Student Broadside Critique – Brian Tomsovic

Broadside_Danielle Clement

I was paired with Danielle, whose text was the poem, “Be Positive” by Nedra Johnson Aswad.

The mood conveyed by the poster is one of happiness, which I thought fit the message of being positive. The color in particular conveys this. The light purple and the Yellow contrast each other despite being fairly light colors. Also, the text fits the mood, there’s no gothic or dark feeling to it.

The hierarchy is pretty straight forward, the Title of the Poem is the highest, at the top, and the biggest, and it’s a separate Typeface from the rest. Then on each line that “Be Positive” repeats it’s the next thing, followed by the rest of that line, then the line that explains those lines in tiny white, lastly the Author and Source seem to be the least important parts.

The poster was easy to read from a distance, especially the title, The bigger yellow lines were readable from a distance as well, the smaller white lines were barely readable from across the room, however I believe I’m a smidge far sighted so that may be cheating. Overall I think the hierarchy made the poem easier to read, by emphasizing the repeating parts, my brain didn’t need to read “Be Positive,” but rather knew each pairing of lines started that way, and so I was able to stay engaged a little easier.

I think the type style is appropriate, despite a kind of blocky feel to the designed text, it doesn’t detract from the message. It makes it feel stronger in a way. The poster has this feeling of, “Be Positive” is the important part, and then if you need a reason to be positive, you should read further, but if you don’t then that’s all you need to take from it. I’m not sure if that’s what the author of the poem intended for his/her work, but I think it’s a really good way to build a broadside.

Letter spacing, Kerning, and Size really work. Line spacing is done well to make it clear that the lines come in pairs. Alignment doesn’t seem quite right, justified left is probably the right way to go, but without something to visually queue the brain as to why it’s aligned like that and in that place, the different length lines makes it seem ever so slightly imbalanced. If the lines were closer in length a full Justified might work, Or maybe just simply adding bullet points or a line running down the length of the list; Some visual queue of some sort. It certainly doesn’t break the design, but after staring at it all class, once I saw it, it was hard to ignore.

As for the rest, the only real criticism I had was that the Author and Source seem really tacked on, like if it’d been printed on a card and placed on top of the broadside it would contribute just as much. It didn’t seem integrated into the design, but added as an after thought because it was part of the assignment.

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