Student Broadside Critique – Kelsey Johnson

Lisa Gaviglio's broadside

Lisa Gaviglio’s broadside

Lisa’s broadside displays an excerpt from Sir Arthur Conon Doyle’s The Sign of the Four, a Sherlock Holmes novel.  The mood of this text is meditative and aloof and has the feel of classic literature because of the use of old-fashioned language.  Sherlock Holmes is a detective and the stories fall under the mystery genre.

There is a pull quote that becomes the focus of the broadside.  It is in the largest type and is in the designed font.  Although the font is very thin and hard to read from far away, it is noticeable enough to catch a passerby’s attention.  The next largest type is the title of the novel the excerpt is from, printed in a thick sans serif font in varying shades of gray.  The letters are set with extremely wide kerning and the letters are staggered like bricks from line to line.  This makes it hard to read each of these words as well, but is visually engaging and more easily noticed from far away.  When the kerning is set so wide like that, it makes the reader think harder about what the words say, as a sort of puzzle.  This could have been done on purpose, given the genre of the text.

The running text is split into two styles.  One is a bold, black, sans serif font, for the dialog of Sherlock Holmes.  This type is also set with wide kerning that causes the reader to read the text more slowly, much like the title text.  The other running text style is a smaller, serif font printed in a light gray.  These two styles seem to demonstrate the mood of the running text, as well as showing the differences between the two characters — who I believe are Sherlock (the bold sans serif) and Watson (the small serif).

The fonts all work well together visually on this broadside.  The changes in each show distinct sections that help the reader better understand the text.  The designed font of the words “my mind rebels stagnation” is appropriate and complements the overall mood of the text well, although it is very thin and not easy to read from far away as display text.

The text itself is well set and there is no hyphenation.  However, there are a few places that use a double hyphen (–) instead of an actual em dash.  There are also a few orphaned words, like “conversation” in the first section of running text, and “facts” on the very last line.

Overall, I really like Lisa’s broadside.  The typefaces all work well with the one she designed, and they fit the mood of the text she chose.  Choosing a gray scale for the design instead of color is fitting for the text.  The long and skinny paper/layout is flattering and different.  I just wish the print was bigger, and that the display text was thicker so it could be read more easily from far away.

About kelejohyeah

I'm a graphic design student at Washington State University. My favorite things are art, music, and family.
This entry was posted in Fall 2014 Archive (338), Uncategorized and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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