Student Broadside Critique – Melissa Tsitsis

Design by Karen Marten

Design by Karen Marten

The mood of the text seems hopeful because there’s many different genres of music that suit different tastes, personalities, and moods. It starts off as a simile: “Human lives are composed like music.” This is the first line of the broadside and it stands out because it is framed by a huge black rectangle above it and also a thinner one below it. From there on the rest of the information on the broadside explains why these two unlike things are similar.

I started at the top because from close up and at a distance the black rectangular box at the top of the broadside stood out because it was mostly empty and also because the text was clearly aligned to the left unlike most of the running text on the broadside. After that I naturally went down to the next line of text and read that and repeated the process until I got the section of text with three distinct sections. From there I read left to right and then repeated the process for the next section of text. From there it I read the left block of text from top to bottom and moved onto the black box of text. The way that Karen arranged her text on her broadside really made logical sense to me. Although there is a lot going on I think that she did a good job creating a hierarchy that flowed without me having to think where am I supposed to go next. This broadside was able to attract my attention from a distance. When I was looking at in relationship to the rest of the broadsides on the same wall it stood out the most to me. One reason was its readable from a distance. I could read the entire broadside from at least 6 feet away without any problems. It is also clean. There are a lot of different typefaces that are being used, but it also helps draw my attention without there being any recognizable illustrations which I think is a prominent characteristic of a broadside. Since I could read the broadside from a distance it was not necessary for me to look at it up close aside from the fact that I was interested in looking at the detail of the different typefaces that Karen used. Despite that I do not think that it lost my attention because it is visually appealing from different points of view. Smaller parts relate to the larger parts by dividing the sections of text. Some sections of text are larger than others, but the size relationships separates blocks of texts to enhance readability and to create a hierarchy. For example, the large black rectangular box is at the top of the page and is mostly empty, but it draws my attention because it is the largest block on the page. There are also two other black rectangular boxes, but for me they do not compete with the one at the top with the title.

There are a lot of different type styles that are used to create the broadside. I think that not one typeface is used twice. It feels appropriate to me because all of the typefaces have an organic feel to them, which makes sense because the text is talking about how life is like composing music and when I think of music I think of something that has fluidity. The fact that all of the typefaces are different exemplifies how life is composed of different events but also maintains the organic feel, which helps create a relationship between human life and composing music. For me the entire broadside feels like it could be composed of display level text. The title of the piece of piece is clearly the largest on the page, but the running text is not much smaller. The type style and running text seems appropriate for this broadside because it does have an organic feel like the nature of the content on the broadside. Sometimes I feel like it might be a little much, but the fact that every section or line has a different typeface helps create a hierarchy throughout the broadside.

I think that Karen did a good job at dividing the sections in order to keep the broadside organized since there is a lot of stuff going on typographically. Her broadside was large and I think that it worked well with her design because it helped with readability. I did not see it at a smaller scale but I think that if it were smaller, like and 11×17” poster, her design elements would have been overwhelming and maybe felt cluttered. She used black, white, and gray it felt clean and went with the mood of her text. She also uses different alignments. Her title is aligned to the left and most of her body text is centered. She does a good job with line and letter spacing to increase readability because some of the type is more decorative and harder to read at a distance.




This entry was posted in Fall 2014 Archive (338), Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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