Fall 2021 // Thursday 1:30–4:10 // AB 1020

Poster Design

Projects and Exercises


Project 3: For an Exhibition

An investigation into creating conceptual connections, instead of literal connections, to an artist and their work. The poster will be for an exhibition of a chosen artist's work but images of the art or the artist cannot be used.

Full Project Description

Project 2: Content Follows Form

An investigation into generating the form first. The form of the poster will be created first and then content will be added to it in response to that form.

Full Project Description

Project 1: Type Only

An investigation into typography as a means of communication and as a formal element in design. The base of the project will be choosing a character to physically construct, then documenting that character through photography and then integrating that image into a poster.

Full Project Description


Exercise 6: Print with a Purpose

Pick a cause you feel passionate about and make a poster that you would carry at a rally for that cause or post on a wall. The design should be simple enough to be made from a cut paper stencil and have a clear message. It can have multiple layers but each layer will need to have a stencil, so keep in mind the labor of making before committing to a complicated design.

While printing consider how color can affect the message. Can you combine your stencil with another stencil and create a new message? Make a total of 10 prints with at least 5 printed with only your design.

Technical Requirements
  • 10 18″x24″ prints
  • One poster hung somewhere on campus or out in the world. Image of poster showing the surrounding context added to Miro
  • One poster brought to class to hang in the building together
  • Image of poster(s) added to Miro

Due Thursday, October 21 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 5: Cut, Tear, Tape, Paste

This exercise is focused on collage as a medium and a process. In its most basic form, collage is cut and torn paper—typically sourced from magazines, advertising, packaging, novels or old textbooks—glued onto a flat substrate.

You will create 5 collages working quickly and intuitively. Vary the way you are working and try different ideas with each collage. If you find yourself getting stuck trying to put too much meaning into one collage, work abstractly in the next one. If you find yourself focusing too much on the images and words you are using, flip the piece over once you cut it out and see what is on the back.

Each collage should be on its own sheet of paper and be 6″x9″ when cropped down. The final collages will need to be scanned for documentation.

Technical Requirements
  • 5 6″x9″ collages
  • Scans added to Miro

Due Thursday, September 30 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 4: New Views

Formally speaking, abstract photography is a method of expressing ideas and emotions without the intention of creating a traditional or realistic image. By avoiding and going beyond the usual representations of an object, scene, or any particular element, it reveals details that are normally ignored and triggers the viewer’s imagination.

Take at least 50 abstract photographs of the world around you, focusing on things like simplicity, composition, angle of view, lighting, harmony, and mystery. Photograph an array of subjects indoor and out but do not get stuck on a single subject. Remember that these will be used for a portrait poster so don’t take every image in a landscape format.

Print the ten images you find most compelling and bring them to class. They can be individual prints or combined (but large enough to see) onto one or two sheets but they do not need to be photographic prints. A laser print is fine.

  • 50 photographs
  • 10 printed for class
  • 10 images added to Miro

Due Thursday, September 23 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 3: 6 Word Memoir

A memoir is any nonfiction narrative writing based on the author’s personal memories or experiences. For this exercise, reflect on a personal memory or experience you can articulate in 6 words. Then, using type, minimal imagery, and color, illustrate the meaning of the memoir. This will be a hand illustrated 9”x12” mini poster.

  • Hand done 9″x12″ mini poster (can be done as a digital illustration)
  • Only 6 words used
  • Image added on Miro

Due Thursday, September 16 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 2: Type Effects

The computer isn’t the only tool we have to manipulate type. Sometimes physical manipulations can create forms that might be impossible to create on the computer.

Print out five phrases in black text on a white background on a letter sized sheet of paper and bring them to class on 9/9. In class we will trade with each other and make physical manipulations to each phrase. Bring supplies that could be useful for you to work in class (sample list below). Final submissions will be your five manipulations brought back into the computer through scanning or photography, printed back out in black and white, and added on Miro.

Potential Materials
  • scissors / cutting knife
  • cutting matt / ruler
  • glue / tape
  • camera / iPhone
  • marker / pen / ink / paint
  • printer acetate
  • construction paper
  • foam core / matt board
  • etc.
  • 5 black and white phrases
  • Each phrase printed on landscape, letter sized paper

Due Thursday, September 09 by 1:30 pm ET

  • 5 manipulated phrases on Miro.

Due Thursday, September 16 by 1:30 pm ET

Exercise 1: About Me

Create 3 9″x12″ mini posters using descriptive bits of information about yourself. Each mini poster should use the same grid and focus on hierarchy, alignment, and space. Do not add your name or use any images. You can use color if you want but black and white is fine.

  • 3 9″x12″ mini posters
  • Can use color
  • Each mini poster clearly uses a grid
  • Various scales of type
  • 3 mini posters added to Miro

Due Thursday, September 02 by 1:30 pm ET