Informative Poster

C Studio II Project 1

Sammie Kim
7 min readJan 19, 2020

Design Lecture Notes

Typesetting Notes

  • Adjust bad rags (Creating river along the side)
  • Avoid too many hyphens/same words in a row
  • Avoid orphans and widows
  • The leading between paragraphs should be half of the leading within the paragraph
  • 12~ 15 words in a sentence (smaller size text = narrower column)
  • Hang quotes and punctuation marks.
  • Use left justified to avoid the last sentence from becoming too spaced out


  • Typeface (Visual design of letter like Bodoni) vs. Font (software to access it like Bodoni Light or Regular)
  • Type styles: serif (small extensions) vs. sans serif
  • Point size, kerning, tracking, leading, alignment, smart quotes, hanging puctuations


  • Design is about creating “meaningful” order.
  • Hierarchy can be created through scale and color (point color and reverse color use)
  • Grids: Modules, columns, gutters, margins, hang lines, text around graphics

Design Heroes

Several inspirational communication designers I found whose works influenced the contemporary design world.

1. Saul Bass (1920–1996)

“I want to make beautiful things, even if nobody cares, as opposed to ugly things. That’s my intent.”

A graphic designer and filmmaker, Saul Bass is renowned for his film poster designs, kinetic typography, and even iconic corporate logos. Working with Hollywood’s greatest filmmakers (Hitchcock, Kubrick, Scorsese, and more), he developed modern opening title sequences that established the mood/theme.

2. Alexey Brodovich (1987–1971)

“There is no recipe for good layout, what must be maintained is a feeling of change and contrast.”

Alexey Brodovich played a crucial role in bringing forth avant-garde graphic design in the fashion industry by using cropped photography, bold typography, and images that bled off the pages. He was the first art director to integrate image and text in magazine spreads, generating unique layouts that were visually dynamic.

3. Josef Muller-Brockmann

“The grid is an organizational system that makes the message easier to read, this allows you to get an effective result at a minimum cost. With an arbitrary organization, the problem is solved more easily, faster and better.”

Josef Muller-Brockmann is known for his “Swiss style” designs that resemble geometrical shapes, clean serifs, and vibrant colors. One of his greatest contributions would be the use of compositional grids in graphic design that determined the arrangement of words and images.

My classmates’ Design Heroes

Final Designer: Saul Bass

I decided to choose Saul Bass as my final designer. The more I researched about him, I was impressed at such versatility of his works that included commercial design, branding, filmmaking, and even environments. His diverse and powerful works truly mark him as one of the most influential designer of the 20th entury.

A few of my favorite spreads from the book
he book on Saul Bass was an extremely informative source for learning in depth about his life and works. There were great details from the process, sketches, and even various layout samples until the final result.
Kit of Parts
Moodboard /Inspiration for poster
  • The Kit of Parts and Mood board were effective for generating some initial direction of what an informative poster may look like/communicate. But one crucial part that I learned: Avoid using pre-designed ornate typography like Hitchcock, as it creates artificiality when laid out (especially as certain letters in a word becomes repeated more than once).

1st Draft

Some initial questions:

  • How can I best curate all the essential contents within the informative poster? (Especially the portrait and the works of Saul Bass)
  1. Exploring Typography
  • Actually cutting out paper to explore the cut-out texture of papers
  • Printing out fonts to check back and forth
  • I eventually chose a sans serif font (Sources Sans) over serif, as it carried the bolder and quirky mood of Bass.
A few cut out lettering samples inspired from Saul Bass typography
Printing out sections of poster to evaluate readability

2. Color and Layouts

  • Utilizing bold colors and irregular geometric shapes
Brainstorming Layouts
The right design felt more stable with his last name Bass boldy presented on the left corner.
1st Iteration

Feedback from Critique:

  • The typography in the left poster (full body portrait) guides the readers down through the page, and it feels more dynamic to look at. However, this still needs to have more information and works integrated like the right poster.
  • The right poster is more informative of who Saul Bass is, and this may be evolved to incorporate captions. The huge negative space in the navy box may also be better utilized (possibly like a legend showing a list of works to support the above).
  • Better treatment of the vector work images (maybe retrace them)
  • Soften the sharp corners and edges of the portraits
  • Experiment more with the presentation of the works (cropping, scaling, etc).

2nd Draft

2nd Critique Feedback:

  • Figure out color settings (different when exported from InDesign)
  • Resolution qualities for each works! (Actually make the shapes myself)
  • Adjust type settings for the timeline (handwritten fonts with a little more information & visual hierarchy) and the numbering labels(white is too distracting)
  • Decrease the font size for the paragraph and move it down a little more (along with the letter U)
  • Adjust the placement for the Anatomy of Murder work
  • Remove the yellow artwork
Creating handwritten text for the timeline section
(Experimenting with portraits of Bass) In order to prevent Bass’s hands from looking like black gloves, I tried to somehow utilize the negative space to create an optical illusion. Just simply cropping out his head made it look out of place, whereas no-arm created a vague image.