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Speak Up Poster Critique › 01-30

For those who giveth:
Be honest, objective and thorough. Don’t be obnoxious, insulting or a jerk.

For those who receiveth: Be receptive, open and talkative. Don’t be defensive, whiny or sad.

Posters 1 through 30 are open for critique.

Let’s make this constructive, shall we?

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PUBLISHED ON Nov.09.2004 BY Armin
Danielle Bravaco’s comment is:

um, i guess I'll start...

I find the posters refreshing,

new and really clever.

I've been needing some inspiration

and this certainly helps.

I particularly like 86,85 and 130 for their message,

style and fiercely restrained color palette.

On Nov.09.2004 at 05:03 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Danielle, I know how lame it is when you make up the nerve to speak first and someone corrects you… BUT, on this thread we will only be talking about posters 1 through 30. No harm done at all, just wanted to keep things organized for the critique.

Having said that…

I would like to talk about No. 11, the whatever-plane, by Anthony. This was one of my favorite posters from the get-go. The storyboard effect is very well executed. I like the correlation between the word "whatever" and a plane going down in flames. "Whatever" is usually a last resort (and retort) when nothing better comes up, when used it always feels like you are drowning. The layering, through size, of images gives this poster a lot of depth and dynamism.

Technically, the use of the two colors with the paper color is greatly achieved and seems like a three color job. My only "complaint" would be that the "Whatever" type treatment could have been pushed just a tad, give it more of a rough feel that would match the rest of the graphics.

This is definitely one of the posters I would have gotten printed.

On Nov.09.2004 at 05:15 PM
Nick Fr´┐Żhling’s comment is:

I was wondering if the designer behind entries 26 and 27, Lauren Diamond, is out there somewhere and can come and explain her posters?

The only explanation I can find is that she may be related to Dustin Diamond...

On Nov.09.2004 at 06:28 PM
Mike Ziegenhagen’s comment is:

I was a fan of #11 as well but had similar criticism for it. I wasn't in love with the "whatever" I just looks ever so slightly out of place. Armin as you mention maybe that little bit of roughing up would have done it. I also didn't think the 2 boxes were needed. I would like to see it without the boxes and maybe not at the same height on the page.

I loved #14 and voted for it. My problem with it was the quote. I don't know. I just expected a more interesting quote when I looked more closely at it. Really beautiful image though.

#3 and #4 are just simply very nice looking. The overlay effect and colors use really made those two. Again the quote just wasn't relly that exciting and didn't relate to the imagery at all.

I just noticed the "ideas are on the inside" light bulb. That alone would make for a great shirt.

Kind of off topic, does anyone know about any silkscreen classes in New York?

On Nov.09.2004 at 06:31 PM
Rick’s comment is:

Okay. Hmmm.

I'm to blame for posters #13 and #14, but I cheated a little.

In addition to stencilling, I've been hanging poster #14 around Seattle for months, captioned simply "I held my breath."

When this contest came along, I just reworked it with a quote that I find frankly hysterical. But the seeds of that poster have been my little guerilla art / graffitti / gift to this stupid city in a slightly different format.

#13 was brand new, made from a few photographs I've taken over the last year. I know the type wasn't really pushed very far; I kind of lost steam after doing all that vector work.

As far as the other posters:

#7 hangs in my cowokers cube. It's great, and deserves the many votes it got.

When I first saw #12, I actually laughed out loud. The pooping dog-flower kills. The clown is hilarious. I like the poster on a surface level.

#9 looks exactly like Tharp did it.

A few in this batch do absolutely nothing for me. However, given how touchy people got over the last logo smackdown, I have only sweetness and light things to say.


On Nov.09.2004 at 06:36 PM
Mike Ziegenhagen’s comment is:


I think I like it with the "I held my breath" better. Fairly obscure which is what I like about it.

I am coming to realize that I totally ripped off your rabbit poster when doing the sheep poster. That sucks. Sorry about that. It certainly wasn't intentional. Pretty lame. No more working late on Sunday nights. Focus Danielson.

Goodnight and God Bless America!

On Nov.09.2004 at 07:04 PM
Kevin McGuire’s comment is:


Super trendy-looking, to a fault. I say trendy-looking because it isn't even trendy, it just wants to be, really, really, bad.


I like this one, but Hobo is just that bad.

1 & 29:

Remind me of this shirt, which in turn reminds me of high school, so I can't hate them too much.

Posters with generally weak typography:

1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 10, 11, 12, 13, 22, 29.

Almost all the rest have neither good no bad type, which could be construed as a compliment, I guess.

7 is good, although I think the quote(s) may have been chosed specifically to appeal to the people in this contest, which, again, may or may not be a compliment.

On Nov.09.2004 at 07:34 PM
Anthony’s comment is:

Ok, #s 11 (fighter planes) and 18 (Crab) are mine.

Rick, I don't know if you were around a couple weeks ago but inre to your # 13 utility poles, you should take a look at Dan McCarthy's work. I think your #13 works but the text isn't working as well as it could. I think this piece could benefit from a better quote. I think the text can work as quietly as it does in your number 14. Good show.

But Rick, I have a real bone to pick with you calling Providence the "Bleakest Place on Earth" on your blog. Dazamn. How dare's you. When I moved to Providence 5 years ago as a student I might have agreed. But let me tell you, a lot of young people live around Prov and it is an honestly large base of creative activity. The downtown area needs positive development (not just stores and banks). Providence is one of many American cities suffering from the problem of people not living within the actual city core. While the city is making moves from a historic industrial base to a service-industry market, it still has to find its footing as far as physical structure. New buildings are going up, and unfortunately, old industrial buildings are coming down. As a result, the once thriving artist colonies in the mill districts are having to move elsewhere. Providence is home to Brown University, a top Ivy league school, and RISD, one of the best design schools in the world [no, you don't have to come from a design school to be a good designer].

But I digress.

My fighter planes number eleven was fun to make. Everything was hand drawn using photos as references, then put into my computer via a digital camera due to a lack of scanner. I agree that the Title text remains unresolved. Believe it or not, the title text was printed, traced by hand, and photo-ed back into the computer. Needs a bit more roughness, I s'pose. I would like to take a good long look at more type samples for a better fit. Better yet, I should improve my hand-lettering. FYI, the plane in flames is a German Bf-109 and the victor is a British Spitfire.

Thanks all for your criticism. I know discussion is the name of the game on this website and I was afraid not much of it would happen due to the sheer number of entries. I'm also curious about numbers 26 and 27. Specifically, what's going on? I should also like to ask the same of number 22 (We Spit in the Ink), but just on looks, 22 is my favorite of the first thirty. Also number seven is well executed though I wouldn't have chosen it because of the weakness of message. Good to look at though. The little lead bar on the far upper left is right on the money.

On Nov.09.2004 at 07:52 PM
Anthony’s comment is:

Kev, did you make an entry?

On Nov.09.2004 at 08:00 PM
Danielle Bravaco’s comment is:


Not lame at all.

In fact if you were standing next to me I would probably let you punch me in the umlauts.

So now that I am paying close attention,

within 1-30, #7 should be made into a t-shirt and handed out at AIGA lectures.

Mike, I agree that #3 and #4 are simply nice looking and that the imagery and quotes do not relate, but I think the quote is pretty relevant and could have been pushed in a hundred different directions.

Also, I believe Pratt offers a silk screening class, Brooklyn though. I have been thinking of taking one myself.

#24 is super trendy, very mid-nineties, but you have to admit there is a certain amount of truth in it.

Love the crab. Know the crab.

#16 uses kitsch imagery, integrated typography and line illustration very well.

maybe one or two more mac users

in place of "Ken"

Good heirarchy and movement though.

#10 is elegant. The compostion is dynamic and subtle at the same time and the font selected has a sort of doctrine feel, but I don't fully understand the foot? Is this just me?

On Nov.09.2004 at 09:28 PM
Anthony’s comment is:

#10 is elegant. The compostion is dynamic and subtle at the same time and the font selected has a sort of doctrine feel, but I don't fully understand the foot? Is this just me?

Getting one's foot in the door through pro-bono work I think is the allusion.

The message is fine but I think this piece is being a bit flat right now. It's behaving very symmetrical and the text is constrained. I think the concept is good but the execution needs work. Either making the foot in the door much more subtle or maybe much more forceful could be effective. The colors might also need some consideration. I'd like to see this one as a hand drawn one-panel cartoon rather than a vector drawing.

On Nov.09.2004 at 10:14 PM
JonSel’s comment is:

#10 is elegant. The compostion is dynamic and subtle at the same time and the font selected has a sort of doctrine feel, but I don't fully understand the foot? Is this just me?

Ok, I never saw it as a foot. I thought it was two people hugging or something. Either I just wasn't thinking much when I saw this design or it's not clear. I would like to bring up one point in this design: typography. When you need a condensed face, it is best to use one drawn as such. Horizontally scaling Trajan just makes it hard to read. Improperly scaled type is an instant red flag to me when assessing a designer's sensitivity to typography.


As you said, Rick, you kind of petered out on this one. I love the dramatic illustration and would have really liked to see the type work with the image instead of being placed at the bottom as if it weren't important.


I really like the typography on this but the poster feels unfinished. It could have used the vertical space better. Some additional elements in very large or small scale might have made the design feel more complete and solved that problem. The idea of typographic elements growing and morphing isn't new (see Kyle Cooper's opening title sequence for Island of Dr. Moreau) but certainly applicable and successful here. I'm not sure whether another color would have helped add some depth to this or not.


This has gotten some knocks for being trendy, but I don't see that as a problem here. Posters can afford that. I wish the quote was better, since it doesn't really add anything to the concept. As an illustration, it reminds of something I'd see in Print Magazine's Student Cover Contest. It works as a nice commentary about designers' addiction to technology more than design itself, especially since the mouse is highlighted rather than the pencil. Overall, still a nice piece.

On Nov.09.2004 at 11:01 PM
Ahrum Hong’s comment is:


Hey, how's p.town? I like number 11, and disagree with the previous post that suggested you take the inset boxes out. I think they add a subtlety and voice to your message that would have been missing had they not been there. Visually, they do seem a little like you didn't really know where to put them -- maybe if the sky in them was knocked out and screened another color instead (white would work well, I think). I guess that might screw with the sense of simplicity in production, but I've never really put much stock in that. As a general aside, I'm not sure how many young people don't care about this war. Maybe five years ago? Anyway. Doesn't matter. Funny. Good.

Andy (#12): I like the flowers; they fit with the trendy cutesy crap I would imagine the 'classmate' in reference to design. But I think you're over doing it with all the layering and repetition. The dog is your best joke. It's a funny punchline and you're killing the punchline with weak scale changes (however ironically they're intended). Also, your dog sorta looks like a rat. I realize you probably traced it off a real photo of a real dog crapping. Doesn't matter. Still looks like a rat. sorry. A three or four color gradient on the type would be a nice touch, I think.

Rick (#14): Nice drawing. It's really funny. The type placement seems a little forced, though, and doesn't complement the composition at all. But I've got nothin' in terms of constructive suggestions. Whatever the type does, I'd still probably prefer the drawing by itself; still, I figure if you're gonna use type, no use in playing down the fact that it's gonna be a part of the composition. Might as well make it a willing participant.

On Nov.10.2004 at 12:21 AM
Tan’s comment is:

1 & 29

Mark, I think your illustrations are the most original and uniquely styled in the entire competition. Where you faultered was in the typography.


Sorry Sue, I know Jonsel already said something, but stretched type of any sorts is a mortal sin in any typography class. Just look at #7 to see a good mix of size and proportions that doesn't resort to stretched type.

13 &14

I still would hang 13 Rick. I also like 14, but am admittedly biased. Both rock for different reasons.


I can't believe this didn't get more votes. There were several entries that had similar attempts at type deconstruction (several in this first batch) — and in my opinion, none of them were nearly as successful as Ellen's. The texture and rhythm isn't forced, the positive/negative shape is interesting and organic, and her use of one color for the type shows confidence and control. I disagree w/ Jon — it didn't need depth or anything else. It should've been one of the winners.


I like this one also. Sure it may be trendy, but so is 90% of all the entries. I like it when positive form mixes well w/ background. Maybe the biggest fault is that the quote is light-weight, and the concept perhaps is too obvious and tongue-in-cheek. I also have to say that I never would've guessed that 22 and 23 were done by this same person. Night and day in terms of style and execution.

Ok, back to my election mourning.

On Nov.10.2004 at 01:10 AM
Jeff Gill’s comment is:

No. 18 - Conflict Crabs

Anthony, I almost adore this poster. I love the illustration style. The scripty italic illustrates the nature of the type of conflict described much better than an in-your-face bold sans would have. The orangey red is lovely.

I have just two problems with the poster.


The large crab claws are placed so that it looks as if the viewer is one of the crabs. This means we should be seeing the inside of the claws, but the way they are curved shows them to be outside claws.

On the other hand, if this is a 3-way fight & the 2 large claws aren't connected to the same crab, there should be more evidence of these two crabs. It is in danger of being Crab vs. The 2 Disembodied Claws.


I would like to see the type all in one column that is centred under the small crab's body with "Conflict" breaking out of the column to the right. I think that would be a much more powerful arrangement.

Over all, really nice work.

On Nov.10.2004 at 05:57 AM
Bryony’s comment is:

07 by Laura Pavelko

I really like the content of this poster. It’s hilarious, I wish I could say some of these out loud to certain people too. Ha! I think the color selection is a nice surprise for the content, and a good choice. I am also pulled by the “bumper-sticker” feel I get from the different cut-outs.

16 by Laura Pavelko

I was drawn to this poster due to its dynamic nature. I can almost hear all of these guys blabbing away with the kind of phrase that surrounds them. It reminds me of the bickering hand we sometimes use when imitating a client…

22 by Eric Kass

I really like this poster. I find it delicious in nature and very nicely put together. It makes me want to touch it, to come close and really look at it.

24 by Eric Kass

I like the concept. I like the illustration. The typographical treatment could have been stronger and more integrated with the idea.

28 by Leonard Massiglia

I was interested by this poster due to its unbalanced mirror effect. It pulled me in, but, as I came closer I was disappointed by the way the rest of the poster was executed. It lacks surprise or excitement.

More later…

On Nov.10.2004 at 08:40 AM
Danielle Bravaco’s comment is:


Thanks for pointing out the allusion in #10.

Now that I get it, not sure I like it.

Improperly scaled type is an instant red flag to me when assessing a designer's sensitivity to typography.

Thought the type looked a little off proportionally but I thought it was just the verticalness of the composition playing with my eye.

Isn't stretching type illegal in some states?

On Nov.10.2004 at 10:07 AM
Feluxe Socksmell’s comment is:

059 & 137 are quite well done.

so as not to piss Gerneral Armin off, I shant remark tackily of the rest.

i will say that i am tired of talking and seeing posts on the posters. cheers, f

On Nov.10.2004 at 10:10 AM
Armin’s comment is:

Both Laura's posters are great. The color selections work well, the juxtaposition of elements is right on the money and the overall layout of both them is very well balanced.

Now… on to those who really need some critique:

No. 27

The idea is good, the word courage relates well to a long road ahead where you can't see what will be coming. However the visuals don't convey much. There are many ways to interpret a road visually and more dramatically, in this case breaking the yellow line into three four pieces would help convey that, you know, it's a road. The type treatment is weak, by outlining it it takes a lot of weight off the typeface and when speaking about courage something bolder and more in your face would be more appropriate. Overall it simply has no impact.

No. 10

Wow, that's a foot? I thought it was a ghost.

No. 8

Again, another good idea. Unfortunately the type is not well resolved, this concept would have fared much better with hand-rendered lettering rather than stacked Helvetica. There is great tension between the smallnes of the figure and the the bigness of the type but, again, execution-wise it could have been better.

On Nov.10.2004 at 11:01 AM
ps’s comment is:

stretched type of any sorts is a mortal sin in any typography class

rules are here to be broken. if the stretch is done right and in the appropriate place, i think you can ignore your typography class. but.. you'll have to know what you're doing.

On Nov.10.2004 at 12:33 PM
David V.’s comment is:

Mike Ziegenhagen’s comment is:

Kind of off topic, does anyone know about any silkscreen classes in New York?

You might want to check out ABC No Rio, the Arts/Activism collective down on the LES(156 Rivington Street ) :


On Nov.10.2004 at 01:01 PM
Jonathon’s comment is:

In response to ps, unless you plan on re-drawing the font to correct the propotions of the letters, it is never ok to scale a font in any direction. Ever.

As to the posters, the thing I have noticed is the use of strong graphic elements and the weak typography. The notable exceptions being numbers 7 and 20.

I think numner 17 is a good idea that lacks execution. It looks more like a sketch done in Illustrator than a finished poster.

And I like number 11 very much, but it has bothered me for two reason since the first time I saw it. First, the use of inch marks instead quotes around Whatever. Second, this poster broke the rules of quote selection. This quote from Rudy V was used in Stop Being Sheep.

On Nov.10.2004 at 02:05 PM
Armin’s comment is:

> This quote from Rudy V was used in Stop Being Sheep.

I overruled it, because it was a cool poster. Hey, there have to be some benefits to running the show.

On Nov.10.2004 at 02:10 PM
Mike Ziegenhagen’s comment is:

David that place kicks a lot of ass. I think I have to swing by there tonight and check it out. Thanks a lot. It is greatly appreciated.

Sorry Armin, I'll stop yapping about the silkscreening.

On Nov.10.2004 at 02:15 PM
Sue Harley’s comment is:

I designed poster 10, I'm really enjoying reading the comments.

When you need a condensed face, it is best to use one drawn as such. Horizontally scaling Trajan just makes it hard to read. Improperly scaled type is an instant red flag to me when assessing a designer's sensitivity to typography.

JonSel - I understand your point, and appreciate your suggestion. However, I was unable to use another typeface because I chose TRAJAN carefully, for the following reasons. The designer, Carol Twombly, was inspired by the inscriptions on the public buildings in Rome; I wanted to use a latin-inspired face for the quotation including the latin term 'pro-bono'; Also, the Emperor TRAJAN was responsible for a massive public works programme, particularly in providing services for the poor - most definitely for the public good.

As I was set in my choice of font, my decision to scale, although unorthodox, was an attempt to represent a lengthening shadow (not too successfully it seems!) - a shadow cast over the profession by those who choose to give their services for free, under the guise of 'pro-bono' work - when in reality it is mostly done to 'get your foot in the door'.

And yes - it is a foot - and there I was worrying it was too obvious!

Really enjoyed the competition - many congratulations to the winners and to Armin and Bryony for a job well done.

Oh, and Tan, please don't apologise - I appreciate your comments and want to learn from this process, no need to apologise.

On Nov.10.2004 at 02:43 PM
Jonathon’s comment is:

Armin, as always I appreciate your honesty.

I take back the second thing that bothers me about Anthony's poster, but inch marks instead of quote marks? Still bothers me.

On Nov.10.2004 at 03:38 PM
Gunnar Swanson’s comment is:

re: #11—inch marks instead of quote marks

While they make look prime-like, the marks around “Whatever” appear to be the correct quotation marks for the typeface. The opening quotes narrow toward the top and the closing quotes narrow toward the bottom.

On Nov.10.2004 at 04:30 PM
Greg’s comment is:

Ok, it's a rainy hump day, and I have a headache. Time to give some crappy fake awards nominations.

My nomination for most disjunctive quote/illustration (numbers 1-30) goes to #19. I don't get why asses are being kicked. Perhaps because "deadlines were missed?" Then why is the person being punched saying that "making deadlines is a matter of respect"? It just doesn't make any sense.

My call for best concept/worst execution goes to #10. I didn't know it was a foot until I read it above. I don't care what anyone tells you, never stretch type. NEVER. You can redraw if you want (and if you are masochistic) but don't stretch type. It sounds like you put a lot of thought into the poster, but the concepts you were talking about weren't evident in the poster itself.

Finally, the award for "Best poster to receive 0 votes" goes to #29. I kinda like the style, even if the illustration is pretty vague. It looks like the farmer/redneck is waiting for a gadfly so he can blow it away, and I think the quote was written in a different spirit. But the style is cool, I really liked the other one you did, Mark. The alien bunny is hilarious.

On Nov.10.2004 at 04:48 PM
Laura Pavelko’s comment is:

Thanks for the critiques everyone! It would be great if more competitions allowed for this type of feedback.

I'm glad that people got a kick out of "Type Geek Wars." Making a fellow designer crack a smile was my goal from the start.


On Nov.10.2004 at 07:15 PM
Laura Pavelko’s comment is:

PS- My critique of some of the entries is coming...

On Nov.10.2004 at 07:31 PM
James’s comment is:

Although it didn't get many votes, I truly enjoy 006. I feel it gets the message across, and the true feeling of most non-designers and some designers.

However I'm not totally sold with the type, I'm not sure it is the best fit. I really dig the color palette, however I think that is why I am not sure about the type, I would like to see what a solid, dark, and heavy face maybe something like helvetica or maybe even copperplate, hmmmmm. Then I would be able to understand the choice more.

however, good job

On Nov.10.2004 at 11:19 PM
keith mc cord’s comment is:

007-This poster is wonderful!

It got my initial vote and i still think it rocks...I am also a type geek, but that has nothing to do with the great use of space and dynamicism that really captures the spirit of this quote.

I also love the illustrations on 1 and 29, but thats just purely visual.

#24 may be trendy and a bit vulgar, but it think it dramatizes the experience of graphic design.

is #12 by THE Andy Cruz, of House? just asking...

On Nov.11.2004 at 02:23 AM
Lauren Diamond’s comment is:

I see how my posters message is weak for the road. It is supposed to have a graphic looking chicken on it crossing the road, but for some reason it is not there. I know chickens do not have big brains, and they rarely think about crossing the road. My meaning was to relate it to an everyday activity that you don't really think about doing, you just do it. For example riding in or driving a car. You get in the car to get somewhere, but you never know if this could be your last time or last breathe of fresh air before some idiot runs a red light and kills you; sorry to be so blunt. I probably should have made the word "courage" more bold, it definately would have had a stronger impact.

As for the other poster for the quote "pro-gratis," that one is supposed to have a sentence above it that says, "Donated time that isn't really for the public good." Becuase you have a guy relaxing on his lazy boy with a beer in hand, while he is supposed to be working on a project for a non-profit or whatever, something he is not getting paid for, so he doesn't really care he just wants his name on it so he can have the free advertising.

any questions??????

On Nov.11.2004 at 08:54 AM
Andy Cruz’s comment is:

Same name, different guy!

Thanks for the comments on #12 by the way. It was fun although sort of hastily put together. It all stems from growing up outside Denver, CO, where, as a kid I grew up watching "Blinky's Fun Club". Basically a kids cartoon show hosted by a clown. Not a regular red haired, white faced Bozo type. No. A dark, stubblefaced, sad-eyed, rail riding, Thunderbird swilling clown. Yes, a HOBO clown.

I loathed him. You had to sit through his singing "Hap/py birth/a/day to a/you!" in his signature rythym to get to the cartoons.

Anyway, this is what I think of when I see Hobo in print.

It's a funny punchline and you're killing the punchline with weak scale changes (however ironically they're intended). Also, your dog sorta looks like a rat. I realize you probably traced it off a real photo of a real dog crapping. Doesn't matter. Still looks like a rat. sorry. A three or four color gradient on the type would be a nice touch, I think.

Weak scale changes. Yes, exactly, who does this anymore? I guess the dog kinda could look like a rat. I think it's a pit bull. A rat crapping a flower is still pretty funny. A three or four color gradient? Indeed.

#11- was my favorite of the first 30. Great quote and excellent, fitting illustration. Not crazy about the boxes around the text...

#7 - Very cool, liked this one a lot

#1, 29 - Great, quirky illustrations

On Nov.11.2004 at 10:07 AM
Michael Surtees’s comment is:

The one poster that really got my attention was #21 designed by Ellen Gould. I kept coming back to over the days and weeks that was the competition. It seemed like a type experiment that came out J. Abbott Miller's Dimensional Typography book. It offered something that a lot of the other posters didn't - a question. I could bring my own imagination to the subject of SU, the poster was a starting point. That is why I would hang it on my wall.

On Nov.11.2004 at 10:47 AM
ian’s comment is:

andy cruz "Blinky's Fun Club"

holy crap - i had forgotten about denver's thunderbird swilling clown. i just had the sudden realization of why clowns scare the crap out of me.

the hap/py birth/a/days were brutal...

On Nov.11.2004 at 12:15 PM
Armin’s comment is:

Michael, I share a similar opinion regarding No. 21. In essence, it is an Adobe Illustrator filter but it was used with a purpose and under control (meaning that Ellen didn't let the filter dictate the result but she controlled it for her execution). It aslo did remind me of Miller's little book.

Another one that I liked was No. 30. The little creature is a great character. If all the type had been set in the balloony style of "executed" it would have been a great poster.

On Nov.11.2004 at 01:24 PM
Reno’s comment is:

#139 is far and away my favorite. I wish I'd done that.

#042 is nice. Elegant, without feeling like a wedding invite.

#013 and #014 are good too. I like how bunny poster is very minimal, while the pylons poster has lots of little details to take in.

A good many of the posters have that sorta Chantry-ish, or Aesthetic Apparatus screen printing style that seems to have dominated the new Print Regional Design Annual. I love that style, and occasionally make stuff with that feel, but seeing how prevalent it is now makes me think it's time to start moving in some new directions.

A few of the other posters have nice ideas, but use illustrations that aren't quite up to snuff. But overall, a great effort from everyone.

On Nov.12.2004 at 12:41 AM
Anthony’s comment is:

Hey Ahrum, I actually moved from Providence at the end of summer, In West Virginia now. Are you taking a year off? Cheers

...And I like number 11 very much, but it has bothered me for two reason since the first time I saw it. First, the use of inch marks instead quotes around Whatever. Second, this poster broke the rules of quote selection. This quote from Rudy V was used in Stop Being Sheep.


Ack! They're not inch marks! I'm a crusader against the insidious dumb quote marks just like yous. They don't have the ball-and-swish like a serif type but I double-double checked to make sure they're legit. And as far as breaking the rules, I thought everything from comments was up for grabs. I either forget or overlooked this "no sheep" rule. It's a damn good quote.

*raspberry at you*

One of the most valuable things I learned at college is that you can bend or break the rules if the end result is good. But I didn't mean to violate the contest.

"Officer, you see, I was speeding, yes. But I've been drinking, don't gimmie a ticket..."

...On the "Design Junkie" poster, I don't see it as being particularly trendy, espescially given the rest of the posters. Sometimes I think the word "trendy" is used by older designers (25+) to sort of discredit the energetic, colorful, and bold work of others. I don't think the Design Junkie poster is this designer's strongest piece. I like We Spit in the Ink poster but the quote and meaning are a bit obscure. Kass's work for clients I think is stringer than the "free" work for this competition. A lot of designers actually do better work when given a tighter set of parameters and a little less freedom. Myself included.

I guess I'm saying I don't think the label "trendy" does anyone any good. It's like calling a piece "designy" or "arty" or "stylized." I think it's a weak describer. "Trendy" is used somewhat as a term of dismissal, not unlike the expression "whatever." It's used most commonly by those who seek to deride David Carson even more than the rest of us. Do you remember what it feels like when a client asks for something to look stylized? eww.

On Nov.12.2004 at 11:06 AM
M Kingsley’s comment is:

Too bad Eric Kass' entry (#22) didn't get more appreciation.

It has a sense of play.

It has a light touch.

It relates to its subject matter: ink-ness.

And it conveys the spirit of being young and wanting to take on the world.

It got my vote.

Well done, Eric.

On Nov.12.2004 at 12:29 PM
danielle’s comment is:

when i first found out about this poster contest, only the first 25 or so of the posters had been uploaded to the site. i was exceptionally nervous because many of the ones i viewed as spectacular were among these.

#15 -- i nearly voted for this one. i love how it puts me in the workspace and the mind of the type designer. what i find ironic, however, is the fact that the caption is so removed from the illustration and under-executed. it seems compulsory, as if it's there as part of the contest rules. i'm nuts about the color choice.

#8 -- i thought the exaggerated weight of the pin was well conveyed, but i don't understand the message of the poster without having a quote to go by. love the colors, but overall it could have been taken further.... i agree with the previous comments on type execution.

i love the attitude in #22, but where did it come from? Regardless, i think the simplicity of the art with the faces & drops is great (the yellow face needed more body). Kevin, I disagree with the "weak typography" comment -- the type is appropriate for this poster. It's incongruous, spontaneous, whimsical. wouldn't be the same otherwise.

#11 -- looks fantastic! i agree with most everything above. keep the boxes, too. this would have made a groovy poster.

#7 -- i also this one rocks. it deserves the number of votes it received. geez, how long did that one take?

#13 -- this one makes a fabulous poster, but I was disappointed with the fact that it was a "borrowed illustration" when i saw it on your site in another format. bummed me out. that explains, though, why the quote doesn't gel with the illustration.

ps -- what's the hype over with poster #3/4? and i thought that two posters by one artist had to be *distinctly* different...?

i have more thoughts, but i'll save them! getting my posters and opinions mixed up by now.

On Nov.12.2004 at 04:41 PM
Randy’s comment is:

#015 - I think I passed this over because of the subtle colors; it gets lost in the page of thumbnails. The illustration is honest and understandable. It has merit and deserves discusssion. I'd say that for a poster about type design, the other typography could appear to relate to the illustration more. The line of type on the right side could be better handled.

#021 - Lovely visual. The use of two colors differs greatly from most of the others, but I'm left wondering how what I'm seeing relates to what I'm reading. Someone help me out; I want to understand.

#022 - My eyes go to this first of all posters 001-030. The yellow drip (or spitwad) near the top that doubles as an eye for the upper face is a nice detail. Well done.

I'm happy to say that coming back, slowing down, and observing these in more detail has allowed me to appreciate aspects of many of the posters that I hadn't noticed during the voting process. I breezed past any that didn't grab me, then narrowed from those few to my final selections.

On Nov.14.2004 at 11:24 AM