Educational Poster

Designing an educational poster about Urban Agriculture

Role: Poster Designer
Duration: 3 weeks
Tools & Techniques: Illustrator, Typographic hierarchy, Progressive disclosure
Project Brief
This project was part of the ‘Document Design’ course. The objective was to design an educational poster about Urban Agriculture, for an audience of our choice. The deliverable was a 24 inch by 36 inch poster, to be printed and critiqued in a studio setting. We were provided the raw text to be used in the poster (pictured below). Designing this poster was challenging due to the following constraints:

1) We were to use all of the raw text provided, with some flexibility to reword it.
2) We had to create a surprise element and a clear point of entry for reading the content.
3) The poster was required to have progressive disclosure and lead viewers to the body text. 
4) We had to conceive of a title, tagline and subheads to draw the viewers in.
5) The poster had to be meaningful from different distances - be it 20 feet or 2 feet away.
This is the raw text that we had to work with. I found the penultimate paragraph most interesting and proceeded to do some quick online research on this topic.

I arrived at a target audience after inspiration from a Jamie Oliver Ted Talk.
I went through the raw text and the part that interested me most was how we have lost the culture of producing our own food / meat. From online research I learnt that children in some parts of the United States cannot tell apart common vegetables or different kinds of meat. This Jamie Oliver Ted Talk gave me the impetus to direct my poster towards parents. The bait was that today’s generation does not know enough about their food. Urban Agriculture is the solution.
I ran with this idea and made some exploratory sketches.
I explored different layouts with some consistent elements (see below) - a title, a call to action, subheads and paragraphs of body text. I liked the idea of a top angle of an urban jungle, and showing how farming could be done atop it. I considered appealing to people’s love for their city, or how we've lost our culture of food.
I started putting together images that might represent rooftop farming in the city.
I found images of the urban landscape and what a possible future could be. The image on bottom left has a vanishing point that I wanted to be the focal point of my poster. The three images with green were supposed to draw attention to informative text, and the masks were to be used for a concept I was playing with.
I made a quick digital version and learnt a lot by printing it out at poster size.
Printing this out at 24 by 36 inch helped me learn more about what works at this size. Rectangular images and a boxed layout makes the poster look unappealing, especially from a distance. I realized that my body text needed to be of lighter weight, and I needed a stronger headline or point of entry that would attract people from a distance. The focal image and mask silhouette worked well in attracting attention, but there was too much happening around it.
My second concept focused on people's lack of knowledge about their food
I'd come across a survey conducted with teenagers about where their meat comes from. It was shocking to see that a majority of survey respondents didn't know where beef came from. I decided to take my poster in this direction with the instinct that people respond more to animal imagery than vegetables or plants. From my interest in film noir I wanted to play with using jarring reflections, like of a bull against a meek looking pig. I found images accordingly and started putting together a color palette. I used the colors of raw meat, and two colors that went well with them.
I iterated on the layout, colors and typography.
I used diagonal lines and obscure shapes to create some tension. I was influenced by avant garde posters that have a central slant message or slogan. I added texture to the top half of the poster to reinforce the relation to raw meat. I restricted myself to using silhouetted images and cutouts.
Final Poster Design
I improved the alignment, spacing, wording and icons for my final poster design.
Final Poster Design, printed at 24 inches by 36 inches.

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