about this project is that we're trying to convey to our audience the spirit of an Experimental Media and Design Program. Therefore, we're free to break many of the established graphic design composition conventions that we've come to rely upon. In other words, 

You May (Cautiously):

  • mix fonts!

  • ignore any kind of grid

  • overlap type

  • break type and type spacing

  • pay no respect to the bounds of the page or composition

  • obscure type

  • use colors that conflict with each other


Before we begin, let's just go over a couple ground rules:

Design Contraints:

  • You may only use type in your compositions, a.k.a. letterforms

  • You can use any typeface or blend of typefaces

  • You may not use found images, but you can certainly derive images from letterforms

  • You may not directly introduce points, line, or shapes with the pen, pencil, line, or shape tools found in your software, but you can derive these items from letterforms

  • You're strongly encouraged to use color, negative space, grid or no grid, rhythm, pattern, emphasis, deconstruction of letterforms, etc to create your composistions.

Supplied Copy:

Though you're free to visually convey the Experimental Media and Design program in any way you choose, you must incorporate the following copy

(in bold and red) 

in your design:


The Art Department of Lehman College Experimental Media and Design Program


Physical Computing
Interactive Spaces
Beautiful Data
Sound Design


Though you are certainly limited to letterforms only, you are certainly able to derive all types of design elements from letterforms you choose to use. Above are some examples of line, point, and shapes derived from actual letterforms. 



Just as you would with any design, you're encouraged to employ the principles of graphic design by making use of your design elements. Above are some examples I how one might implement certain design principles using just letterforms. 



Let's look at a few compositions that use only letterforms to tell a vusual story, paying close attention to what's working and what isn't. 

Franz_Ehlrich_1929.jpgFranz Ehrlich, 1929


Bauhaus exhibition poster
Joost Schmidt 1923


Lazlo Moholy-Nagy, 1919

Staatliches Bauhaus Weimar 1919-1923, 1923 -Walter Gropius

Staatliches Bauhaus, Weimar, 1919–1923
Walter Gropius 1923

tumblr mu3iseOFrJ1sc1ecmo1 1280

A M Cassandre poster for Foire de Paris 1956

poster for Foire de Paris1956
A M Cassandre

Ben Shahn November Twenty Six Nineteen Hundred Sixty Three 1964

 November Twenty Six Nineteen Hundred Sixty Three, 1964, Ben Shahn

tumblr mshvmdAj3O1sc1ecmo1 1280

 tumblr mslspbmczP1sc1ecmo1 1280

tumblr mswv7v0wzy1sc1ecmo1 1280

tumblr mtfnxcl5Bf1sc1ecmo1 1280


We're almost ready to begin, but first just take a moment to consider format. Format refers to the dimensions, proportions, and shape of your composition. Design software normally limits you to a rectilinear canvas or artboard. However, you're encouraged to think creatively in terms of format for this project. 


To help get your creative juices flowing, feel free to look the following resources:

2010-2011 Student Reel

This is the collective work of my Art 325-Intro to Motion Graphics students at Lehman College, from Spring 2010 to Spring 2011. Good job, everyone!

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