November '20

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G R A P H I C S - P R O. C O M 2 0 2 0 N O V E M B E R G R A P H I C S P R O 4 9 be basic—presented with a maximum of meaning and a minimum of explana- tion. The most compelling work is always simple and clear. But within this requirement of simplic- ity, abundant opportunities for creativity exist. Great posters reveal their secrets to us and exhibit the artistry and vision of their creators. And they invite us to give it a try; that's where the fun begins! DIFFERENT VARIATIONS In preparation for the course, I designed and painted four 16" X 20" posters to use as teaching examples. The name of the conference was "A Show of Hands," a ref- erence to the many styles of calligraphy, and to the unique characteristics each practitioner brings to the craft. I chose to use the name in a literal way, imagining that I had been given the assignment of making a poster for the event. And in the creation of each poster, I employed spe- cific elements typical to various styles of design in order to explain their character- istics to our students. By turns, I chose to interpret the "Show of Hands" title with a Russian Construc- tivist protest theme, as a magic show ad- vertisement, as a '40s gangster movie card, and as a '60s psychedelic concert poster. I chose not to add extra copy (dates or de- scriptions) in order to concentrate solely on the name and imagery. As you can see, by the images, I gave markedly different variations to the "hands" idea. Once the class began, the students embarked on the creation of their own posters, with subjects tremendously varied and all suc- cessful. Given the focus of the calligraphy con- ference, our course emphasized the mak- ing of hand-painted works, but you'll create your posters with whatever tools you find most comfortable. On your next design assignment, research the myriad styles available for exploration on the way to developing your own. And heed the austere philosophy of the great poster artists. It is an ethos applicable to every aspect of design, whether you are mak- ing signs, wrapping vehicles, engraving awards, or embroidering sportswear: sim- ple and clear will carry the day. GP For 48 years, MARK OATIS has worked in all phases of the sign industry, on projects worldwide. He is Creative Director at YESCO's Las Vegas division.

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