Poster for an Industrial Design Exhibition
Design a poster for a fictional exhibition at SFMOMA titled Functional Aesthetics: Industrial Design in the 20th Century with a compelling image treatment that reflects the concept and spirit of the show. I could choose any examples of twentieth-century design to draw inspiration from.
This project was an assignment of a communication design course I took at California College of the Arts.
My goal was to create a layout that was dynamic and interesting but clean and organized-possessing the qualities of an attention grabbing and effective poster. Color blocks lead the viewers eye down the poster, interspersing text and imagery that reflect the content of the exhibition.
Industrial Design Objects of the 20th Century
I selected a variety of beautiful industrial design objects created between 1900 and 2000 that showcased a breadth of inventions and design styles to feature on the poster including furniture, appliances, and technology. I looked for high-quality, permissible-to-use-and-modify photographs that were similar to each other in lighting and whose silhouettes made interesting shapes because I knew I wanted to cut them out of their backgrounds.
I created a color palette reminiscent of 1950s design because it was a distinctive and classic period of the century and could be recognized from a distance.
I experimented with the layout, designing the shapes and sizes of color blocks to create a sense of movement and energy without distracting from the industrial design objects. Iterating allowed me to determine the most cohesive selection of objects and colors.
In keeping with the mid-century modern aesthetic and the selected industrial design objects, I chose Bodoni 72 Smallcaps, Baskerville, and Josefin Sans. Bodoni’s modern, and refined presence makes an elegant and readable title. Baskerville in italics draws attention to the word, “aesthetics” and its meaning. Josefin Sans offers a neat, sans serif complement to the title fonts.
As a student project, the poster assignment was an opportunity to design without brand guidelines. I learned about effective poster design and became more knowledgeable about mid-century modernism as it relates to graphic styles and also industrial design.