City Theatre

Part One Overview:

  1. Stroke weights: select two stroke weights
  2. Linespacing: insert one linespace between any two lines of type
  3. Horizontal shift: two flush-left margins
  4. Horizontal shift: three flush-left margins

Initial Research:

What is the City Theatre?

Website and instagram page of the City Theatre (2020)
Notes taken, regarding the City Theatre’s history, their company values, and mission.

Three Adjectives

Accessible, Provocative, Bold

Sentence that Describes the City Theatre

The City Theatre provides an artistic home for the development and production of contemporary plays of stance and ideas that engage and challenge a diverse audience

What is Neue Haas Grotesk?

Analyzing the Hierarchy

Analyzing the hierarchy
  • The title of the festival should be the largest.
  • The date of the overall festival should be second largest
  • The “presents” information is the lowest hierarchy because it takes away attention from the individual event title and date, thus increasing readability.

Stroke Weights:

Total of 5 compositions were created, but the second one to the right was omitted.

What is most communicative?

Best composition out of the four


The second composition was omitted because it had too much rhythm

What is most communicative?

Best composition out of the four

Horizontal Shift: Two flush-left Margins

Three compositions using two flush-left margins

What is most communicative?

Best composition out of the three

Horizontal Shift: Three flush-left Margins

Three compositions created with three flush-left margins

What is most communicative?

Best composition out of the three

In Class Exercise:

  1. Resist the urge to CENTER
  2. Resist the urge to FILL the page
  3. ACTIVATE the white (negative) space
  4. Sometimes, less is MORE

Three in class exercises

  1. Alter the stroke weight and the line spacing
  2. Alter the stroke weight and the left margins
Analysis of the three in class exercises
  • Presence of entry points: Where and How does the reader begin to read the content displayed?
  • Presence of rhythm and its effectiveness: Is there rhythm on the page? If so, does it enhance the readability and understandability?

How is the negative space used?

Layout of the negative space used in the compositon

What is most communicative?

Best composition out of the three

Part Two Overview:

  1. Alter the color: Start simple, and apply color to enhance hierarchy. Start with one, and play around
  2. Alter the size, and stroke weights: Select any two stroke weights, and use scale and stroke weight to emphasize hierarchy. Consider changing the order of information.


What color is used for The Drive-in Arts Festival?

“Are the colors effective? What are its shortfalls? How are the colors perceived, and what does it say about the event? Is it representative of the adjectives, their mission statement?”

Analysis of colors on City Theatre website
  • Colors are loud and attention-grabbing
  • They are easy to read
  • The colors are very intense
  • Feels very “young” but not modern young, but more like… 2000s young.
  • Makes it feel like a pop concert, or a Nickelodeon event
  • Does not feel important
  • The elements are fighting for attention
  • The content is bold and the colors are provocative — but its too much

Collecting color swatches

Swatches obtained from magazines
Color palette created with the swatches
  • Scale of swatch matters: Some color-ways look better when one color is dominant than the other (accent color). The ratio is really important
  • High contrast colors are hard to work with: Having too many can be overwhelming.


Color palette chosen for the color exploration

Assigning colors

Assigning colors to enhance hierarchy
7 Iterations created to enhance hierarchy

What is most communicative?

Most communicative color out of the seven iterations

Scale and Weight:

6 iterations designed to create visual interest

What is most communicative?

The most communicative design out of the six

In Class Critique:

  • Accent color is working, but the body content bleeds into the background
  • The purple to peach is good — we know exactly where you want the viewers to look first (the title)
  • The palette is “mature”
  • Too much contrast everywhere is bad — be mindful and use it sparingly
  • Think about rhythm of words: depending on how you space the content, and in what line you place the content, the understandability changes
  • Maybe the event titles can have first hierarchy — what really should be emphasized?
  • Sideways type — Don’t make type hard for people to access.

Part Three Overview:


Quick exploration with visuals and composition
Four different compositions for the poster

Why a car? — Why the VW Bus?

1963 Volkswagen Bus

Mocking up the Designs

Mock-up poster done in Procreate *Composition is not final

Creating the Vector image

Progression of vector drawings


Various iterations (left to right in progress) *colors altered for print

In-class Critique

Two iterations for the class critique *colors altered for print
  • Increase the tracking of the small text — it is fading into the page
  • Play with overlaps between the type and the illustration.
  • “City Theatre Presents” and the “date” should be moved up towards the title — the negative space between the title and the list is awkward.
  • The swirls are fighting for attention — there might be too much
  • The center line of the bus should be readjusted with the circle in the center.
  • Increase the saturation of the spot color for the title so it doesn’t compete with the bus illustration

Personal Critique

Two iterations for the personal critique
  • The composition of the poster is good and effective
  • The hierarchy is effective — the use of hierarchy in the information, especially the treatment of scale and weight present in the list
  • The quality of the poster and the illustration is effective.
  • I’m losing the arts” — The drive-in aspect is emphasized well, but there isn’t much telling the viewer about the content of the event.
  • Try to emphasize the “arts” through the treatment of type — perhaps the artist name can be in white. Regardless, add more emphasis to the content.
  • Get rid of the “the” and the “at” in “the Drive-in Arts Festival” and “at Hazelwood Green” respectively.

Iterations Part 2

Iterations after Vicki’s critique

Final Critique

Web version to the left, web version to the right
Everyone’s poster on the wall
  • Which poster draws your attention from afar? (this question considers the imagery, color, type, scale etc).
  • Which image does not say much about the content?
  • The use of hierarchy within the micro content can be improved.
  • Either introduce a new color, or make the event name a little brighter.
  • Move the bus to the left to provide more negative space — pay attention to the overlap of the bus to the design elements surrounding the page.

Final Poster

Final Poster
Poster presented on the bulletin board





Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Sketchbook: Dec. 17th, 2020

Inside the Museum is Outside the Museum — Thoughts on Open Access and Organisational Culture

Ibe Ananaba’s collection Long-Drawn Shadows is a vivid and direct expression of rage.

My participation in the International Forum of Performance Art (Greece)

Eileen McDonough’s mosaics are shaped by heart and culture

Type Speaks by Dharam Mentor

Marianne Pauls: “Primer Pie” [English, “First Foot”]

Art as a Form of Resistance in The Middle East and in Afghanistan

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Joseph Kim

Joseph Kim

More from Medium

What is a Bear Market? 🐻

Finding and sustaining your role as an infrastructure organisation

Of Fish, and Elections