November '20

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4 6 G R A P H I C S P R O N O V E M B E R 2 0 2 0 G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M S I G N A G E & P R I N T I N G R E G A R D I N G D E S I G N | M A R K O A T I S ART OF THE POSTER EXPLORING THE VARIED WORLD OF POSTER DESIGN F or those passionate about lettering and the lettering arts, few experiences can match the intensity and pleasure of a calligraphy conference. Experts come from around the world to discuss and exhibit their work, and to teach students who are intent upon improving their skills and developing new ones. The eight-day conferences are usually held during summer months at colleges and uni- versities, and are "full-immersion" retreats; the staff and stu- dents rarely venture beyond the grounds. In 2016, I was invited to serve as an instructor at an inter- national conference in a pristine mountain setting at War- ren Wilson College near Asheville, North Carolina. I team- taught a course titled "Art of the Poster" with my friend and professional colleague Randall Hasson. Randall is an accom- plished fine artist and world-class calligrapher, and my own skills are in sign painting and the sign arts. Our week-long collaboration proved fun and fruitful. We had plenty of time to make projects, and to explore (in a concentrated way) the rich and varied world of poster design. A genuine Russian propaganda poster in the Construc- tivist style. Note the angularity of the repeating shapes and the plain color scheme. (Image courtesy the collec- tion of Mark Oatis) Above: This treatment is in the style known as Constructivism. Plain pictorials and no-nonsense letter- ing typify this genre, suggesting some sort of protest. (Image and artwork courtesy Mark Oatis) Left: The "electrified" custom lettering seems to rise by a mysterious force. This magic poster style is given extra im- pact when rendered in creepy orange and chartreuse. (Image and artwork courtesy Mark Oatis)

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