There are a number of issues with this poster, a design for a client launch event. Firstly, one should always be careful with a ‘watermarked’ image in the background. The reasons for adding an image are valid: it breaks up the otherwise solid colour of a poster. However, text can often be obscured when placed over high contrast areas of an image. This is why, here, the image transparency has been reduced but it still leads the eye away from the text. Whilst using photography as a watermarked background can sometimes add to a piece, it should be used sparingly.
Another common mistake, and one which The Documentalist encounters a lot, is that there is always a temptation to fill the print area with as much text and illustration as possible. And if there is space left, then increase the size of the text and/or the size of any illustrations.
There should always be lots of space in any design. It can create well-defined boundaries between objects and allows the eye to ‘rest’. Remember, a poster is created to announce a simple concept, in this case a services launch event. All it should do is give an overview of what it is trying to advertise and information on how the viewer can get more information. Whilst the text here does achieve that, there is still room for improvement.
In attempting to use up as much space as possible, the icons are too large (and, actually, different heights and widths) and overwhelm the accompanying text. As they are vertically centre-aligned against the text and the paragraphs are of differing height, the vertical spacing between the icons becomes inconsistent. Also, the bottom two icons are filled, whilst the top one is not.
Confusingly, there is a summary added at the foot of the poster. This summarises the points made immediately above and is not required. The date and location of the event is part of this summary and not immediately obvious.
This new version removes the background image altogether and uses a margin image at full opacity. It gives a frame to the content and leaves plenty of white space available to contain uninterrupted copy.
The first version of this revised design had the topmost heading in the same typeface as the rest of the copy, set in white against a black background. However, to add a little creative licence, it was decided to that a completely different typeface be used instead – that of an old typewriter. It adds a little bit of ‘spice’ to the overall design.
The introductory text has been re-written and split into three blocks. The first block summarises the problem facing IT managers in the current climate, the second explains how those issues can be addressed and the third announces the event.
Throughout the piece, the phrases ‘Get Connected’ and ‘Power of the Portfolio’ are used as slogans and so are highlighted whenever they are used. Also, where ‘TS’ is used, it is expanded to ‘Technical Services’ as some customers may not know what this abbreviation stands for.
More information about the event, the ‘call-to-action’, is enclosed in a single blue panel. Icons are all the same size and placed centred above the text.
In the revised version, each icon is associated with its accompanying text in sub-sections of the main panel. The slogans mentioned above are again highlighted, along with contact details.
The third sub-panel has been re-written to include the contact’s full name, not just the email address.
This panel text may appear too small on this preview, but, printed at A3, text should be perfectly legible. A draft print would determine whether the type size needed to be adjusted. There is more than enough available whitespace to accommodate slightly larger text.
Finally, the summary has been removed entirely and replaced with the date of the event, plus the venue address.